Burns severe enough to cause blisters or breaks in the skin should be evaluated right away in the office or in the emergency room.  All electrical burns should be evaluated by the doctor immediately.  Burns of the hands, face and genitals are more serious than burns in other locations.  Burns that merely cause redness of the skin and do not cause blisters or breaks in the skin are generally minor and require only watchful care. The following steps can be taken at home immediately after a burn to both minimize further burn and to begin treatment.

  1. Hold the burned area under cool water for several minutes.  Remove any hot material from the affected area to prevent further burn damage.
  2. Use Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain (see Dosing Guide for recommended dosage).
  3. An antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin can be applied and the area covered with a clean dressing.  Clean white socks are good for protecting burns on the hands or feet.  If your child has an extensive burn, clean sheets can be used for protection while in route to the doctor or hospital.
  4. If the burn results in blistering or breaks in the skin, a tetanus booster will be needed if one has not been given during the last five years.
Reviewed 3/16/17 by Dr. Byrum