First-Degree Burn Treatment and Care

Lotion is applied to a first-degree burn

There are three types of burns one can experience: first-degree (superficial burns), second-degree (partial thickness burns) and third-degree (full thickness burns). It is important to treat all burns correctly. This includes a first-degree, minor burn. If not treated properly, an infection can occur. Learn how to treat first-degree burns according to the American Burn Association’s Burn Prevention Committee.

What Is A First-Degree Burn?

There are three main layers of skin with the topmost layer being the epidermis. First-degree burns involve this outermost layer of skin. Typically, this burn is due to damage from the sun’s rays. The skin can appear red, feel warm or hot and cause pain and/or irritation.

First Aid for The Burn

There are several things you should do immediately after getting a first-degree burn:

  • Place the burn under cool running water for at least 5 minutes (not cold water).
  • Remove all excess clothing and accessories from around the burned area.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Apply a soothing lotion that contains aloe vera to help relieve discomfort and pain if the burn area is small.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

There are also several things that you should not do after getting a first-degree burn:

  • Do not ice the burn as this can further damage the skin.
  • Never put butter on a burn.
  • Avoid wrapping the burn tightly with gauze as this can put pressure on the burn tissue.

After following these tips, your first-degree burn should heal without any further treatment. If you have a fever or pain that cannot be lessened by medication, contact your doctor immediately. Continue to monitor the area, and make sure you keep it clean.

Finally, remember to limit your exposure to the sun and always wear sunscreen (make sure your sunscreen is not expired).

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*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.