Care of First Degree Burns
First-degree burns are often caused by sunburns, scalds, flames and/or heat. The skin looks red and feels warm to the touch. There are no blisters. These burns are most often treated at home. The burned skin may tan, flake, or peel a few days after the burn.
1. Relieve pain by bathing the area or taking cool baths or showers. Never use ice to treat burns. Ice may cause more injury to the skin.
2. Apply creams or lotions to the burned skin to keep it moist. Frequent use of these can also help control pain. Avoid creams and lotions with alcohol, perfumes, fragrances or numbing ingredients. We recommend: Nivea®, Keri Lotion®, Eucerin®, or Aquaphor®
3. Control pain with acetaminophen (Tylenol®), extra strength Tylenol®, or ibuprofen.
4. Prevent or treat swelling by keeping the burned area elevated. If the burns are on your head or face, put pillows under the head of the mattress for more elevation.
Drink 10-12 glasses of fluid daily. You need extra fluids when you have a burn to prevent dehydration. Call your doctor if you are unable to keep fluids down.
If you have questions and or problems call
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/06/2012
Copyright © 04/06/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4290
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