How Quickly Should I Treat Minor Burns?

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  • Written By: Marco Sumayao
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Many individuals might be alarmed by the pain they feel immediately after getting first-degree burns, but experts generally agree that there is no need to rush to treat minor burns. Most minor burns tend to heal with little medical care and often do not cause enough damage to warrant instant treatment. The only exception to this guideline is in the treatment of chemical burns; in the event that the burn is caused by chemical contact, patients should immediately remove any remaining traces of the substance from their skin to avoid further damage. Shortly following preliminary treatment, chemical burn patients should consult a doctor regarding further action.

There is usually no need to immediately treat minor burns, as they rarely cause enough damage to the skin to do any serious harm. Most patients treat minor burns to alleviate themselves of the pain; this pain, however, is an indication that the burn isn't serious enough to damage the nerve cells underneath the skin. If the patient's tolerance for pain is low, or if the pain from the burn is greater than average, he can try several first aid techniques to ease his discomfort. These include soaking the burn area in cold water for a short amount of time and taking small doses of painkillers.


In the event that the burns form blisters on the skin, patients should refrain from bursting them. Burst blisters can leave ruptures on the skin, which can then lead to infection. Patients should ideally treat minor burns with broken blisters as soon as they can by cleaning the wound. If antiseptic medication is permitted by a doctor's advice, patients can also opt to apply the treatment on the blister. Patients should also inform their doctors of any new blisters, growing blisters, or discharge developing from blisters, as these might be signs of complications.

Although rare, it is not unheard of for patients to get minor chemical burns. Unlike more conventional causes, such as overexposure to sunlight or contact with scalding water, it is imperative that patients take immediate action to treat minor burns from chemical exposure. Prolonged contact with the substance might cause further damage to the skin, resulting in higher-degree burns. Patients should immediately dust off the burnt area to remove any remaining dry chemicals, and then rinse the area for 15 to 20 minutes. Patients should then seek advice from a medical professional as soon as possible regarding continued treatment of the burn.



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Post 1

I'd get a lot of minor steam burns when I worked at a buffet restaurant, but I got used to them. They hurt really bad for a few minutes, but then I'd forget about them. Sometimes I'd slather on some burn cream with an anesthetic when I got home if the pain was still there. Otherwise, I just kept the area clean.

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