First-degree burns usually require no more treatment than can be provided at home. In fact, first-degree burn treatment can be as simple as waiting for the burn to heal naturally. Given that this type of burn is usually painful, pain relievers can be applied to the surface of the burn. Generally, keeping the burn clean and free of pain is enough to help it heal naturally.
There are some steps that can be taken immediately after receiving a burn that can help promote healing. Holding the burn under cold running water for several minutes or until the pain subsides can be a good measure to take. Covering the burn with a gauze bandage can also help. It is not a good idea to put butter or ice on a burn. In fact, all urban legend treatments for burns should be avoided.
Usually, first-degree burn treatment is a simple matter of applying substances to the burn that will reduce pain and promote healing. Aloe vera and other topical treatments can usually reduce pain to a tolerable level. If the burn is particularly painful, either due to its location or the size of the burn, acetaminophen can be taken to reduce the pain of the burn. It is important to reduce pain to a comfortable level to prevent a person from picking at the burn or otherwise getting germs in it.
Beyond reducing pain, first-degree burn treatment usually consists only of keeping the burn clean. Topical medications that prevent infections in minor cuts and scrapes can be used for this purpose. If the ointment will be covered by a bandage, it is important to make sure that the bandage is not fuzzy because the fuzzy material can get trapped in the wound.
Natural first-degree burn treatment is usually acceptable, so long as the treatment does not interfere with healing. Substances like aloe vera are very popular, but salves with pain-reducing herbs can be used as well. When purchasing natural healing products, it is always a good idea to look at the ingredients and make sure that none of the substances are dangerous. Most healing products are reputable, but those that are not can be extremely dangerous.
For some people, first-degree burn treatment lasts much longer than it takes for the burn to heal. Burned skin is often a different color than the surrounding skin, and changes to pigment can be permanent. Avoiding tanning or additional burns for at least a year is important to prevent permanent changes. Changes in pigment are usually not dangerous, but the splotches and scars characteristic of burned skin are not considered aesthetically acceptable in some cultures.