First-Aid Treatment for Burns

About the proper first-aid treatments for people suffering from first second or third degree burns.


1. If the burn is a 3rd-degree burn (charred skin), seek medical attention immediately.

2. For 1st-degree burns, apply cold water or submerge in cold water. Apply dry dressing if desirable. For 2nd-degree burns, place burned part in cold water (not ice water--you can induce shock) until pain is reduced. Apply clean cloths wrung out in ice water, blot gently dry. Apply sterile gauze or clean cloth as desired to protect.

3. If clothing sticks to the skin, cut around it, but do not try to separate the burned cloth from the burn itself.

4. Do not use antiseptics, ointments, home remedies, or sprays on severe burns. Call a doctor. Keep arms and legs elevated if affected by burns.

5. Do not break blisters, although they may break on their own.

6. In more serious burns, treat for shock. In cases of shock, intravenous plasma may be needed. Therefore, if possible, have someone phone ahead to alert the hospital staff.

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