Skip to main content

“It Burns!”

– What would you do???

When treating a burn, rapid first aid is essential to minimising tissue damage to the affected area.

We all burn ourselves from time to time. A momentary lap in concentration: the kettle, straighteners, you forgot to reapply your sunscreen. The important thing is to know how to treat minor burns effectively to reduce the amount of damage caused.

Initial care

There are several things to remember with burns:

• Rapid reaction reduces damage

  • Remove the person from the heat source (if not already done so)

• Remove any clothing or jewellery near the affected area

  • DO NOT try removing it, if it is stuck to the skin. This can cause further damage

• Cool the affected area using cool to lukewarm water. (not cold/iced)

  • Do this for at 20 minutes and use running water if possible

• DO NOT apply any creams or greasy substances (i.e. Butter)

• Keep the patient warm

  • If you are cooling a large area you do not want the patient to end up with hypothermia. (especially Children and elderly patients)

• DO NOT pop any blisters that form

  • This is your body protecting the affected area. Popping can also cause infection


It is important to dress the affected area properly to minimise discomfort and prevent infection whilst the area is healing.

• Strips of clingfilm can be placed over the affected area.

  • Do not “wrap” as this will not allow for any swelling and could cause a tourniquet effect

• Strips of clingfilm can be placed over the affected area

  • Not to tight – we do not want to reduce circulation

Pain relief

Burns can cause discomfort and can be painful to begin with.

Cooing the affected area should help relieve that burning sensation to and extent, but if the patient is uncomfortable then Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be taken to make it more comfortable.

Ensure you advised that this is to be taken as per the over the counter instruction/leaflet provided.

Source –

Written by Jade Andrew (ECG Business Development Manager), Thursday 6th June 2019

You can follow me at: