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Minor Burns and Scalds: Damage to the skin caused by heat

Treatment Guide

Minor Burns and Scalds
A burn is caused by a dry heat e.g. an iron or fire. A scald is caused by wet heat such as hot water or steam. Burns and scalds can be very painful and can cause:

  • Red or peeling skin
  • Blisters
  • Swelling
  • White or charred skin 

 

Treatment

  1. Cool the burn / scald using cool or lukewarm water around 15ºC; continue this for approximately 20 minutes or until the pain is relieved
  2. Remove any clothing or jewellery from around or near the burnt / scaled area that is not stuck and at risk of pulling off the skin
  3. Ensure that the person keeps warm, but ensure any warm clothing is not rubbing against the injury / scaled area
  4. Cover with cling film; if not available use a clean, dry dressing or non-fluffy material that will not stick to the affected area
  5. If the burn / scald is on the face, sit the person up as this will help to prevent further swelling
  6. Burns / scald should be covered with a non-adherent absorbent dressing to prevent contamination and or infection. Burns / scalds will cause swelling so do not apply any bandages
    or dressings too tightly
  7. Treat with appropriate pain relief following manufacturer's instructions

Caution: Seek advice from a healthcare professional for any burns that are larger than the size of the palm of your hand or involve the head and neck area of the body.


Seek advice from a medical professional

A case for a medical professional: puncture wounds – especially involving foreign objects, animal scratches and bites, large burns and heavily bleeding wounds.