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  • Writer's pictureSasha

Tips of burning wound first aid

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Tips of burning first aid wound

A burn is an injury or damage to the organic tissue or skin caused by flames, scalding, chemicals, overexposure to sun or radioactivity, electricity, or friction.

There are different types of burns, and they are classified according to their depth in the skin.

  • First-degree burns are external affecting the top layer of the skin, and they result in local skin inflammation, e.g. sunburns

  • Second-degree burns are deeper in the skin affecting the top 2 layers and cause more pain.

  • Third-degree burns affect all the skin layers and kill that area by damaging the blood and nerve vessels.

There are some general steps to take first for all the types of burns, and they are

  • Separate the person from the source of the burns, i.e. putting out the fire or moving them from contact with any other burn source.

  • Aid the person to "stop, drop, and roll" to suffocate the flames.

  • Remove any smouldering material from them.

  • Remove any hot or burned to clothe and cut around it if it is stuck to the skin.

  • Then take off belts, jewellery, tight clothing as the burns can quickly swell.

After taking these steps, then you treat the burns according to their degree.

First Degree

  • Cool the burn by placing the burned skin under cool running water (not cold) or in cool water until the pain eases up.

  • Protect the burn by covering it with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage or use a clean cloth.

  • A petroleum-based ointment should be applied two to three times a day. Don't apply oil, butter, creams, or lotions.

  • Then treat the pain with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen.

  • Seek professional medical help if

  • There are signs of an infection

  • The victim needs a booster or tetanus shot.

  • The burn blister is bigger than two inches

  • Pain and redness lasts for more than a few hours

  • The pain worsens

  • Hands, face, genitals, or feet are burned.

The doctor will then examine the burn and give prescriptions.

Second Degree

  • Cool the burn by placing it in cool water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not apply ice as it can lower the body's temperature and result in further damage and pain. Also, do not apply ointments or butter or break blisters as they could cause infections.

  • Protect the burn by loosely covering it with a sterile, non stick bandage and securing it with tape or gauze.

  • To prevent shock, lay the person flat and then raise their feet about 12 inches. If possible, raise the burn area above heart level and cover them with a coat or blanket. However, do not do this if the person has a neck, leg, or head injury, or it would discomfort.

  • Then see a doctor who can test the severity of the burn and give a prescription and tetanus shot if need be.

Third Degree

  • First call the emergency medical service such as 911

  • Then protect the burn by covering loosely with a sterile non stick bandage or if the area is large, use a material or sheet that won't lint the wound

  • Use dry sterile dressings to separate burned fingers and toes

  • Don't soak the burn in water, and do not apply butter or ointments as it can result in infection.

  • Prevent shock by laying the person flat and raising their feet to about 12 inches. If possible, lift the burn area above the heart level and cover them with a blanket or coat. If there is an airway burn, avoid placing a pillow under their head when they lie down, as this could close their airway. If it is a facial burn, have the person sit up. Check and monitor pulse and breathing for shock until help arrives.

  • Then see a doctor who will treat the burn and give oxygen and fluid if need be.


With these tips above, no matter the degree of the burn, you can help a victim ease their pain and even save their lives before they get a chance to receive professional attention.

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