Posted on Burn Injury Law Blog / BlogTreatment Recommendations For Minor Burns

Page Updated 02/20/2022

Treatment Recommendations For Minor Burns


Auto accidents, fires, explosions, and other incidents can potentially lead to a minor burn injury, which can become serious, causing infection, tissue damage, scarring, emotional trauma, and more. The complications from burns can affect a victim’s lifestyle and, in worse cases, lead to death. Although a prescription drug prescribed during a medical emergency reduces pain, burn care requires more than just disease control through pain killers.

Whether the pain subsides depends a lot on any allergic reaction, and overall wound care. The emergency department will provide medical advice. Below, our top Los Angeles burn injury lawyers will discuss other ways to reduce pain and how to hold the liable party accountable for your break blisters and other injuries.

Minor Burns, Like a First Degree Burn, Can Still Be Painful – Learn Treatment Methods, Here

Electrical burns to kids around the house will result in a greater degree burn than an adult would experience from most first-degree burns over their total body surface area. Almost always the kids burn worse than grown-ups. If you or your loved one have had injuries from burns due to someone else’s negligence, reach out to Ehline Law and our Los Angeles burn injury lawyers today for legal representation and outpatient management!

How Do I Treat My First-Degree Burns or a Minor Burn?

Here, we are not covering second-degree burns. Rather, our focus will be on the first degree, which is caused by the most common household injuries There are different ways of treating a minor first-degree burn. You can treat a little burn, like first-degree burns, at home with a cold, wet cloth.

For major burns, like third-degree burns or even many partial-thickness burns, you need to seek proper medical attention while treatment for minor burns (first-degree burn) at home is possible with a few medications, a cold, wet cloth, and some quick first aid.

When you get burned, the first thing you should do is cool the burn down by putting the burn area under cool, running water. Ensure the water is not cold or freezing as this can lead to loss of body heat, and hypothermia might set in, complicating things further.

Once the minor burns have cooled down, if you’re wearing any accessories like rings, it is best to take them off before the burn area starts to swell, which might make it difficult to remove later on. Quickly and gently remove any accessories you might be wearing that come in contact with the burn area.

You may notice that the burned area is developing blisters fast, and some blisters might have fluid that protects you against infection. This might not happen with first-degree burns, but it could with other superficial burns and even worsen the burn. You may want to break the blister but don’t do it; let it open up over time and if it does, wash the blister and apply antibiotic ointments (even petroleum jelly) to the area covering the skin’s deeper layers.

It would help if you kept the minor burn from drying out, and having a good aloe vera moisturizer or aloe vera lotion can soothe the wounds. Start applying the aloe vera lotion once the burn area has cooled down completely. Apply a sterile gauze bandage to the area for wound dressing to ensure that air does not enter the site. This will help provide pain relief and protect the skin from any more blisters.

At times, you may find that the pain is too much to handle, and in such situations, you can take over-the-counter pain medications or pain-reducing antibiotic ointment to get some pain relief. As the burn heals, if you notice infection, seek medical care for a tetanus shot.

Implement First Aid To Promote Healing to First-Degree Burns

There are more than 1.1 million burn cases in the United States, and according to the American Burn Association, 10,000 people die annually out of this. First-degree burns are the most minor and typically are not a medical emergency. Sometimes a clean wet cloth with some mild soap can bring relief before you apply ointments over the affected top layer of skin.

Many first-degree burns heal over time by themselves, but having the correct first aid can promote the burn wound healing process and ensure a better cosmetic outcome of the burn injury as the burn heals.

End the Burning Process

The critical part of first aid for burns is to end the burning process. If you’re near a fire, extinguish the heat source immediately to avoid further first-degree superficial burns. If you’ve caught fire, you should lay on the ground and start rolling to douse the fire and immediately remove your clothing as these can retain heat and further aggravate the burned skin wounds. However, do not remove nylon clothing as it can stick to the skin, and for electrical burns, disconnect the electrical source before giving first aid to the victim.

Once the victim is away from the source of burns, look at the first-degree burn. These are seldom medical emergencies. You may see redness or blisters. These injuries are emergencies if you see black skin or other tissue, like muscles. Follow the procedure below to deliver the right first aid immediately if you are dealing with first-degree burns.

  • Burn to cool: Within 20 minutes of the injury, the burn victim must apply active cooling to any types of burns, whether first, second, or third-degree burns. Place the burn area directly under running cool water for 20 minutes to help soothe the pain, remove anything touching the burn if possible, and stabilize the victim. Avoid ice water at all costs as it can further deteriorate the burned area due to vasoconstriction and hypothermia.
  • Analgesia: Burned skin exposes nerves and tissues, which can cause pain, and simply covering the wound can reduce the pain levels; however, in extreme cases, doctors can administer opioid medications. For treating burns, taking ibuprofen or any non-steroid anti-inflammatory over-the-counter drugs can ease the swelling and reduce the pain.
  • Burn coverings: Many medical sources recommend using clingfilm to cover burns as these are sterile as long as users remove the first few inches of the roll. Lay the cling film on the wound and keep the burn warm by placing a blanket over it. Wrapping clingfilm tightly around the burn wound can cause constriction, complicate the injuries and cause infection. So, make sure it’s loose, even when treating a first-degree burn.

Once these steps are complete, victims need to head to a hospital as soon as possible for immediate assessment and start any medical treatments if the wounds are severe. Applying creams can affect the assessment stage. However, cooling gels are a great alternative to creams, and you can use them at this stage.

Benefits of Cooling Burn Injuries with Water

There are several benefits of using cool water to cool burn injuries. Cooling water has been a great first response to surface cooling after getting burn injuries, and many doctors and study papers agree with this. Medical professionals recommend cooling burned skin with cool water as a pre-hospital initial burn management technique to reduce burn progression.

The recommended time to run water over the burn injuries is around 20 minutes. However, the fear of burn wounds aggravating does not allow victims to lay their wounds under running water for that long as in their mind seeking medical attention immediately is the right way to manage burn wounds.

Besides reducing pain and stopping the burn, running burn wounds under cool water also cleans the wound and minimizes the swelling due to fluid build-up.

Cling Film For Dressing Burn Wounds are the Best

Yes, this may sound a bit unorthodox as many of us grab bandages or cotton cloth to cover wounds. However, studies have shown that cling film is the best for dressing burn wounds. This is because cling film is highly sterile and also transparent, which allows victims to see their burn wounds and monitor them as time passes.

Using bandages on wounds can cause pain when removing the dressing to check up on the burns, and this is why many health professionals recommend clingfilm as it has sterile, non-adhesive properties. You can even consider using a sterile, non-adhesive bandage to cover your wounds.

Can I Start Minor Burn Management at Home?

A burns victim should always consult a burns unit to understand burn management procedures if they have any doubts properly.

Burn management is essential to ensure that the burn does not progress or get worse. In many cases where the burn affects the feet and legs, victims must have their legs elevated for at least 48 hours, which is impossible while managing burns at home.

The severity of the burn doesn’t matter when it comes to diagnoses and treatment, as even minor burns should get appropriately treated as the wound can turn things complicated if not managed or contained. So follow the steps mentioned previously to ensure proper outpatient management.

Minor Burns and Outpatient Management

Medical professionals recommend outpatient management to treat small or minor burns, so here we’ve laid down some rules for you to follow to help you determine if you qualify for outpatient management of burns.

  • Partial-thickness burns covering less than 10% of an adult’s body or 5% of a child’s body
  • Full-thickness burns covering less than 1% of the victim’s body
  • Victims who don’t have more than two diseases simultaneously

Let’s look at when you should change your burns dressings if you’re under outpatient management.

When Should I Change Dressings for My Burn?

When changing dressings for burns, healthcare professionals recommend aseptic techniques to avoid further contamination or build-up of bacteria. This is why a victim must change the burn dressing after the first 48 hours following the burn incident and then in the intervals of 3 to 5 days until the wound gets healed.

However, you can change the intervals to an earlier time if you find that the wound requires a new dressing, and for that, you can look out for the following signs:

  • Smelly wound
  • Soiled dressing
  • Contaminated dressing
  • Slipped dressing
  • Infection (a fever is a good indicator of an infection starting)

Now let’s look at how you can change your burn injury wound dressing the right way.

How Do I Change My Burn Injury Wound Dressing?

Here are the steps to follow to change the burn injury wound dressing.

  • Monitor the burn injury as depending on the injury and the dressing, you may need to change the wound dressing after the first 24 hours if it is entirely soaked.
  • After 48 hours, remove your dressing and assess your burn wounds to see if it is making any positive progress. You can use topical agents like flamazine during this stage.
  • Victims using flamazine to treat their wounds must wash every few days and reapply the medicine to keep it fresh and uncontaminated.
  • Change the dressing if it becomes smelly, contaminated, or completely soaked from the fluid developing in the burn wounds.

It is essential to know the right way to clean burns, so let’s go over the recommended practices.

How Do I Clean My Burns?

Other burns require different cleaning methods and techniques to ensure quick healing progress. Assessing the burns is the first step to identifying what kind of burn you must adopt and implementing the appropriate cleaning methods.

How Do I Clean My Facial Burn?

Here is what you should do if you have facial burns.

  • Flamazine: Flamazine is a cream that removes bacteria from wounds, and victims can start using this to clean their burns and improve the healing process after the initial burn management stage.
  • Daily Face Burn Management: The face is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, and following the proper face management techniques during burns can improve the cosmetic outlook. Victims of face burn should wash their face with dilute chlorhexidine solution twice a day as it aids in wound healing. Using the undiluted solution will stop the healing process and worsen the wound. Victims need to ensure their face is completely relaxed during sleep without any pressure applied to it. They also need to ensure that their head is not entirely laid flat, so using two pillows to elevate the face will provide sufficient relief during sleep.
  • Pruritis: Post-burn pruritus occurs during the healing stage and is quite common. Victims must massage their face burns with aloe vera to get immediate relief from itching as itching can worsen the burn. Taking antihistamines can calm things down a bit.

How Long Until My Burn Injury Heals?

Three weeks should be considerable time for burns to heal, and if it does not heal in this time, it is best to reach out to a plastic surgeon to examine the wounds. Use moisturizers to avoid dry, scaly scales and apply sunblock when going out for at least six months to protect the skin from the sun.

Why Trust Us With Your Burn Claim?

Ehline Law is a personal injury law firm on a mission to protect the rights of Americans. Michael Ehline, Founder of Ehline Law, was a former US Marine trial lawyer serving the country.

After an honorable discharge, Ehline served the United States citizens once more through his private legal practice. Compassion and care are at the core of Ehline Law, and this is why we have had phenomenal success with more than 3,000 clients recovering over $150 million in compensation.

Our Los Angeles burn injury lawyers have the right experience to assess your case, determine your claims, collect evidence to prove negligence, and ensure swift recovery so that you don’t have to shoulder medical costs due to someone else’s negligence.

Where Can I Get Free Legal Advice From A Burn Injury Lawyer Near Me?

Ehline Law has over 15 law offices across California servicing areas like Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and nearby cities.

If you or your loved one has gotten burn injuries due to someone else’s fault, contact us at (213) 596-9642 and get a free consultation today without any legal obligations to continue! Our Los Angeles burn injury lawyers will assess your case and give you free legal advice to help you move forward. We also work on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we win your case.

Call us now for more information, or visit any of our prestigious law offices for more details.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law
Michael P. Ehline Esq.
Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices

Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
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Los Angeles, CA 90071
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