How to Treat Minor Burns

How to Treat Minor Burns

I am insanely clumsy. Especially at times when it’s in my best interest not to be – like when handling a hot pan. I blame my subconscious for thinking I’m invincible when really I need to pay more attention to how close my hand is getting to the top of the inside of the toaster oven (by the way, it gets really hot). Around this time last year, I burned my right hand pretty badly from the toaster oven incident and did a lot research trying to figure out how to get the burning feeling to go away. Lucky for you, I have condensed my research and the tips I’ve learned from burning myself (L-O-L) to best alleviate pain and swelling and encourage healing.


Step #1: Immediately after the burn occurs, run the burned area under LUKE WARM water. You read that correctly, NOT cold water. While cold water and/or ice may feel better initially on the burned area, you are actually shocking the burned area, causing more damage to the skin cells and could be prolonging the healing period. Every article I’ve read online said that luke warm water is a gentler way of re-acclamating the burn to its “correct” temperature (aka normal body temperature). After about 30 seconds, the burn should stop throbbing and this is when you’ll want to move to step 2.

Step #2: Lightly dry the area and apply BurnJel. The burned area is now going to feel incredibly sensitive to touch so you want to either blow off excess water (sounds ridiculous, I know) or place a tissue on the burn to absorb water. After you do this, apply BurnJel. Doctors’ prescriptions and aloe vera gel do not work nearly as well as this product (not sponsored, just someone who knows from experience). Even better than a doctors’ prescription? Yes, let me tell you a story. This time last year when I had burned myself on the toaster oven, I was shocked and didn’t know what to do, so I took a walk 5 blocks over to my university’s urgent care center and told them my burn story. The doctor who was behind the desk making copies came up to me, looked at my burn and said, “I could write you a prescription for *some chemical name* gel, but it’ll take too long to get filled so go to Walgreens and get BurnJel and put it on immediately.” No joke, ask Tucker.

Step #3: Take Ibuprofen. This is not only to alleviate any pain you may be feeling, but to help reduce any swelling around the burn.

(More on the blog: How to Avoid Awkward Conversation During the Holidays)

Step #4: Cover the burn. Now, apply a little bit more BurnJel so it can absorb deeper while the burn is covered. Depending on the size and location of the burn, you may be better off using non-stick gauze and medical tape rather than one (or several) bandaids. I recommend cleaning and reapplying BurnJel to your burn at least three times a day, depending on the severity of your burn, of course. I’m not going to recommend how many days you should do this because only you will be able to tell how long your burn feels hot. That being said, the overall goal is to get your burn to feel as back to normal as possible aka not on fire, so apply BurnJel as often as you feel necessary.

Like all other scrapes and open wounds, it’s very important that you keep a burn clean, which means YOU CANNOT POP THE BLISTER (if it blisters). Sure, you’re not supposed to pick scabs and rarely do you get an infection if you do (it’s addicting, I know), but seriously, there is nothing worse than an infected burn.

If your burn blisters and the blister pops on it’s own, it’s important to clean it out with luke warm water as soon as you notice it has popped. At this point, you will want to apply an antibiotic ointment (shout out to Neosporin) and keep it covered until it completely heals.

I would like to end this post by saying I am not a doctor or a nurse nor am I studying a medical profession, but this is what has worked for me time and time again. If you feel more comfortable going to a doctor, by all means do so, however I strongly urge you to try to alleviate the pain and burning sensation as quickly as possible to prevent prolonged injury to your body.

Happy Tuesday everyone! 

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14 thoughts on “How to Treat Minor Burns

  1. Jordyn says:

    Great suggestions. I have burned myself and while in pain had to google what to do…I wish I would have known ahead of time. I am so clumsy, accidents are inevitable.

  2. allisonbigoness says:

    Oh man I’m sorry about that burn. I got a second degree burn on the tops of my fingers from a hot glue gun because I was gluing fabric and the heat made me reflex and it flipped over onto my fingers…. NOT FUN! Definitely agree these tips are the way to go.

  3. Ashley says:

    I needed this advice this weekend! I burned my shoulder with my curling iron and it HURT! I still have a pretty good sized mark!

    xo Ashley

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