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First Aid & Emergencies

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Burns and Electric Shock - Home Treatment

Home treatment for minor burns

  • For home treatment of first-degree burns and sunburns:
    • Use cool cloths on burned areas.
    • Take frequent cool showers or baths.
    • Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to burned areas to relieve pain and swelling. Applying 0.5% hydrocortisone cream to the burned area also may help. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal area of children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.
  • There isn't much you can do to stop skin from peeling after a sunburn-it is part of the healing process. Lotion may help relieve the itching.
  • Other home treatment measures, such as chamomile, may help relieve your sunburn symptoms.

You may be able to treat second-degree burns at home.

First-degree burns and minor second-degree burns can be painful. Try the following to help relieve your pain:

Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription medicine to help treat your fever or pain:

Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.

Safety tips
Be sure to follow these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
  • Carefully read and follow all directions on the medicine bottle and box.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose.
  • Do not take a medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it in the past.
  • If you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take it.
  • If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
  • Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.
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