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How can you cool a first-degree burn?

ANSWER

Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water or immerse in cool water until pain eases. Use compresses if running water isn’t available. Seek medical help if:

  • You see signs of infection, like increased pain, redness, swelling, fever, or oozing
  • The person needs tetanus or booster shot, depending on date of last injection
  • The burn blister is larger than 2 inches or oozes
  • Redness and pain last more than a few hours
  • Pain worsens

SOURCES:

CDC: “Mass Casualties: Burns.”

Family Doctor: “First Aid: Burns.”

Subbarao, I. AMA Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care, Random House Reference, 2009.

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Hot Tips: First Aid for Burns.”

Merck Manual: “Burns.”

New York-Presbyterian: “Burns.”

Thermal Burns Information from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 16, 2020

SOURCES:

CDC: “Mass Casualties: Burns.”

Family Doctor: “First Aid: Burns.”

Subbarao, I. AMA Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care, Random House Reference, 2009.

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Hot Tips: First Aid for Burns.”

Merck Manual: “Burns.”

New York-Presbyterian: “Burns.”

Thermal Burns Information from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on January 16, 2020

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How can you protect a first-degree burn?

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