Introduction: How to Treat a Minor Burn

Picture of How to Treat a Minor Burn

Ever burn yourself preforming everyday tasks around the house or working with tools? Never fear! This instructable will show you how to properly treat those everyday minor burns. A first obsessive instructable. Simple and useful for all of your instructable project mishaps. You might say its a common "Burning" question! Feel free to watch the video, but read the step-by-step to get more helpful and detailed instructions. Enjoy.

Step 1: Identify Your Burn

First degree burns:

A minor burn. Only outer layer of skin is damaged.


-Possibly Swollen

Second degree burns:

A moderately serious burn. More than one layer of skin is damaged.


-Blotchy in appearance
-Very painful
-Blistered at burn area

Third degree burns:

Extremely serious burn. All layers of skin are damaged, seek medical attention asap.


-Possibly little to no pain due to damaged nerves!
-Charred around burn area

Step 2: Identifying Treatment

First and second degree burns can be easily treated at home.
Depending on the severity of your second degree burn, you may or may not want to treat it yourself. If you experience a second degree burn on your face or joints, its recommended you seek medical attention. Anything less, and this instructable is for you.

Step 3: Step One

Picture of Step One

By now you have identified your burn, and are ready to treat it. Begin by running your hand under cold water for 5 - 10 minutes. You may use ice, or simply submerge your hand instead, but if you decide to use ice, do not make direct contact to the burn with the ice. At this time the tissue is tender, and you risk developing frostbite.

Step 4: Step Two

Picture of Step Two

Find some lotion, and apply to the burn after air-drying. This will moisten the burn, and prevent irritation or infection. Rub it in well until absorbed. Do not dry it with tissue. At this time, your burn may begin develop a pus-filled blister such as mine had, and it is best you keep it in tact and free of unnecessary pressure.

Step 5: Step Three

Picture of Step Three

You will now want to find some Gauze. When doing so consider using medicated gauze if you have it on hand. This will help keep your burn moist, as well as prevent it from sticking to the gauze. If you use standard gauze such as I used, make sure it has a non-stick lining.

Step 6: Step Four: Wrap It Up!

Picture of Step Four: Wrap It Up!

Tape your gauze with medical tape or any tape you can find lying around. Its best to wrap it loosely so blisters can develop and skin can heal properly. Once wrapped you're done! Congratulations. You now know how to properly treat a minor burn at home.

Step 7: Next Day Results?

Picture of Next Day Results?

As you can see, its beginning to heal up. There is some slight discoloration in the center of the burn where pus has built up. (Feel free to wipe away the pus if you can)So there you have it; treated and healing nicely. Hoped you enjoyed this instructable. Don't forget to rate!

Step 8: An Extra Reference:

Picture of An Extra Reference:

You can also treat yourself with a plant grown at home! The Aloe plant is a common house plant that lives year round, and contains an inner-pulp with many historical uses; but is most commonly used today to treat skin discomforts. It is a very convenient and attractive plant. If you ever have a burn, just snap off some aloe and apply! They're sold at any plant vendor or plant store. Enjoy.



If all else fails, there is only one solution...

(I hold no liability for your poor decision making skills)


DorothyH15 (author)2016-05-04

I use this cream to treat my burns.

AustinH41 (author)2016-03-13

aloe gel

JennieJ (author)2015-06-23

I never do that cold water 30 second and neosporin a good amount and I it hurt for a few minutes but I get no blisters and I lose no skin no dark spot and then its just red for a few days

fleep73 (author)2014-11-01

Um, I hope you're kidding at he end.

juicymoose (author)2012-04-22

Wow thanks I had a 3rd degree burn from washing hands ( and face)with bleach this helped before I went to A&E. ( what's the American equivalent to accident and emergency?)

chad.lawlor.9 (author)juicymoose2014-09-19

erm... why did you wash your hands with bleach??????? that stuff can kill your skincells quickly...

saianishp (author)2014-08-17

I have no idea what kind of burn but when i was getting out the clothes from the dryer i touched the hot thing and it burned my finger so which burn is this? P.S I would really appreciate this.

nutsandbolts_64 (author)2010-08-11

it's nice to grow aloe in the garden!!! we use it for pretty much everything including burns (as stated when I was like grade 6). but the last one is only good if you get an infection, especially gangrene (which sucks, not that I got some)

blacknkhak (author)2008-09-05

blow on the burn to cool it then let it air dry, do not cover it or it will sting.

wtfnot (author)blacknkhak2008-09-08

i accidently got yogurt on a small finger burn and it eased the pain wonerfully

beehard44 (author)wtfnot2010-08-11

it has probiotics! but i dunno if that "good bacteria" is also good for burns tho...

jasontimmer (author)blacknkhak2008-09-16

blowing on burn bad- you're getting bits of (filthy) saliva on it- asking for infection. covering burn good- keeps out dirt and lessens chance of infection.

godofal (author)2010-01-27

lol, i began with elektronics a while ago, and now, i already know this stuff, but it could have come handy in the beginning, when i wasnt that able with a 450 degrees celsius soldering iron as i am now XD

nice instructable!

beehard44 (author)godofal2010-08-11

memories... when i started electronics, i never finished a soldering job without having a burn.

chilbert007 (author)2008-07-14

You may want to mention that when you run water over a burn, you should run the water on a low setting so that the water is not pushed into the wound through the skin. You are only trying to stop the process of burning as a burn continues to "burn" after it is removed from the heat. Also, you never want to use a medical ointment on a burn unless it is stated on the package that it is safe to do so. Use of an antibiotic cream may make the burn worse. There are products that have a combination of aloe vera and lidocaine that effectively nums and heals at the same time.

jasontimmer (author)chilbert0072008-09-16

that's a myth that it continues to burn after the heat source is removed. how could it? there's no heat source! antibiotic cream is a good idea if the burn is open and you aren't crazy about infections. it will help heal faster, too. and the only way you're gonna get an embolism from running water over it is if you're using a pressure washer on your burn.

muttyfutty (author)jasontimmer2009-12-26

The Ice/Water Is not because it 'continues burning', It is simply to reduce the swelling.

Sora_1_2 (author)2009-05-30

Ha, just got a mild burn from flaming hot coal and this helped. Thanks to you and the commentors.

ac1D (author)2008-04-11

DO NOT USE GAUZE FOR A THIRD DEGREE BURN!! verry important. I work on a fastfood- burn happen every day. when you have a third degree burn, put some cold water on it, then apply two product. a product wich will desinfect the burn, then a product wich will protect it. i recommand mercurochrome to desinfect. then polysporin or skinshield to protect it. if you have a larger burn(let say around 1inch and more), go to the urgence!

jasontimmer (author)ac1D2008-09-16

mercurochrome? seriously? that stuff was banned in the 80's. just use an over-the-counter antibiotic cream. on another note, if your dressing does get stuck to a wound, soak a (clean) rag in some warm water and place it over the dressing for a while. it will loosen the gauze's grip on your flesh.

ac1D (author)jasontimmer2008-09-16

mercurochrome is 2$ ay my local drug shop.. Im in canada, too.

jasontimmer (author)ac1D2008-09-16

must be a different product under the same name- the old stuff had mercury in it. I don't think the canadian government would be cool with people selling that for use on wounds.

ac1D (author)jasontimmer2008-09-18

I don't see mercure on the ingredient list. Do you want me to scan it? the product is red/transârent. and it hurt as hell when you put it on your wounds. your skin stay red until you wash it.

Tombini (author)ac1D2009-04-24

Sounds like the Aus product Betadine

jasontimmer (author)ac1D2008-09-18

like I said, they probably don't put mercury in it anymore.

codykage (author)ac1D2008-04-27

if your getting third degree burns every day at work, i'd advise you to change jobs....

ac1D (author)codykage2008-04-27

why? my skin become stronger :D and i dont want to leave my job;)

codykage (author)ac1D2008-04-27

then i dont think its third degree burns your getting.. because youd probably have no hands left if you kept getting third degree burns on them >.< be 2 stumps of black burnt skin.

ac1D (author)codykage2008-05-02

put your finger on a 400F grill for 1-2 secondes and let talk again about it.

codykage (author)ac1D2008-05-03

if your finger touches a 400 degree grill for 1-2 seconds it wouldnt be a third degree burn. wiki says "Third-degree burns occur when most of the epidermis is lost with damage to underlying ligaments, tendons and muscle. Burn victims will exhibit charring of the skin, and sometimes hard eschars will be present. An eschar is a scab that has separated from the unaffected part of the body. These types of burns are often considered painless, because nerve endings have been destroyed in the burned area. Hair follicles and sweat glands may also be lost due to complete destruction of the dermis. Third degree burns result in scarring and may be fatal if the affected area is significantly large. If extensive enough, it can increase the risk of infection, including bacterial, and can result in death." your burn would be probably not even a 2nd degree. lets talk about it again when you do some research.

ac1D (author)codykage2008-05-04

-Possibly little to no pain due to damaged nerves! -Charred around burn area Like his instructable say, third degree burn. if your not happy, do the last step!

Obsessive (author)ac1D2008-07-11

This instructable isn't directed towards treating a third degree burn! If you're suffering from one, I tell you in the identifying your burn section that you should simply seek medical attention. But for some reason I feel a 1-2 second 400 degree stove burn wouldn't quite make it to third degree. You may have experienced a numbing sensation due to damaged nerves, yes, but in most cases a third degree burn will destroy multiple layers of your skin, sometimes (Though rarely) even revealing bone and deep flesh in addition to its charred condition.

ac1D (author)Obsessive2008-07-13

i a day i burn myself and i see my bone, ill CRY.

example555 (author)2009-04-04

i have a second degree burn on my face and your instructables helped me until i got help

scotshocker (author)2009-03-29

This is very good advice, but if you want something that will work really good try lavender oil. The use of lavender reducs the heat and pulls out the burn and after use will heal the burn without leaving a scar.

Sneaky Chopsticks (author)2008-09-15

I burned myself touching those metal fire sticks when it was hot. It turned my hand into a swollen mess. :(

nibbler125 (author)2008-08-31

i hate burns soo much they are worse than anything else

mikedoth (author)2008-08-29

The last time I burned myself with a soldering iron I immediatly put some aloe on it from the plant. Normally it would have risen and pussed up, this time it did nothing. Best of all the pain was gone in under a minute after applying it. Forget neosporin or whatever or what ever. Just keep a couple plants around the house.

Derin (author)2008-08-15

Oh wait,I once had a second degree burn and it was fine although I did not do anything to it.

BlindTreeFrog (author)2008-04-13

Your first step is grossly flawed. Cold water and Ice are not what you want to do at all. That will cause the burn to scar worse and take longer to heal. What you want to do is bring the burned skin back down to body temperature. Bringing it below body temp might feel better, but it's worse for you in the long run. Run it under room temp water or press your hand against the burned region.

Tobita (author)BlindTreeFrog2008-04-22

lol, i do that , then put ductape on top of second degree burns, my mom called that stupid, but we know better, eh?

Obsessive (author)2008-04-17

Thanks for your input! From past medical articles I've read, this is been the most common and effective method. Since this burn, the affected area is only a minuscule spec thats almost gone. Though many people may have varied methods. To Nrclark, it may feel better to apply that pressure, and it surely isn't a bad idea! But it can be very beneficial to let the blisters develop, so the skin can heal properly.

nrclark (author)2008-04-13

I'm pretty clumsy, and I burn myself a lot while cooking and soldering. My personal favorite method of treatment for small-sized burns is to wrap a band-aid really tight around the affected area. The constant pressure on it helps protect the burned area from painful jostles, and applying and maintaining immediate pressure (in the form of a bandaid) also helps to prevent blistering.

Obsessive (author)2008-04-11

I actually stated that if you have anything past a moderate burn, you should seek medical attention, and refrain from treating yourself.

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Bio: Currently a student, love staying up all night making something new, and enjoy taking on a new challenging instructables project.
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