MILD BURNS & SCALDS

Burns and scalds are injuries to the skin caused by heat.

Burns are caused by dry heat, e.g. fire or a clothes iron.

Burns are classified between from first degree (least serious) to third degree (most serious).

Scalds are caused by liquids, steam and chemicals.

Both can be very painful and lead to blisters or red, black or charred skin.

 

HOW TO TREAT AT HOME

For first-degree and second-degree burns on a small area:

 

  • Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area. If clothing is stuck to the wound, cut around it but do NOT remove any stuck fabric. 
  • Pour cool water over wound for at least 10 minutes. Do NOT use ice, iced water or butter and other greasy substances
  • Loosely cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage or cling wrap. Do NOT touch the burn or burst any blisters
  • Consult your neighbourhood pharmacist about over-the-counter medications like Aspirin (not recommended for children) or Ibuprofen to treat the pain.

 

SEE YOUR GP IF:

  • You develop an infection, e.g. you also develop fever, persistent redness and pain, swelling, or pus in the wound 

 

GO TO THE A&E IF YOUR BURNS ARE:

You have one or more of the following:

  • In the mouth, throat, eyes, ears or genital area
  • Large, i.e. bigger than your hand
  • Caused by chemicals, electricity or lightning
  • Third-degree burns, i.e. burnt skin is white, leathery or charred