Burn Center / First Aid for Burn Injuries

First Aid for Burn Injuries

  • Flush the burn area with low pressure running cool water.
  • Don't apply ice. It can be too harsh for burned skin and cause tissue damage.
  • Folk remedies such as applying butter do not help the healing process and may increase the risk of infection if the burn is severe.
  • Cool Water (not cold) alone or a very mild soap can be used to gently clean the area.
  • Keep the burned area clean and dry as it heals. The area can be covered with a light bandage, if needed. A small amount of an over the counter ointment can be applied to keep the bandage from sticking to the skin.

Seek Medical Treatment in the Vanderbilt Burn Center when:

  • A burn covers a large area, especially if blistering occurs.
  • There is extreme pain or loss of sensation.
  • Burns occur to face, eyes, hands or feet.
  • A burn involves chemicals or electricity.
  • There is smoke inhalation.
  • A burn does not appear to be healing well.