WellSpan Home

Home Treatment for Second-Degree Burns

Topic Overview

For many second-degree burns, home treatment is all that is needed for healing and to prevent other problems.

Rinse the burn

  • Rinse burned skin with cool water until the pain stops. Rinsing will usually stop the pain in 15 to 30 minutes. The cool water lowers the skin temperature and stops the burn from becoming more serious. You may:
    • Place arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, or toes in a basin of cool water.
    • Apply cool compresses to burns on the face or body.
  • Do not use ice or ice water, which can cause tissue damage.
  • Take off any jewelry, rings, or clothing that could be in the way or that would become too tight if the skin swells.

Clean the burn

  • Wash your hands before cleaning a burn. Do not touch the burn with your hands or anything dirty, because open blisters can easily be infected.
  • Do not break the blisters. .
  • Gently wash the burn area with clean water. Some of the burned skin might come off with washing. Pat the area dry with a clean cloth or gauze.
  • Do not put sprays or butter on burns, because this traps the heat inside the burn.

Bandaging the burn

  • If the burned skin or blisters have not broken open, a bandage may not be needed. If the burned skin or unbroken blisters are likely to become dirty or be irritated by clothing, apply a bandage.
  • If the burned skin or blisters have broken open, a bandage is needed. To further help prevent infection, apply a clean bandage whenever your bandage gets wet or soiled. If a bandage is stuck to a burn, soak it in warm water to make the bandage easier to remove. If available, use a nonstick dressing. There are many bandage products available. Be sure to read the product label for correct use.
  • Wrap the burn loosely to avoid putting pressure on the burned skin.
  • Do not tape a bandage so that it circles a hand, arm, or leg. This can cause swelling.

There are many nonprescription burn dressings available. Be sure to follow the instructions included in the package.

If the burn is on a leg or an arm, keep the limb raised as much as possible for the first 24 to 48 hours to decrease swelling. Move a burned leg or arm normally to keep the burned skin from healing too tightly, which can limit movement.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofNovember 20, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×