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Mild Burns and 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 and are classified between the different degrees of burns, 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 the 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:

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