Serious burns should always be treated by a doctor, nurse, or similarly qualified medical professional. But if you just develop a minor burn, say from touching your curling iron or bumping your wrist on a hot pan, you should not need professional care. That is not to say you don't need to care for the burn, though. You will want to follow these tips to treat your burn at home in a way that will reduce the pain and prevent side effects like an infection.
Run the burned area under cool water
The burned skin will remain hot for a little while after you actually burn it, and the sooner you can get its temperature down, the less damage there will be. You don't want to hold an ice pack against the burn as this can cause more skin damage. However, a gentle flow of cool water can sufficiently cool the area down. You don't need to hold your skin under there for long. Thirty seconds or so should be enough to get the skin back down to body temperature and ease your initial pain.
Apply an antibiotic ointment
After you have run the burned area under cold water, smear a little antibiotic ointment on the burn. This will actually do two things. It will prevent the injured skin from getting infected, and it will also keep the area moist, which will help soothe the skin and prevent itching as it begins the healing process. You can place a bandaid over the ointment if you want, but only for two or three days. After this period, it's important to remove the bandaid so your burn can start healing.
Don't pop any blisters
Sometimes minor burns blister, and sometimes they do not. You may not notice the skin has blistered until a day or two after you burn yourself. In any case, do not pop the blister. Doing so will increase your risk of infection.
Take an NSAID for pain
If the burn is bothering you, then you can take a dose of an over-the-counter NSAID like ibuprofen. These medications work by not only easing pain but also reducing inflammation. Even if your burn does not look inflamed, the tissues around the area will be slightly swollen, and this contributes to your pain.
The tips above can prove very helpful when dealing with minor burns at home. If a burn is more serious than causing a small blister, then seek professional care.
To learn more about burn treatments, reach out to a local medical health professional.