Minor burns

Minor Burns Information

Minor burns are a common burn injury that often require care for skin healing. A minor burn can be caused by unexpected contact with hot surfaces, steam, chemicals, electric current, radiation, or sunburn. Medical treatment may be necessary for serious burns that can cause skin damage, pain, and infection. Knowing how to recognize and respond to minor burns is an important part of first-aid care.

What is a Minor Burn?

A minor burn is a burn or scald that affects only the outer layer of skin, or the epidermis. It usually causes red, swollen skin that can be painful. These burns can range from slightly uncomfortable to very painful. Minor burn injuries typically heal without scarring.

Symptoms of Minor Burns

  • Red, hot and painful skin
  • Swelling
  • Blistering
  • White, glossy or charred appearing skin
  • Localized pain
  • Mild swelling
  • Peeling skin

Treating Minor Burns

Minor burns can almost always be treated at home without a visit to the doctor. Cool compresses and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and discomfort. Do not use ice, as that can damage skin further. Make sure to keep the area clean to help avoid infection, and keep an eye out for signs of infection such as fever, increased pain, increased redness, pus, or an odor. Change bandages regularly and always use sterile and non-adhesive bandages.

If the burn is severe, has exposed skin layers, or covers a large area of the body, seek medical attention.