Burns to the skin can happened from a variety of reasons from staying out in the sun too long to having a cooking accident to being caught in a house fire or suffering chemical burns in the workplace. Whatever the reason for your burns injury, it is painful. Proper first aid and skin burn treatment is necessary to prevent infection and minimize potential scarring of the skin. Proper emergency first aid is very important for the health and well being of the victim.
If you have a first degree burn which will make the skin look red or a second degree burn which will also turn the skin red, but have blisters, douse the area with cold water. Do not use ice because ice can cause more damage to the skin. Use cold running water from a tap or garden hose. Continue running cold water to keep the damage to the skin and underlying tissue from spreading to the skin and tissue surrounding the burn. Run cold water over the burn for 10 to 15 minutes. Apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin and take an over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil. Unless the area begins to look infected or if the blister from a second degree burn is larger than the size of a quarter, you can treat yourself at home. If the burn shows signs of infection or if the blistering is large see you doctor.
If you have a severe burn seek emergency medical help. A third degree burn will look like the skin was charred or it may turn white. Call 911. Do not try to remove any clothing fabric from the burn. Run cold water over the burned area until emergency medical help arrives. Do not give a burn victim anything to eat or drink while waiting for medical help, try to keep the victim as calm as possible.
In the case of a chemical burn, call 911. While keeping yourself out of harms' way try to get the name of the chemical that caused the burn. Different types of chemicals require different types of treatment. It is important for the doctor to know what chemical caused the damage so he can properly treat the burn. Do not flush the burn with water unless you know or are specifically told the chemical that caused the burn will not react with the water and further burn the victim.
NEVER put butter on a burn, that is a misconception. The fat in the butter actually seals in heat and makes the likelihood of the burn spreading to surrounding skin and tissue greater. Butter can also cause an infection.
DO NOT apply ice to a burn because the ice can cause the skin to freeze and cause even more damage in the long run.