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How to Treat a Minor Burn in 4 Simple Steps


No matter how minor, burns can still cause some serious pain. Follow these four simple steps to help a speedy recovery.

A woman treating a minor burn on her finger

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  1. Run the burn under cold water: When a burn occurs, get to cold, running water as quickly as possible. Hold the burned area under running water for approximately five minutes or until the pain has subsided.
  2. Clean the burned area: If the burn blisters, avoid breaking or popping those boils. If they burst on their own, gently clean the area with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a breathable bandage. Cover the burn with non-stick gauze pads and secure with a wrap.
  3. Soothe with an antibiotic ointment with pain relief: Whether or not blistering occurs, using an antibiotic ointment can both relieve pain and help the natural healing process.  
  4. Cover the burn for protection: Once the antibiotic ointment is applied, cover with gauze or a gauze bandage. Apply loosely so you don’t further irritate the burned area.

Don’t forget that further heat or abrasion will further agitate the burned area, so be especially wary of hot water in the shower or bath, and avoid any restrictive clothing that may further chafe the damaged skin.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2019