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Home > Illness & Symptoms > Skin > Burns > Treatments for consumers description

Burns- Treatments

SERIOUS BURNS
For all SERIOUS burns, you must get  immediate medical attention. 
YOU SHOULD SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION IF: 
- The burn covers more than 2% of your body surface area. Your palm is roughly equal to 1% of your body surface area.  
- The burn involves your eyes, ears, face, hands, feet, genitals, or joints (such as the shoulder and knees). 
- The burn is caused by contact with chemicals (for example: acids or alkaloids) or electricity. 
- The burn is a deep partial-thickness burn or full-thickness burn. 
- The victim is a child, elderly, has diabetes, or has a weak immune system. 
- Symptoms worsen. 

MINOR BURNS 
For all other MINOR burns, you can try a few methods (including at home remedies and over-the-counter medicines) to relieve your symptoms and get the healing process started: 
SELF-CARE MEASURES 
- Place a cool (NOT cold), moist cloth on burned areas of the skin or take a cool bath to decrease pain, redness, and swelling.  The cool water draws heat away from the burned skin to reduce the temperature of the skin. 
- Drink lots of water. 
- Moisturizing lotions or gels such as Aloe Vera, Petroleum jelly, Cocoa Butter, Allantoin can be used to cool your skin, decrease pain/ redness, and protects burned skin. 
- Counterirritants such as Tiger Balm are NOT recommended because they increase blood flow to the burned area and can result in swelling. 

OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINE
- Nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory medicines can be taken to decrease pain and swelling. Some come in the form of a pill: IBUPROFEN (some brand names: Advil or Motrin). Others come in the form of a lotion/gel/ointment/spray: LIDOCINAE, BENZOCAINE, AND PRAMOXINE. These work best if used within 24 hours of getting burned. *Note: Use Benzocaine with caution, especially in children, because it can result in a condition that decreases the amount of oxygen that blood can carry to body tissues. 
- Antibiotics can help prevent infection in open wounds. These generally come in the form of a lotion/gel/cream/ointment. Examples include  POLYMIXIN and NEOMYCIN. 

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