Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Skin Burn Home Care

Home care is usually adequate for most first degree burns.

Home care for minor burns includes:

For more specific burn care, refer to:

Choosing a Burn Cream
Burn creams usually contain antiseptic medicine. Pain medication may also be in the cream. Pain relievers such as Novocain and the antibiotic neomycin can trigger a skin allergy. Watch for signs of increased redness, swelling or itching. You should stop using the cream if this happens.

Keep all creams in a cool and dry place. Throw them away if they are expired. Most creams are available at the drug store or supermarket.

Skin Burn Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with burns include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Skin Burn Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with burns include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.

Always follow the package instructions.


Skin Burn Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have a burn and any of the following:

Continue to Skin Burn Prevention

Last Updated: Dec 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Skin Burn References
  1. Allison K, Porter K. Consensus on the prehospital approach to burns patient management. Emerg Med J. 2004 Jan;21(1):112-4. [14734397]
  2. Drago DA. Kitchen scalds and thermal burns in children five years and younger. Pediatrics. 2005 Jan;115(1):10-6. [15629975]
  3. Phillips BJ, Kassir A, Anderson B, Schiller WR. Recreational-outdoor burns: the impact and severity--a retrospective review of 107 patients. Burns. 1998 Sep;24(6):559-61. [9776095]
  4. Smith MA, Munster AM, Spence RJ. Burns of the hand and upper limb--a review. Burns. 1998 Sep;24(6):493-505. [9776087]
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