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Burns are injuries to tissue caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, or radiation.

  • Burns cause different degrees of pain, blisters, swelling, and skin loss.
  • Deep, extensive burns can cause serious complications, such as shock and severe infections.
  • Small, shallow burns may need only to be kept clean and to have an antibiotic (antimicrobial) cream applied.
  • People with deep or extensive burns may require intravenous fluids, surgery, and rehabilitation, often at a burn center.

Home Care for Minor Burns

Minor burns can be treated with:

            Cool water immediately after the burn.
Topical antimicrobial such as Polysporin, polymyxin, bacitracin,
            Keep the wound clean and change the dressing regularly.


A burn victim should be treated by a hospital physician if:

Children and elderly
Any electrical or lightning injury
Any chemical burn
Any burns of the hands, face, feet, joints, genitalia or perineum
Any burn larger in size than the outline of 1-2 hands of the victim
Any deep burns (may be white, brown, or dark red in color)
Any burn in a patient that has other pre-existing medical conditions
Any burn that becomes red around the edges after a couple days
Any burn patient that also inhaled smoke or chemicals at the time of burn

Our in-house burn care manual
Specifics on burn care



Prevention & Safety Tips
from the Shriners Hospitals
Main Website



Injury-Related Websites
from the Centers for
Disease Control



Burn Basics
from the National Institute
of General Medical Sciences



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