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RealSimple.com: Healing Tips for 8 Common Maladies

7 of 9

Minor Burn

Do:
  • Immediately apply a cold compress or run very cold water over the area to decrease the temperature of your skin.
  • Apply an ointment with petrolatum (such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment) to keep the area moist, and cover it with a bandage.
  • Wash the area with cool water twice a day, pat dry, and reapply the ointment.
RealSimple


Don’t:
  • Rub butter on a burn, which can lead to infection.
  • Use peroxide, alcohol, or witch hazel, all of which dry skin and slow the formation of new skin cells.




Call your doctor if:
  • The pain worsens; there’s swelling, a bloody discharge, or pus; or the area isn’t improving after a few days. You may have a second- or third-degree burn. (A first-degree burn resembles a popped blister. Second- and third-degree burns look like deep ulcers.) Both are at increased risk of infection and scarring and may call for antibiotics, special dressings, or even skin grafts.


(Image: Jen Corace)

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