Burns and blisters

Only small burns involving the superficial skin layer should be treated at home. First aid in every case of burns involves cooling the burn by holding the affected part under cold running water for at least ten minutes. This should be done as quickly as possible, because it helps to reduce further tissue damage. Whenever a burn is not superficial, or when a large area is affected, see a doctor or go to the casualty ward of a hospital.

In the case of minor wounds, clean the burned area as you would any wound, and cover it with a sterile gauze dressing – or simply leave it exposed. Never apply lotions, butter or other ‘home remedies’, or try to burst blisters that have formed, as this increases the chances of infection.

Blisters result from excessive rubbing of the skin, usually as a result of unaccustomed activity or because of shoes that are too tight. They are really a kind of burn caused by friction. You should protect a blister if it forms by covering it with a dressing. If it bursts, all the dead skin should be removed, the wound cleaned in the usual way and a sterile dressing applied.