- DO NOT give aspirin to children under 12 years of age
- Make sure your tetanus vaccine is up to date
- Change the dressing daily
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Gently wash the burn
- Apply an antibiotic ointment (if not allergic)
- If the burn area is small, a dressing may not be needed during the day
Second-degree burns generally heal in two or three weeks without further treatment.
Sometimes the burn will take more than three weeks to heal because of its size. Also, as the burn heals it will itch.
DO NOT itch or scratch the burn. Itching and scratching could cause an infection.
Contact your doctor if you notice signs of an infection. Those signs may include:
- Drainage or pus from the burned skin
- Increased pain
- Red streaks spreading from the burn
Swollen lymph nodes
Preventing Burns at Home
In addition to turning down the water heater to 120º, take further precautions to prevent burn injuries in the home.
Install smoke detectors in every room, turn pan handles inward when cooking, and practice fire safety with children.
Keep matches and lighters out of reach and have fire extinguishers in key places: the kitchen, the garage, the basement, and near every fireplace.(4)
Be safe and be well.
Originally written September 19, 2011
Updated August 15, 2016 by Misty Jacobs
Reviewed August 15, 2016 by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) Burns in Children. StanfordChildrens.org. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
2) Preventing Burn Injuries. StanfordChildrens.org. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
3) Second-Degree Burns (Partial Thickness Burns). Retrieved August 11, 2016. StanfordChildrens.org.
4) Burns. MedlinePlus.gov. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
5) Burns . KidsHealth - the Web's most visited site about children's health. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
6) Burns | Dr. Sears Official Website | Parenting Advice, Parenting Books & more. Dr. Sears Official Website | Parenting Advice, Parenting Books & more. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
7) First Aid: Burns -- familydoctor.org. Health information for the whole family -- familydoctor.org. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
8) Burns. University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. Retrieved August 15, 2016. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/burns
9) Natural Treatment of Burns - Dr. Weil. DrWeil.com - Official Website of Andrew Weil, M.D.. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
10) MORGAN, ERIC D., MAJ, MC, USAAmbulatory Management of Burns. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Nov 1;62(9):2015-2026.