Burn warning: How to treat a burn – and why you should NEVER pop a blister

Burns and scalds are the names given to damage to the skin that’s caused by heat, said the NHS.

A burn is caused by dry heat, including touching a very hot pan or iron, whereas a scald is caused by moisture – usually by hot water or steam.

Both a burn and scald are treated in the same way, and each may require immediate medical attention.

If you become burned or scalded, the first thing you should do is move away from the heat source, it said.

Cool the burn down by placing it under cool water, said ITV This Morning’s Dr Chris Steele.

“Burns are the most common Christmas casualty,” he said. “The thing to do with a burn is to stop the burning as soon as possible.

“If you’ve got any tight jewellery or clothing, take that off straight away.

“Put your hand under cool running water – not cold. Hold it under cool water for 15 minutes. It’s cooling down the tissue and stopping the damage.”

Next, cover the burn using a layer of cling film, added the NHS. If you don’t have any cling film, a plastic bag could also work for burns on the hand.

Painkillers – paracetamol or ibuprofen – could help to relieve any immediate pain.

If it’s the face or eyes that are burnt, sit up as much as possible, it added.

It’s possible to treat some burns at home, as long as you keep the burn clean, and don’t burst any blisters.

“In certain situations, you may need medical help,” said Dr Chris.

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“If the burn is larger than the size of your hand, if the burn is blistered, or if the skin is white or charred.”

All chemical and electrical burns should be seen a medical professional, said the NHS.

Similarly, you should go to A&E if you’ve breathed in smoke or fumes, or if you have a burn on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals that become blistered.

A burn can cause searing pain, red or peeling skin, swelling, and blisters.

The best way to avoid getting burns in the kitchen is to use the rings at the back of the cooker, and to turn saucepan handles towards the back.

Kettles with shorter electrical cords are less likely to get pulled over the counter.

More than 80,000 people a year need hospital treatment for injuries, such as falls, cuts and burns during the festive period, according to the NHS.

For more information visit the NHS website; in an emergency situation call 999. 



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