how to treat a first degree burn

How to Treat a First Degree Burn at Home Effectively

So, you are trying to find out how to treat a first-degree burn. We’ve all been there and done that and no matter how unpleasant it may feel it isn’t nearly as bad as you might think.

When it comes to how to treat a first degree burn the steps are very simple. As this is by far the least of the three types of burns.

Though that doesn’t make them hurt any less I know!

Which is why I have created this list of burn remedies and how you should take care of a burn in order to help it heal faster.

Even a first-degree burn can do plenty of damage, so you want to make sure that you take good care of it.

Make sure you read this article to the end to also find out more about what is a first-degree burn. So that you can better differentiate between the three types of burns.

Disclaimer: I am not a health care practitioner or a doctor. The information in this post is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal health care advice in any way. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information included in this article. It is always best to consult a health care professional for advice on your own personal health needs.

How to Treat a First Degree Burn at Home

When you burn yourself, it is important to follow the correct steps when caring for the burn in order to prevent any skin damage.

Even a first-degree burn can leave a scar or can become infected, so you want to still care for it even if it’s just a small burn.

The quote ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure ‘always comes to mind when things like burns happen.

So, don’t neglect your burn just because it seems small.

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Cool the Burn

The very first step that you need to immediately take when it comes to how to treat a first-degree burn is to cool the area down.

Now it might be instinctual to apply ice or very cold water immediately but that can actually damage the skin.

What you want to do is begin by first applying lukewarm water slowly turning it to the colder setting. This will help you to slowly cool the burn down without shocking the skin.

Once the burn has been cooled down you can apply ice or a cold compress a few hours later if the area is very painful.

how to treat a first degree burn

Keep the Burn Moist

One very important burn remedy is to make sure that the area is kept moist. This is very important especially if the burn covers a large area of skin.

Burns can easily become very dry and tight which will not only create more pain but make the healing process harder. As well as give you a better chance at having a scar afterwards.

Never apply butter or any kind of oil to a burn as that can lock in the heat and actually continue the burning process. Which is the opposite of what we want!

Instead try applying raw honey or a good quality aloe vera gel. These two sticky substances are hydrating and mild which will help your burn to remain moist without further irritating it.

After a few hours you could also try adding a tiny amount of lavender oil to the honey. Or aloe vera gel to encourage the healing process.

Protect the Skin

If the area of burnt skin is exposed to many irritants then you will want to gently cover the area. This applies to burns on the hands, feet, and to areas where your cloths might be rubbing on the skin.

Loosely wrap the burn with gauze, a bandage, or with saran wrap in order to create a barrier between it and the rest of the world.

Make sure to take the bandage off every few hours in order for the skin to breath. As most first-degree burns don’t need to be wrapped for long periods of time.

If you are still in a decent amount of pain instead of reaching for an over the counter pain killer try reading this article on The Best Natural Pain Relief Remedies. Who knows you might have one of these natural pain killers on hand!

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Do not Irritate the Burn

If your burn starts to form blisters do not try to pop or scratch at them in any way!

Leave any blisters or peeling skin alone as irritating the burn can cause more damage as the skin is very delicate right now.

Continue to apply honey or aloe vera gel to avoid picking at the burn and to keep the skin moist.

The blisters should be able to heal completely on their own and dead skin will come off when it is ready so do not rush the process.

What is a First-Degree Burn?

There are three different types of burns with the first-degree burn being the least of them all. Simply because a first degree burn only includes the very top layer of skin.

They can still be very painful and unpleasant, but they are very rarely serious or cause complications.

When it comes to what is a first degree burn there are a few symptoms that you will encounter. Such as pain, redness, occasional peeling, and maybe some mild swelling.

What can Cause a First-Degree Burn?

A first-degree burn can be caused by a wide variety of things as there are many ways to burn ourselves.

Some common ways that you might end up giving yourself a first-degree burn are:

  • Sunburn
  • Boiling water
  • Touching hot objects

You can also get second and third degree burns from these things, but you will more than likely only get a first-degree burn.

Some easy ways to try to prevent these kinds of mishaps from happening is to always wear sunscreen when in the sun. And to equip your kitchen with many cloths and mitts to avoid touching hot objects.

Things to Avoid

There are some things to avoid when you have a burn as some things can make a burn worse or slow down the healing process.

So, the things you should avoid when you have a first-degree burn are:

  • Freezing cold water
  • Ice
  • Butter or oils
  • Additional heat to the burn
  • Hot water
  • Excessive friction to the burn
  • Irritating the burn or blisters
  • Peeling the skin


So, there you have it! A simple list of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to caring for a first-degree burn.

When it comes to how to treat a first degree burn the steps are very simple. And if followed will help your burn to be as good as new before you know it!

Burns happen no matter who you are or how careful you are, so it is good to know what to do when it does happen.

What do you do when you get a burn? Have you tried any of these burn remedies? If you have let me know in the comments!


Danielle Dresden, 2018, What is A First Degree burn?, Medical News Today, viewed December 31, 2020,

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