Treatment of First-degree Burns

First-degree burns affect only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, it’s also called superficial. In most cases, first-degree burns are caused by mild sunburn, or flash burn.

The burn site is red, painful, dry, and with no blisters. Long-term tissue damage is rare and usually consists of an increase or decrease in the skin color.

Symptoms may include:

  • Redness
  • Dry skin
  • Skin that is painful to touch
  • Pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours and then subsides
  • Peeling skin

Superficial first-degree burns usually heal on their own within a week. Treatment may depend on the severity of the burn and may include the following:

  • Cold compresses
  • Lotion or ointments
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen

Superficial first-degree burns are usually not bandaged. Consult your child’s doctor for additional treatment for first-degree burns.


* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.