In the UK, around 175,000 people visit the accident and emergency department of a    hospital each year for burn injuries, and 16,100 are admitted to hospital. Burns usually affect your skin, but other parts of your body can be injured, such as your airways and lungs, from inhaling hot fumes and gases.

Treatment for burns depends on their severity. You can treat superficial and minor    partial-thickness burns that are caused by heat yourself at home. However, seek urgent    medical help from your GP or an accident and emergency department in a hospital for:

  • all deep partial-thickness and full-thickness burns
  • all chemical and electrical burns
  • superficial and partial-thickness burns that cover an area larger than the palm of your hand
  • burns that cover a joint or are on your face, hands, feet or groin
  • all burns that extend completely around a limb
  • all burns where you may have inhaled smoke

You can treat superficial and minor partial-thickness burns yourself at home. Begin by cooling your burn with cool or tepid water for 10 to 30 minutes or until the pain is relieved. Don’t use iced water.

Only apply ointments or creams to very mild sunburn and if in doubt, don’t use creams    and ointments. Don’t apply them to any deeper burns that have caused a change in your skin colour or blisters. Always read labels and if in doubt ask your pharmacist for advice.

If you need pain relief, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol  or ibuprofen. Always read the patient information that comes with your medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist for advice. Superficial burns will usually heal within two weeks and you shouldn’t have much of a scar.

If you’re unsure how to treat a burn or have any questions, ask your doctor for advice.

For further information please visit www.nhs.uk