How To Treat A Burn Blister – 2020 Treatment

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Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

how to treat a burn blister

Learning about first aid health for burns is simple and it is useful information to know. Treat a burn blister the right way may help prevent infection. By the end of this article, you will understand how to treat a burn blister. 

Common causes of burns are hot mechanical engines, fire, ovens, and hot liquids[1]. Minor burns may be a traumatic experience for children. Burn treatment methods commonly overlap. Friction burn treatment and what to put on a burn from the oven, for example, have common solutions. The use of bandages for burns that are minor is a ubiquitously accepted practice. 

Getting burned may be a scary and painful experience. Burns that produce blisters may be commonly remedied through the use of first aid. Remaining calm is crucial in ensuring effective burn blister care. Authoritatively ensuring children that the pain will go away and not to worry is the key to reducing anxiety and making the experience less traumatic.

Burn blisters are the result of second-degree burns[2]. First-degree burns affect the top layer of skin (the epidermis). Second-degree burns include the second layer of skin. First-degree burn treatment and second-degree burn treatment share many commonalities as they do not affect the thickest layers of the skin. Serious burns should be treated by qualified medical professionals. 

Should You Pop A Blister

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that you should not pop burn blisters[3]. You should not break the blisters because this could cause infection. 

How To Treat A Burn Blister?

Apply cool running water[3], or ice water to the burn area at home right away. It is recommended to rush to a source of cool water as soon as possible when burned. This is the most important aspect of treating first-degree burns and second-degree burns. Try not to touch the burn as much as possible. Avoid putting pressure on the blister. 

Signs of infection after the burn incident are a bad odor, an increase in redness, and discharge from the wound. This could be evaluated when you clean the wound. 

First Aid For Burns

how to treat a burn blister

Treating a minor burn at home is easy. Do not use ice on the burn as this may slow healing. Rubbing the burn area may worsen the injury. 

Avoid using warm water, which may cause further aggravation of the burn. The burned area must be rinsed in cool running water at the length of time needed to cool the burn and achieve pain relief. This action will aid in stopping the burn[1]. The cool water will also reduce swelling. 

Afterward, a bandage that is clean should be placed on the burned area. This will decrease pain and the chance of infection. Apply clean cloth or bandages loosely to avoid putting pressure on the blister. You may cover the burn with a sterile gauze pad. Clean the burn area periodically with soap and running water. 

It is likely that pain will persist after the burn. Over-the-counter pain medicine should be administered as appropriate. Children who have been burned and have persistent pain should be reassured to stay calm. 

Burns that do not cause blisters likely will not yield scarring. Burns that cause blisters could form scars. Burns should be kept covered until new skin has formed. Ensuring that you continue to cover the burn until new skin is formed will help prevent scarring. 

Recovering burns should be kept out of the sun for one year. This is because the sun could cause skin darkening at the site of the recovering burn. Burns that have since formed new skin may be covered with sunscreen or clothing. 

What Can You Put On A Burn?

Outside of soap and water, nothing else should be placed on a burned area without professional medical advice. Placing ointments on a burned area without guidance from a doctor should be avoided. The use of butter and greases should be avoided as these could raise the chance of infection. Always cover the burn with a clean cloth or bandage. 

How To Treat A Burn Blister That Has Popped?

Blisters that have popped should be washed with soap and water[4]. A clean bandage should then be applied to any open blisters. 

When should you go to the doctor?

Third-degree burns should be treated by a doctor. The burned area is a third-degree burn when the skin is charred or white. Burns that cause the affected area to have no feeling and electrical burns should be treated by a doctor. Burns covering 10% or greater of the body[3] and burns involving the genitals should also be treated by a doctor. 

A New Method Can Predict Burn Treatment  

A study published in 2018[5] used digital infrared thermography to predict what would be the best treatment for burn patients presenting in a hospital. The infrared thermograms relay the image of the wound based on the heat that area is giving off. Burn wounds that damage the thickest parts of the skin give off less heat because of the destruction of blood vessels in the affected area. Prediction of the best treatment method was made after determining the severity of the wound by comparing the infrared thermograms of the damaged skin and healthy skin

The infrared thermograms were obtained within the first three days of the injury. They found that using this method resulted in predicting the best treatment 90% of the time. The three treatment methods that were being predicted were skin grafts, amputations, and wounds that healed by themselves. 

The authors of this paper assert that this study is important because subjective assessments of burn wounds, even by experienced physicians, only accurately predict the severity of the tissue damage in 50 to 70% of clinical cases. The study authors also cite the problem posed by burn conversion which may confound wound assessments. The investigators say burn conversion is a term given to burn wounds that seemingly worsen in the thickness of the tissue affected. For this reason, the authors conclude that an objective method of measuring burn wounds is needed. 


Medical professionals are still developing diagnostic methods that predict the best treatment for burns requiring clinical care. Conclusions on predicted treatment outcomes for burns are being reached using advanced healthcare technology.

Minor burns can be entirely treated at the home through first aid. The most important step is exposing the affected area to cool running water. Be sure to have over-the-counter pain medications on hand and that they are taken as directed. Seek medical attention for third-degree burns, electrical burns, and burns covering an area of greater than 10% of the body. 

Children should be encouraged not to panic as much as possible. Getting a burn can be a painful experience. With this information, you now know how to treat burn blisters

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you do when you have a minor burn?

You should immediately place the affected area in cool running water until the pain subsides. Keep on the lookout for the signs of infection after the incident. 

What should you put on burned skin? 

Besides soap and water, nothing should be used on the burned area without professional medical advice. Avoid the use of ointments, butter, and greases. Periodically clean burns with soap and water. Ensure that the bandage placed on the burn is clean.

+ 5 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2015). First Aid for Burns: Parent FAQs. Available  from:
  2. CDC. (2020). Burns. Available from
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics . (2019). Burn Treatment & Prevention Tips for Families. Available from:
  4. Schmitt, B. (2020). Blisters . Available from:
  5. Martinez-Jimenez, M. A., Ramirez-GarciaLuna, J. L., Kolosovas-Machuca, E. S., Drager, J., & Gonzalez, F. J. (2018). Development and validation of an algorithm to predict the treatment modality of burn wounds using thermographic scans: Prospective cohort study. Plos One, 13(11): 1-16. Available from:


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