How to treat a burn with Dr. Chris Sulowski

Even a small burn can become very serious if it gets infected. Follow these steps from Dr. Chris Sulowski, deputy chief of McMaster Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department to treat your burn the RIGHT way.




  1.  Remove skin from hot surface immediately. If you’ve been burned by hot splashing liquid,  remove any wet clothing immediately.
  2.  Run cool tap water over burn area for at least 20 minutes to stop burning.
  3.  Do NOT apply ice, butter, milk, oil, saliva, Vaseline, or other liquid, ointment or gel onto the burn area.
  4.  Check the burn. If it:
    • appears to be deep
    • is starting to bubble up
    • is causing unmanageable pain
    • is in a particularly sensitive area (face, hands, feet, groin)
    • covers a large area of the body (>5% body surface area)
    • surrounds a body part (like a wrist)

Then a visit to the emergency department is in order. First, cover the burn with a clean cloth.

5. If the burn appears to be minor, cover it with a clean cloth or bandage and visit a doctor within three days.