How to Treat Skin Blistering Burns

Updated April 17, 2017

Burns can occur many different ways, by fire, sun,or contact with caustic chemicals, electrical, hot metals, liquids or steam. Treatment depends on the severity of the burn and blisters. To treat blistered, second-degree burns on limited areas of the skin, follow the steps below.

Determine the extent and degree of the burn. A first-degree burn is minor and affects only the surface of the skin. A second-degree burn--what we're treating here--goes deeper into the dermis and results in blistering, pain and red, blotchy areas. A third-degree burn goes deeper, and can blacken the skin.

Cool the burn. Immediately run cold water over the skin or apply cold compresses to reduce the swelling. However, do not apply ice.

Apply an antibiotic cream to limit the potential for infection or use other ointment specifically recommended by a doctor. Cover the area loosely with sterile gauze for protection.

If necessary, ease the pain with an over-the-counter product such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin for adults. Avoid giving aspirin to children due to the potential risk of Reyes syndrome; however, acetaminophen products (like Tylenol) are not associated with this risk.

Leave the blisters alone and do not break them since that can open them to infection. If the blisters and pain become worse or begin to ooze fluid, the area may be infected.

If the blistering burn is very extensive or if you suspect infection, see your physician immediately.


Do not use butter, ice or any product not specifically for burns on the blisters. Do not break the blisters. Let them heal naturally.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibiotic ccream
  • Sterile gauze
  • Pain relievers
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About the Author

Rosanne Knorr is an award-winning writer, editor and author since 1980. She has written feature articles for countless publications and has authored 13 books including "The Grown-Up's Guide to Running Away from Home." She ghostwrites books on financial and lifestyle topics. She has taught creative writing and speaks on writing and travel topics. Knorr holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.