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Burn and scald symptoms

Burns cause:

  • pain
  • a burning feeling
  • redness of the skin
  • swelling
  • blistering or whiteness of the skin (in more serious burns).

If the burn is severe or if it involves the airway, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

Seek medical help for all burns larger than the size of a 20 cent piece, or that are deep.

First aid for all burns includes holding the burn under cool running water for at least 20 minutes, as soon as possible. Then cover with a light, loose, non-stick dressing (that is clean, dry and not fluffy, such as plastic cling film).

Do not touch the burn or put on lotions, ointments, fat or ice. Do not try to remove anything that is sticking to the burn.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your burn or scald, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).



Last reviewed: September 2017

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Burns and Scalds

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