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Treatment

Appropriate first aid must be used to treat any burns or scalds as soon as possible. This will limit the amount of damage to your skin.

You can apply the following first aid techniques to yourself or another person who's been burnt.

First aid for burns

When to go to hospital

Once you have taken these steps, you'll need to decide whether further medical treatment is necessary. 

Go to a hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department for:

Also get medical help straight away if the person with the burn:

If someone has breathed in smoke or fumes, they should also seek medical attention.

Some symptoms may be delayed, and can include:

See recovering from burns and scalds for information on how serious burns are treated.

Electrical burns

Electrical burns may not look serious, but they can be very damaging. Someone who has an electrical burn should seek immediate medical attention at an A&E department.

If the person has been injured by a low-voltage source (up to 220 to 240 volts) such as a domestic electricity supply, safely switch off the power supply or remove the person from the electrical source using a material that doesn't conduct electricity, such as a wooden stick or a wooden chair.

Do not approach a person who's connected to a high-voltage source (1,000 volts or more).

Acid and chemical burns

Acid and chemical burns can be very damaging and require immediate medical attention at an A&E department.

If possible, find out what chemical caused the burn and tell the healthcare professionals at A&E.

If you're helping someone else, put on appropriate protective clothing and then:

Sunburn

In cases of sunburn, follow the advice below:

If a person with heat exhaustion is taken to a cool place quickly, given water to drink and has their clothing loosened, they should start to feel better within half an hour.

If they don't, they could develop heatstroke. This is a medical emergency and you'll need to call 999 for an ambulance.

Read more about what to do if someone has heat exhaustion or heatstroke.