There are several types of burns, some more dangerous than others and knowing the correct first aid is important. While most people think of burns in terms of contact with flames or hot objects, burns can also occur from steam, hot water, chemicals, electrical sources.


  • Scald burns happen when there is direct contact with hot water and steam.
  • Flame burns occur when there is a direct contact with open fire.
  • Chemical burns happen upon direct contact with chemicals.1
  • Electrical burns occur through contact with an electrical current.1

1Always seek medical advice for chemical or electrical burns.


Burns are primarily divided into three categories: first-degree or superficial burns, second-degree, or partial thickness burns and third-degree or full thickness burns. How these types of burns are treated initially will determine whether there is a successful outcome.


First-degree, or minor burns, are burns which involve the outer most layer of skin. The skin is usually still intact, but may appear to be red, very warm or hot to touch and painful. There may also be small blisters, and swelling in and around the area of injury. Initial first-aid treatment for a first-degree burn include the following:

1. Cool

Cool the burn with running cool (not cold) water for at least 5 minutes.

2. Cover

Apply a Gel such as Burnaid® to help relieve the pain. Then cover with a clean dressing. Repeat application as required.

Always seek medical attention if a burn is severe or larger than the patient’s palm or you have any concerns.