This Diwali, know the do’s and don’ts of treating burns at home

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 12, 2015 14:17 IST
The fun of the festival of lights increases manifold if you pay heed to the dos and don’ts suggested by experts. (Sushil Kumar / HT )

If the skin hasn’t blistered and the burned area is not more than 4-5 cm, you can treat the burn at home. If the burn is in a sensitive area, like the face, visit a doctor to avoid scarring.


1. Hold the burn under running tap water for 15-20 minutes. It brings down the burning sensation and prevents further injury to skin by conducting heat away from the skin.

2. Apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent the area from drying. Use antiseptic creams such as silver sulphadiazine.

3. Cover the burn with medicated sofratulle gauze (an antibacterial moistened gauze that doesn’t stick to the wound) to protect it from infection. If you don’t have medicated bandage, wrap gauze loosely over the burn to avoid putting pressure on the burned skin.

4. Bandaging reduces pain and protects blistered skin. Don’t cover the burn with cotton, as it tends to stick to the skin.

5. Take painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve the pain if necessary.

6. Minor burns usually heal in a week. Persistent pain, redness, fever, swelling or oozing indicates infection and needs medical treatment.

Read: Five medical emergencies to watch out for this Diwali


1. Don’t put ice on a burn as it can further damage your skin.

2. Don’t break blisters that cover and protect the wound against infection. If blisters break, wash the area with mild soap and water, then apply an antibiotic ointment and gauze bandage. Change the dressing in 48 hours.

3. Don’t use burnol or toothpaste as these don’t allow the wound to breathe.

4. 10 diseases to watch for around Diwali.

Apart from leaving you breathless, toxins from burning firecrackers cause other seemingly unrelated health problems

1. Breathlessness

2. Eye and skin irritation

3. Allergic rhinitis (runny nose)

4. Headache, dizziness

5. Cough, chest tightness

6. Asthma attacks

7. Decreased lung capacity, chronic bronchitis

8. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

9. Heart disease

10. Lung cancer

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