How to Treat Burn Blisters on Hands

by Kit Arbuckle
Treat hand burns carefully to avoid infection.

Treat hand burns carefully to avoid infection.

Burn blisters on the hands affect the outer and some inner layers of skin, according to MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Known as second-degree burns, they require specific treatment, and may swell and prove painful. They take up to three weeks to heal, and can leave some scarring depending on the severity. Treating burn blisters on hands quickly and with the proper method ensures better healing.

Items you will need

  • Cool water
  • Sterile gauze
  • Pain medication
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Burn ointment
Step 1

Soak the entire hand in cool water for at least five minutes and up to 20. The cool water removes the heat from the burn as well as any debris. Don’t use ice water, just cool tap water in a bowl. If the blisters have ruptured, skip this step.

Step 2

Wrap burn blisters in sterile gauze to protect the area and keep it clean. Don’t apply pressure or put the gauze on tightly. Loosely tie it or tape the ends. Avoid using any adhesive directly on a burn.

Step 3

Take an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. Leave the burn blisters alone for 24 hours. Use the burned hand carefully to avoid opening the blisters.

Step 4

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap, excluding the burned area. You don't want to pass bacteria to the burn from your hands. Soak the gauze in water if it sticks to the skin and remove it. Check for any signs of infection, including swelling, redness and fever.

Step 5

Clean the burn gently with water. Apply an antibiotic ointment over the area. Re-bandage the burn with gauze. Continue to check it every day for infection.

Tip

  • Prevent burns by learning and following safety measures. For example, reduce your hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees.

Warnings

  • Don’t break the blisters open. Doing so increases the risk of infection. If large areas of the hands have blisters, if blisters are larger than two or three inches, or if the burn covers joints, seek medical care. Treat smaller blisters at home.
  • Watch for signs of shock, such as dizziness and confusion, on larger burns.

About the Author

Kit Arbuckle is a freelance writer specializing in topics such as health, alternative medicine, beauty, senior care, pets and landscaping. She has training in landscaping and a certification in medicinal herbs from a botanical sanctuary.

Photo Credits

  • man with injured hand image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com