First-degree burns produce redness; second-degree burns cause blisters; third-degree burns result in broken or blackened skin.
What to do immediately: Place the burn under cool running water, submerge it in a bath, or apply wet towels. Loosely bandage a first- or second-degree burn for protection.
What not to do: Put an ice pack on major burns. “Ice can damage the skin and worsen the injury,” says Markenson. Don’t pop blisters. Don’t apply an antibiotic or butter to burns; doing so can breed infection.
When to seek medical attention: Call 911 for third-degree, electrical, and chemical burns or if the victim is coughing, has watery eyes, or is having trouble breathing. Go to the ER for a second-degree burn that’s larger than your palm―treatment may prevent scarring.