A minor first-degree burn can be treated by running cool water over the skin and applying an ointment or moisturizing cream, such as aloe vera lotion or hydrocortisone, Mayo Clinic states. An antibiotic ointment is best for broken blisters, and the entire burn should be covered with nonstick gauze.
Healthline recommends using a cool compress for five to 15 minutes to reduce pain and swelling from a minor burn, but extreme coldness or direct contact with ice should be avoided to prevent further irritation. When first-degree burns cover large sections of skin or affect sensitive areas, such as the groin, face or eyes, they should be examined by a medical professional.
Tight-fitting items, such as rings, should be removed from areas that are vulnerable to swelling, Mayo Clinic states. Individuals should try to avoid breaking any small blisters that form, but if blisters do rupture, the burn site should be cleaned carefully with mild water and soap. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient for dealing with minor discomfort, but individuals should consult a doctor if the burn shows signs of infection, such as persistent pain, inflammation and oozing.
First-degree burns are considered superficial wounds and cause mild injury to the outermost layer of skin, according to Healthline. First-degree burns often occur in everyday environments from contact with scalding water or electrical sockets or prolonged exposure to sunlight.