Patient Info - Burns care

Burns care


Cork Emergency Departments


You have what we call a partial thickness burn to your skin.

What to expect.

Partial thickness burns are painful, swell and often form blisters within the first 1 to 2 days. Your burn will feel more comfortable if you apply a dressing or barrier ointment (such as Vaseline). Dressings often smell offensive but this alone is not a bad sign. Increasing redness and/or pain will indicate infection. When blisters burst, the burn will leak fluid for few days. Most partial thickness burns take between a few days to two weeks to heal. The scar will be pink, itchy and sensitive to sunlight for a few weeks. It will then gradually fade to near your normal skin colour.

Dos and Don’ts

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Do keep the dressing clean and dry.

Do elevate (keep raised) the affected part.

Do gently exercise joints affected by a burn.

Do use Vaseline when dressing is no longer required.

This will prevent the scar drying and cracking.

Do use a suncream with a high protection factor if you are exposing your scar to sunlight. You should do this for at least 6 months after the wound has healed.

Don’t change the dressing too often, as healing will take longer.

Don’t leave wet dressings on your wound, as this will provide a perfect environment for (bacteria) germs to get in and cause infection.

When to seek advice

Contact your GP or return to the Emergency Department, if:


If you are concerned, please contact the Emergency Department you first attended: MUH (021) 4271971 M-UCC at SMHC (St. Mary’s Health Campus) (021) 4926900 CUH (021) 4920200 LIU Mallow General Hospital (022) 58506 Bantry General Hospital (027) 52900

Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan 07/04/2007. Last review Dr. ÍOS3/09/14.