Burn, damage caused to the body by contact with flames, hot substances, certain chemicals, radiation (sunlight, X rays, or ionizing radiation from radioactive materials), or electricity. The chief effects of contact with flame, hot water, steam, caustic chemicals, or electricity are apparent promptly. There is a delay of several hours before the full effects of sun or ultraviolet burns are apparent and a delay of 10 to 30 days before the full effects of ionizing radiation burns are apparent.
First, stop the burning to prevent a more severe burn.
Heat burns (thermal burns): Smother any flames by covering them with a blanket or water. If your clothing catches fire, do not run: stop, drop, and roll on the ground to smother the flames.
Cold temperature burns: Try first aid measures to warm the areas. Small areas of your body (ears, face, nose, fingers, toes) that are really cold or frozen can be warmed by blowing warm air on them, tucking them inside your clothing or putting them in warm water.
Liquid scald burns (thermal burns): Run cool tap water over the burn for 10 to 20 minutes. Do not use ice.
Electrical burns: After the person has been separated from the electrical source, check for breathing and a heartbeat. If the person is not breathing or does not have a heartbeat, call 911.
Chemical burns: Natural foods such as chili peppers, which contain a substance irritating to the skin, can cause a burning sensation. When a chemical burn occurs, find out what chemical caused the burn.
Tar or hot plastic burns: Immediately run cold water over the hot tar or hot plastic to cool the tar or plastic.
Next, look for other injuries. The burn may not be the only injury.