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Hot Water Burns

Hot Water Burns

Hot water burns can be extremely painful and discomforting if the conditions are severe, leading to blisters and burns on the body. Such accidental events often take place in both children and adults. In this article, we will learn and understand some treatment options in such cases.
Kundan Pandey
Hot water burns in almost half of the children in the US occur due to the parents putting their children in bath water that is beyond their power of toleration. The installation of water heaters has given the relaxation and freedom to use it at one's convenience, and parents tend to forget the temperature regulation of these machines. Hence, the child suffers from severe burns. If that is not the case, many parents leave their children unattended and they accidentally spill hot water buckets and other liquids that gives them severe blisters and higher degree burns.

Types of Burns

Hot water burns may occur to anybody and it all happens in a few seconds. You could touch a hot pot or accidentally tumble upon a bucket full of hot water. The pain accompanied by the burns is excruciating, often peeling the skin off, just in 2-3 seconds of contact time. Even after putting the burn under cold water for a few minutes, the pain persists for a long time. In case of first degree burns, painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given to ease the pain. However, in 2nd degree burns, in which the first two layers of skin are burned through, accompanied by swelling, blisters, and redness, immediate medical care is advised. If the burn is of the third degree, then the nerves under the skin may get damaged causing tissue damage. In these cases, it is absolutely necessary to immediately take the person to a medical expert.


Even if one is very careful, hot water burns may occur, and so it best to be armed with certain tips for relief from hot water burns.
  • The first step of the treatment is to place the burned areas, under cold water for at least fifteen minutes.
  • Try to elevate the burned area so that swelling can be minimized as much as possible.
  • Wrap the burned part with bleached cotton cloth that we normally use for bandages.
  • Applying aloe vera gel or a cream on the affected area will help in the drying of the skin.
  • One can be given acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the pain.
  • Removing all the clothing and jewelry from areas that have affected the skin can help in healing the burns faster.
In case you are unsure as to what degree of burns you have sustained, then seeing a doctor or nurse is necessary. Generally, the mild hot water burns can be treated at home with the simple tips mentioned above. More than the treatment process in such injuries, taking precautions is a wise step. Keeping young children out of kitchen areas, maintaining proper temperature regulation of the bath water, and teaching older children the proper methods of handling boiling kettles can help in reducing the risk of burns.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.