Immediately: Hold under cool running water or apply a cold, wet towel. Cover small blisters with a loose bandage or gauze and tape. Quickly remove rings or other tight items from the burned area before it swells. For minor burns, apply moisturizer, aloe vera lotion, or low-dose hydrocortisone cream, which may provide some relief. If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Call 911 / Go to the ED: If the burn looks deep (the skin may be white or brown and dry), large (more than a tenth of the body), or is on the face, hands, or genitals. Don't use a wet towel; cover with a clean sheet or a blanket to prevent hypothermia.
Follow-Up: Don't pop any blisters yourself. If the skin breaks, apply an anti-biotic cream and cover the area with a bandage or gauze and tape until it's healed. Watch for redness, swelling, tenderness, or discharge -- all signs of infection that needs rapid care.
Alternatives: If you don’t have water to cool the burn:
use juice, beer, milk… in fact use any cold liquid, until you have access to cold running water.
The aim is to cool the area as quickly as possible, using whatever cold liquid is available.
Did You Know? Scalds, from hot foods or liquids, are the most common burn injury in children ages 6 months to 2 years.