It is important to know the immediate steps to take if you get burnt, to limit the damage. A specialist surgeon explains what to do All burn surgeons recommend running cool water on the affected area for 20 minutes. You want to cool the burn to reduce the chances of more of the skin being damaged or injured in deeper layers. There are some caveats, though. For instance, if you have a small child with a large burn, putting them under cool running water for 20 minutes will make them very cold. The idea is to keep the rest of the patient warm, so wrap them up in a blanket or something similar, and only cool the affected area. If you are worried about the burn, or if you have developed blisters or the skin colour has changed after you have cooled it down, lightly cover the injured area with plastic wrap, such as cling film. Then present yourself to a health service. In the UK, you can seek medical advice by calling 111 or, if the burn is severe, phone an ambulance.
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