How to Treat Friction Burn


When the skin rubs against something, a friction burn results. Some people have burns from skin rubbing against skin or clothing, but others experience painful "carpet burns" or "court burns" from bare skin skidding across a surface. Although painful, these often do not pose a danger to the patient if properly treated. The best means to treat a friction burn involves easing the pain and preventing infection. Keep the supplies for treating friction burns on hand in your first aid kit for future emergencies.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft towel
  • Anti-inflammatory first aid cream (optional)
  • 1 inch piece of aloe vera (optional)
  • Gauze bandages
  • Medical tape
  • Identify the burn as a friction burn. Look for a reddened area to the skin that causes pain on contact. Ask the person if he or she rubbed his or her skin against something, indicating a friction burn.

  • Place the burned area under cold, running water for 10 to 15 minutes until the pain lessens. This both eases the pain slightly and washes out foreign material.

  • Pat the burn dry with a soft towel, taking care to avoid getting fibers into the friction-burned area.

  • Apply a drop of anti-inflammatory first aid cream to the site only if pain remains. In lieu of using first aid cream, squeeze the liquid from the 1 inch piece of aloe vera over the burned area to soothe the skin. Cover the wound with the gauze bandage, securing it with medical tape.

  • Keep the friction burn covered until the skin completely heals, up to a week, depending on the extent of the friction burn.

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