How to Treat Cigarette Burns

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A cigarette burn requires prompt first aid to prevent infection and reduce swelling.
A cigarette burn requires prompt first aid to prevent infection and reduce swelling. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A cigarette burn is no laughing matter, especially when the tingling pain remains long after the initial shock of the burn subsides. The high heat from the cigarette's lit end, burns your skin's epidermis, the top layer of skin, and causes scarring, if left untreated. Burns heal at a faster rate when kept clean, and the pain of the first-degree burn lessens with pain-relieving oral medication. Contrary to popular belief, cigarette burns should not be treated with oils or ice to reduce pain and promote recovery, as these seemingly helpful treatments can cause infection and increase irritation.

Things You'll Need

  • Cool compress
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Bandage

Run the burned area under cool water for 5 to 10 minutes, until the pain's intensity reduces. Blot the area with a clean, dry towel to remove excess moisture.

Cover the burn mark with a cool compress to minimize swelling and pain. Leave the compress on the burn for 10 minutes at a time, to reduce irritation.

Wash your hands for 30 seconds with hot, soapy water prior to handling the bandage to prevent contaminating the bandage. Place a bandage over the burned area of skin, to keep the area safe from bacteria. The skin is prone to infection when left uncovered. Replace the bandage after exposing it to moisture to prevent bacterial growth.

Take one to two oral pain-relieving pills every 4 to 6 hours to treat pain. Ibuprofen, aspirin and Naproxen are all considered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that help alleviate pain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Provide first aid to the burn as soon as it occurs to lessen the chance of developing a scar, and to prevent infection.

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