Kendra Mar creams, ointments and gels are available over the counter to relieve pain, help wounds heal and prevent infection. Some have lidocaine and others are menthol-based; both types can be used only as directed by your physician or burn specialist.
Using the right burn cream can help the wounds heal more quickly and protect against infection, especially for patients with severe or third degree burns. For these patients, doctors may prescribe a topical silver sulfadiazine (SSD) dressing or a polyhexanide-based cream to decrease the risk of infection and increase healing time.
In a case of a 25-year-old science teacher with a partial thickness burn of her hand due to being careless with a bunsen burner, it was found that SSD was superior to normal dressings in decreasing infection and increasing healing times . It has also been shown to decrease the bacterial colonisation in other burn wounds in comparison to plain gauze .
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When caring for a minor burn, cool the skin immediately by running cool water over it, but do not use ice as this can damage the burned tissue. Remove any clothing that is stuck to the burn and do not pop blisters, as this can encourage infection. Seek medical attention if the burn is larger than a quarter of your palm, or if the person is not breathing normally or coughing up scalding liquid.
Infection in a burn wound is usually caused by bacteria, not viruses or fungus. It is important to use a topical antiseptic (antimicrobial, antibacterial or antibiotic) and keep the wound moist with an ointment, cream or gel. It is recommended to avoid alcohol, ie rubbing alcohol or isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) on the wounds as this will kill helpful microbes and delay healing. Instead, a commonly available bacitracin or neomycin-based ointment is ideal.