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How long does it take for blisters to appear on a burn?
I just burned my arm with hot water and I'm trying to figure out if it's 1st or 2nd degree. It's been about 2 hours and it's red and slightly swollen right now.
Additional Details
The blisters showed up five or six hours after the burn. I've kept it wrapped and apply aloe twice a day. I feels a lot better now. Thanks everyone.

Blisters would have already formed by now I believe so it's probably just a 1st degree burn. I'd apply some Neosporin anyway just to keep the burning sensation down.

michele d
Depends on severity. Could be days. Important! Run cold water over your burn ASAP. Use a cold compress, I'd wrap the cold compress with a wet cool hand towel or cloth for the size of the burn first. "Do not" use "butter" on a burn! See a Doctor he can prescribe Silvadene Cream which is used to treat burns!

If your burn blisters, you "do not" want them to become infected or scab, see a Doctor for Silvadene Cream and proper care.

it can take a few hours cuz i burned my finger last night on hot glue around 7 oclock n it started to get a blister around 10ish.
if its red n swollen is prob. a 2nd degree burn

I think that maybe if it is a second degree that you should probably already have a blister.

Muffett :
If you applied a cooling agent such as water to it, it may not blister. This of course depends on how long the hot water was on the skin to burn it. If it has been 2 hrs and it is only swollen and red you probably have first degree burn. Keep the area clean and wrapped. If the burn was worse you would have had blisters after 2 hrs.

2nd degree burns may or may not produce blisters. Check out this website for more information.


sounds like a 1st degree. blisters may not appear. just use cold water, ice pack, and an antibiotic like Neosporin

Blisters can take a few hours or a few days to appear. Scald burns are often 2nd degree. I suggest you see a doctor. A doctor can prescribe silver sulfadiazine cream ointment. This will make the burn feel much better. I do not advise the use of aloe or other lotions as they are not sterile. Keep the burn flushed with cold water. If the burn surface area is larger than the palm of your hand, I urge you to see a doctor as burn this size or larger can easily become infected. You will need to get some sterile gauze and sterile water from a drugstore. Place the gauze on the burn and wet it with the sterile water. Wrap loosely in a clean towel and go to your doctor or to an ER.

1st degree.
2nd would have a blister showing within the hour.

run COOL water over your burn for as long as you can stand it - the pain will disappear within an hour or so.

Marilyn B
It reads as if this is a 1st degree burn since it was caused by hot (not boiling) water, the area is red and painful but not blistered. The best thing to do is to continue to run cold water over your arm or use a cold compress, and DON'T use ice or ice water. Avoid putting any ointment on the area, for now. An oily oinment will only prevent heat from escaping and drive the burn deeper into the skin. Leave your arm exposed to the air to promote healing. Starting 24 hours after you have burned yourself, wash your injury gently with soap and water or a mild Betadine solution once per day. Then bandage the area with a light gauze or other sterile bandage, and keep dry and clean between washings. Two to three days later, then you can apply a soothing, over-the-counter anti-bacterial ointment that contains aloe and Vitamin E. Aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil) may be taken to ease pain and relieve inflammation.

If it is either too deep (3rd degree= all the way through the skin) or too superficial (1st degree=not into dermis,) you might not have blisters. Blistering can take a day or two to start showing. 2nd degree burns also vary in severity, but tend to have blisters form.

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