Minor Facial Burn Care – Paediatrics

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Smaller superficial partial thickness facial burns in children can often be managed on an outpatient basis. These burns are usually best managed using an open method. Vaseline® ( a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and waxes) is a soothing ointment that keeps the burn moist.

Care at home


  • Clean the face gently with saline solution or water.
  • Apply Vaseline® to the face using a cotton swab, gauze or clean hands. Apply a layer of Vaseline approximately 1/2 cm thick onto the burn.
  • Clean the wound to remove crusts and ointment and reapply the Vaseline® at least twice a day..

As the skin heals it will begin to dry out. Once a scab has formed, stop using the Vaseline on that part and apply a moisturiser, such as an unperfumed sorbolene ( a paraffin/glycerine based cream). Shower or bath as normal on the non-burnt skin.

click to enlarge


Any burn injury is a dynamic wound, and requires regular review to ensure healing is progressing.

Ensure a plan to review is in place prior to discharge

Key points

  • A superficial facial burn will take 7 – 10 days to heal depending on how severe and deep the burn is.
  • Prolonged healing times are associated with poor scarring outcomes
  • If there is any doubt that a burn will be completely healed within 14 days, refer to a burns specialist
  • Be aware of potential signs of infection, including increased pain and swelling, fever, apparent increased depth of burn, and surrounding cellulitis.
  • Infected burns require swabbing for microscopy and culture, topical antimicrobial, and systemic antibiotics. Patients should be referred to a burns specialist.

The Alfred Hospital gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support and contribution of Skilled Medical in funding this project.  For more information on Skilled Medical, please visit www.skilledmedical.com
Supported by:

Ambulance Victoria The Alfred Victorian Adult Burn Services at The Alfred The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne