Burns are a common injury, particularly in kids. Some burns can be treated at home, yes, but others need medical attention. Even minor burns can become infected or face other complications if left untreated. At MedNorth Urgent Care, Drs. Shane Hill and Scott Rundle and their medical team can treat chemical (bleach, car battery acid, ammonia), electrical (faulty appliance or electrical socket), and thermal (fire, steam, liquid) burns. We will assess the severity of the burn, look for signs of infection, and determine whether you or your loved one will need a tetanus shot. Located in Kalispell, MT, we treat men, women, and children in and around Thompson Falls, Big Fork, and Missoula, MT. If you or your child get burned, know that we are here to provide quick and effective treatment.


While it may seem like applying cold water or ice to burn makes sense, it’s actually the opposite of what you should do. First, you should remove any clothing, cotton balls, washcloths, or anything fibrous from the burn. Then, typically, you should apply cool (not cold) water and antibacterial cream to the burn. We then suggest visiting our Kalispell, MT clinic, especially if you received a chemical or electrical burn. We can assess the level of burn, carefully and thoroughly clean the burn properly, and take preventive measures to avoid infection. We will apply a special antibacterial cream that will help soothe the skin, as well as help your burn heal. If you’re in pain, we can apply numbing cream or write you a prescription to help ease the pain. Our on-site laboratory may be used to check for infection or internal damage, which we can also treat. Someone from our staff will also give you very specific at-home care instructions, including the best way to clean your wound, how to look out for any potential infection, and when and where to follow up.


When should you go to the doctor for a burn?

If your burn is larger than three inches (about the size of your palm) and located on the hands, feet, groin, face, or a joint area with little to no pain, you should seek medical attention. Fever, redness, oozing, and increasing levels of pain also indicate the need for medical treatment.

How do I know how serious a burn is?

  • First-degree burns only affect the first, or outer, layer of skin, causing redness, swelling, tenderness, and pain. A minor scald, touching a hot pan, or a sunburn are all first-degree burns.
  • Second-degree burns affect the first two layers of skin and cause pain, redness, blistering, and swelling. A bad sunburn, hot oil burn, and boiling water burns are usually second-degree burns.
  • Third-degree burns go into the deep layers of skin, causing the most damage, and are often without pain. These are usually the result of fire, a bad scald, electrical burns, or chemical exposure.

How do you treat a burn at home?

  • Remove clothing around the burn, unless it’s stuck to the burn
  • Run the burn under cool, NOT cold, water for about 20 minutes
  • Lightly wash the burn with a gentle soap
  • Remove any jewelry in the area of the burn
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment
  • Wrap in sterile gauze
  • Monitor for signs of worsening symptoms


MedNorth Urgent Care is here for you and your family if someone gets a burn. Our talented medical staff can quickly address minor burns to ensure you or your loved one does not face infection or further injury. Drs. Shane Hill and Scott Rundle are well-trained in treating chemical, electrical, and thermal burns. If someone in your home gets burned, visit our Kalispell, MT office.