One of the best ways to help a burn heal is by placing ointment on it after dousing the area in cold water. Once the area dries, burn ointment will help the skin feel better, but there are a few types available. Choosing the best ointment will depend on what kind of burn it is, as well as whether you need some pain reliever applied to the area, too.
For a first degree burn, the best choice is typically aloe vera ointment. It is not usually necessary to get a prescription medication, or even one with antibiotics, as this is the mildest type of burn. Aloe vera is known for having a gentle, cooling effect that should provide some pain relief while healing the area. You can buy a bottle of pure aloe vera, or you can cut open the leaf from an aloe vera plant for a free, natural treatment. You should use this product for at least a few days after the burn, though you can use it as long as you need to feel some relief in the area.
If you are dealing with a second degree burn, you likely have some blistering, which can be treated with a burn ointment that is a bit stronger than aloe vera. The main type of ointment available for second degree burns is called silver sulfadiazine. It is known for its ability to heal while preventing infection at the same time, since it is an antibiotic cream. You need to slather your skin with plenty of it for best results, and then place a gauze bandage over the area to speed up healing. Note that for a third degree burn, you should seek medical help immediately, since the burn treatments on the market cannot usually help much for severe burns.
Many people are nearly as concerned with eliminating the pain associated with burns as they are preventing infection and helping the area heal. If you have a first degree burn, you do not usually need an ointment with pain reliever, and should instead take ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen for the pain. If you have a second degree burn, however, you may choose to use gel with pain reliever mixed into it. The typical pain reliever is lidocaine, which should take away some of the discomfort of the burn. You do not need a prescription to buy it.