10 Best Burn Creams 2018

Burns – even minor ones – are a serious matter. Not only are they extremely painful, but they can also become infected easily and can leave ugly scars so understanding them and knowing how to deal with them is essential.

Burns typically result from contact with hot liquids, fire or excessive sun exposure although they can also be caused by chemicals or electricity and there are varying degrees or severity of burns that are key to determining the level of medical attention required.

When they do occur, you should begin treatment immediately in order to minimize pain and scarring. It is important to have a fast-working, effective burn cream on hand at all times.

Buying Information for Burn Cream

Remember that various burn creams have different purposes. Some are made for:

  • pain relief and soothing of damaged skin
  • prevent infection or minimize scarring

In the early stages of treatment immediately following a burn, a product that soothes and contains a disinfectant or antibiotic is best. These will give you pain relief while ensuring the burn area is kept infection free. As the burn heals, you may choose to use a scar minimizing cream if the burn is in a visible area.

All of the products in our Best Burn Cream guide are top rated. Selecting one becomes a matter of preference about cream, jel or ointment and about packaging. You may wish to keep tubes of cream or ointment at home and stock your purse and car with one of the convenient jel packet products to cover all your bases.

Top 10 Burn Creams Table

PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameTypePriceRating (1-5)
1. Water Jel, First Aid Burn ReliefJel Packets$$$$4.9
2. Water Jel BFor Fast Relief of Minor BurnsJel$$4.9
3. Neosporin First Aid Antibiotic CreamCream$$4.8
4. Foille Medicated Ointment$4.8
5. Pac-Kit by First Aid Only Cream Packets$4.7
6. Curad Silver Solution Gel$$4.7
7. Medique Products 22373 Ointment$4.7
8. AMBIX LABORATORIES Antiseptic First Aid Cream Cream$4.5
9. Alocane Maximum Strength Gel$$4.4
10. Burn-FIX- 2 Pack- Burn Care Gel Dressing$$$4.4

What You Should Know

The first order of business after a burn is to determine its severity. There are three primary types or degrees and all are based on the extent of damage to the skin:

First Degree

  • Skin will be red but not blistered.
  • Affects only the top layer of skin.
  • Usually heals within 7-10 days without scarring.
  • See a doctor if the burned area is larger than 2-3” or if it’s on your face.
  • In addition to topical medicines, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
  • Use loose gauze to protect the area if necessary.
  • Never use ice on a burn.
  • Never use cotton balls to apply medicine (fibers can stick to the burn and cause infection).

Second Degree

  • In addition to redness, there will be some blistering and mild thickening of the skin.
  • Damage extends beyond the top layer of skin.
  • Should heal in 2-3 weeks, usually without scarring, but there may be pigment changes on the skin.
  • Get emergency medical treatment if the burn area is extremely large and on the face, hands, groin or buttocks.
  • In addition to topical medicines, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
  • Keep the area bandaged at all times.
  • Never use ice on a burn.
  • Never use cotton balls to apply medicine (fibers can stick to the burn and cause infection).

Third Degree

  • The most severe type, third degree burns will have a charred or dark color to them, a raised leathery texture and blisters.
  • Damage extends through every layer of skin.
  • There may not be any pain since nerves will be severely damaged.
  • Always call 911 and get emergency medical treatment immediately.
  • While waiting for emergency responders, raise the injured area above the heart.

There are also fourth degree burns (often caused by chemicals or electricity) but these extend beyond the skin into the tendons and bones and should be treated as an urgent medical emergency.

Please note that the medicines included in our Best Burn Cream guide are for the treatment of first and second degree burns only.

Top 3 Best Burn Cream Reviews

1. Water Jel Burn Relief

Water Jel’s burn relief product is a water-based topical jel that contains an antiseptic, a small amount of tea tree oil to fight bacteria, moisturizing aloe and Lidocaine. Lidocaine is a compound that is used for numbing, so this jel gives immediate relief after it is applied but the relief is also long-lasting.

While it comes in various forms, this #1 rated product is in individual packets, each containing a single dose for a small to mid-sized burn area. Because the formula is thick, it stays on the burn for several hours and evaporates at a very slow rate, and Water Jel has made the product to haveht a 5 year shelf life so you don’t have to worry about the product expiring if you don’t have to use it often.

The individual packets are one of the features users love most since they can be easily carried in purses, wallets, cars, boats or camping gear (remember – there may not be a ready water source when camping, so having burn jel or cream handy is critical). We recommend you also include these handy packets in any first aid kits you have at home or at work.

2. Water Jel Burn Jel

Water Jel burn relief products are consistently ranked number one among both nurses and industrial workers who are at risk for frequent burns. So it is no surprise that the #2 product in our own best cream for burns guide is also Water Jel burn relief only in different packaging.

The same great formula containing an antiseptic, a small amount of tea tree oil to fight bacteria, moisturizing aloe and Lidocaine achieves the same fast-acting results when the product comes from a large tube as it does when applied from an individual packet. Thicker formulas in some other products are less beneficial to healing than this breathable water-based formula.

Users repeatedly told us that this burn relief jel not only eliminates pain but also prevents blistering in burn areas and scarring after healing.

3. Neosporin

The last product in our top 3 is an antibiotic cream made by Neosporin. While this cream can be used on a host of minor injuries including cuts and scrapes, it works equally well on minor burns, providing pain relief and infection control.

The antibiotic in Neosporin cream ensures that your burn will not become infected and avoiding infection is critical to fast healing and minimal scarring. This is a cream, so it will not “soak in” quite like the water-based jels in our top 2 products. Instead it forms more of a protective shield over the burn while delivering its medicine rather than penetrating the skin to do its work.

In some cases, antibiotic creams can sting a bit, but that is not the case here so kids won’t complain when you apply it and the formula is clean and clear so no need to worry about any staining on clothes.