How to stop burnt fingers from paining?

Q. I spilled hot water on my fingers. Is there anything I can do to stop the pain?

Answered by
Dr. Deepti Shukla
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 01, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 22, 2023

Hi doctor,

I was making ramen noodles about three and a half hours ago, and after ramen was finished in the microwave (water in the cup put in for 2:30 makes it just perfect), I decided to go back to my room. Hot water spilled in my hand, and now three fingers are burnt. My thumb finger is red with some bumps, painful to touch and bend. It is also slightly swollen. My middle is just red and swollen. My index finger is just red and does not hurt that much. Worse, the noodles are also ruined. I read on the internet that you should not ice the burn because it can cause tissue damage. I ran it under cold water for like five minutes. It still hurts. I want to know if there is anything I can do to stop the pain and make myself feel better short of amputation, but I am sure amputation would hurt worse. And I would also like to understand the myth about not using ice. I do not understand why I cannot use ice and be perfectly fine. It is cold, right? Why is it not working?

Thank you.

Current medication details:

Tablet Melatonin.



Welcome back to

Do not worry. I will help you with all your concerns. But, first, let us clear your doubt about using ice on burning. Ice application should be avoided as direct application to burn area causes vasoconstriction (blood vessel supplying to that area constrict) and blood flow to curb area reduces which causes further damage to that area. Always put the burn area in running tap water or cool water, as running water helps flush the toxins produced due to burning. Keep your finger in tap water or slightly cold water for 30 minutes, and it will help reduce the swelling and pain. If blisters occur, then apply antibiotic cream. Take one tablet Ibuprofen or tablet Paracetamol for pain. I hope I have solved all your queries. Thanks, and stay safe.

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