INTEGRIS Paul Silverstein Burn Center

Pain Management and Itching

Pain Management

The amount of pain depends on the location and severity of the burn. Patients will be given pain medication through an intravenous (IV) line or by mouth.

Depending on the patient's status, they can help control the pain by rating it with a scoring tool. This will help the health care team know when and how much pain medication to give so that you can be more comfortable.


Most people who have suffered from a burn injury usually experience itching at some point during the healing process. Sometimes, it begins right away, but it may also occur several weeks or months into the healing process. Itching can range from a minor irritation to severe discomfort that can interfere with daily activities. While there is no "cure" for itching, the condition diminishes over time. In the meantime, there are things that you can do to lessen discomfort:

  • Keep the area moist with creams. Try to avoid lotions, as they may contain alcohol, which can dry the skin.
  • Avoid creams that contain perfumes, which may cause more irritation to the area.
  • Topical corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone) may be recommended by your physician.
  • Hemorrhoidal creams contain local anesthetics that are safe to use on the skin.
  • Cool or cold compresses may help provide relief.
  • There are other medications that your physician may prescribe such as antihistamines and/or oral steroids

Specific treatment will be determined by your physician based on the following:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the pain or discomfort
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the healing
  • Your opinion or preference

If you have more questions about pain management or pain medication, please ask your nurse or physician.