Tips for Choosing the Best Burn Cream + Product Recommendations

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Thu Dec 21 2023.

Applying cream to hand.

All family caregivers should include a high-quality burn cream in their home first-aid kit. Burns can happen at any time, so it’s important you’re able to treat them quickly. A soothing burn cream relieves pain and provides peace of mind. It also speeds up healing, reducing the risk of infection and other complications.

Since choosing a burn cream can be challenging, we reached out to board-certified dermatologist Anju Methil, MD. Dr. Methil has more than 20 years of experience treating burns. She shared a few simple tips with us for selecting the best burn cream. 

What is Burn Cream?

Burn cream is a topical ointment formulated to treat mild and moderate burns. It contains ingredients that soothe your skin and protect against harmful bacteria. There are several types of burn creams available, but they all do the same thing: relieve pain, defend your skin, and promote healing. 

When is Burn Cream Needed?

Burn cream provides prompt relief for mild and moderate burns caused by:

  • Thermal sources, like fire, hot liquids, and steam

  • Chemicals, like drain cleaner and acid

  • Electricity

  • Sun exposure

Burn cream can also relieve friction burns. These burns are caused by rubbing against abrasive surfaces, like carpet or clothing. 

What Should Someone Consider When Buying Burn Cream?

Dr. Methil says there are several things family caregivers should consider when buying a burn cream, including:

The Type of Burn Being Treated

“The first and most crucial factor is the type of burn you are treating,” Dr. Methil explains. “First-degree burns, which affect only the outer layer of skin, can typically be treated with over-the-counter burn creams. However, for second and third-degree burns that involve deeper layers of skin, it’s best to consult a doctor before using any medication.”

Product Ingredients

Another important thing to consider when shopping for burn cream is the ingredients used.

“Look for burn creams that contain ingredients like aloe vera, lidocaine, or hydrocortisone,” Dr. Methil says. “These ingredients can help soothe the burn and promote healing.”

The Symptoms Your Loved One Has

Some burn creams relieve pain while others help protect against bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider your loved one's symptoms.

“Choose a burn cream that provides a protective barrier against bacteria and irritants,” says Dr. Methil. “Alternatively, if your loved one complains of pain, select a burn cream with properties that alleviate discomfort, like lidocaine.” 

Carewell’s Best Burn Creams

The products featured in this list are our highest-rated and best-selling burn creams:

1) Medline Soothe and Cool INZO Antifungal Cream

This protective burn cream is specifically formulated to defend against fungal infections. It contains petrolatum, miconazole nitrate, and carboxymethyl cellulose to protect even the most sensitive skin. The cream is light and breathable and can be applied up to twice daily.

Key Benefits & Features

  • Gentle on fragile skin

  • Soothes skin irritation and inflammation caused by fungal infections

  • Treats itchiness and pain

  • Cooling

Hear it from a caregiver

“This [is] a miracle cream. It says soothe and cool and it does. When my leg gets itchy, burning, and prickly, this cream goes to work immediately. It's expensive but worth every cent. I highly recommend.”

- T.F. 

2) Medi-First Burn Cream with Lidocaine

This burn cream from Medi-First is formulated to treat mild and moderate burns. It contains soothing aloe vera and lidocaine to provide instant pain relief. The unique formulation dries quickly without trapping heat. It’s not sticky and lasts for hours. 

Key Benefits & Features

  • Contains lidocaine, aloe vera, and benzalkonium chloride (BZK)

  • 25 packets per box

  • 0.13%-0.5% strength

3) Sunmark hydrocortisone cream

Sunmark hydrocortisone cream is manufactured by McKesson Brand, a renowned American medical product supplier. This cream provides instant relief from various skin irritations, including minor burns, insect bites, and dermatitis. It goes to work immediately after application, providing relief for hours at a time. 

Key Benefits & Features

  • Ideal for treating itchy burns

  • Safe for use on sensitive skin, including the anal and genital areas

  • 1% strength

4) Neosporin + Pain Relief Dual Action Cream

The Neosporin brand is synonymous with first aid and for good reason. The ointment is alcohol-free so it doesn’t sting or irritate the skin. Neosporin offers 24 hours of protection from harmful bacteria and features maximum-strength burn relief.

“Neosporin is one of the most highly regarded burn creams,” Dr. Methil says. “It has antibiotic properties which make it ideal for skin healing.” 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Treats minor and moderate burns, cuts, and scrapes

  • Fast and effective

  • Contains bacitracin, neomycin, polymyxin B, and pramoxine HCL


5) MEDIHONEY Wound and Burn Dressing Gel

“MEDIHONEY provides a natural alternative to burn creams,” explains Dr. Methil. “In fact, honey has been used as a natural remedy for burns for centuries, thanks to its antibiotic properties.” 

MEDIHONEY is unique in that it’s made from manuka honey, a type of honey particularly rich in methylglyoxal. Methylglyoxal is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for treating burns and other skin injuries.

Key Benefits & Features

  • Sterile and latex-free

  • All-natural

  • Helps lower wound pH and promote optimal healing

Hear it from a caregiver

“Works well with wounds and burns. Very sticky, but a little goes a long way. Highly recommend.”

- Loretta L. 

MediHoney Wound and Burn Dressing Gel
MediHoney Wound and Burn Dressing Gel

Price: $8.00 - $224.10

We Can Help You Choose a Burn Cream!

Caring for a loved one’s skin presents unique challenges. If you’re struggling to determine which burn cream will best meet your needs, get in touch! Our Care Specialists know about all the products we carry and can help point you in the right direction.

Call us at (800) 696-CARE if you have questions or send an email to

Tips for Choosing the Best Burn Cream - Commonly Asked Questions

1) Do all burns require professional medical assistance?

Most minor burns can be treated with over-the-counter burn cream. But if the burn extends beyond the outer layer of skin, Dr. Methil says it’s important to seek professional help. Without medical treatment, second and third-degree burns are more likely to get infected.

“Remember that burns should be treated with caution and not taken lightly,” Dr. Methil adds. “Always err on the side of caution and seek medical attention if you are unsure about the severity of your burn.”

2) Is there anyone who shouldn’t use burn cream?

Over-the-counter burn cream is safe and usually well-tolerated, but it isn’t for everyone. “Particular caution should be exercised while selecting a burn cream to avoid certain ingredients,” Dr. Methil says. “Lidocaine and Benzocaine, common numbing agents in OTC creams can potentially cause allergic reactions in some individuals.”

If your loved one has sensitive skin or a history of allergies, consult with their doctor first. 

3) How does burn cream heal the skin?

Burn cream promotes healing by reducing pain and swelling. It minimizes redness and blistering and prevents harmful bacteria from taking hold, preventing infection.

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Humans first discovered the medicinal benefits of honey more than 5,000 years ago, but the sweetener didn’t receive FDA clearance until 2011, when New Jersey-based medical devices company, Derma Sciences, Inc., introduced their MEDIHONEY® hydrogel to the market.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.