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Electrical Burns in Adults


Electrical burns are injuries that are caused by an electric current. The electric current can pass through your body and cause damage to tissues or organs. An electric current may also jump from an electrical source to you and burn your body.



  • Ointments: These medicines prevent infection and help your burn heal. The ointment may be placed on your skin or may be part of your bandage.
  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease severe pain if other pain medicines do not work. Take the medicine as directed. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return to have your wound checked and your bandage changed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Wound care:

Your burn will be covered with a bandage to keep it moist and clean. You may clean your burn with soap and water. Ask how often you should clean your wound and change the bandage.

Physical therapy:

Your muscles and joints may not work well after an electrical burn. You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you exercises that will improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.

Prevent electrical burns:

  • If you work with electricity, wear clothing that protects you from electric currents.
  • Always make sure that electrical equipment is running properly.
  • Unplug electrical machines when they are not in use and before you try to fix them.
  • Use safety cords, such as circuit breakers or ground fault interrupters. Place socket covers on unused plugs.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are dizzy or weak.
  • You have stiff joints or muscle pain.
  • You feel confused or have memory loss.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a fast heartbeat.
  • You have a seizure.
  • You have problems walking or keeping your balance.
  • You suddenly have trouble seeing or hearing.
  • You have red or reddish black urine.
  • You have shortness of breath.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Electrical Burns in Adults (Aftercare Instructions)

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