Last week, while on vacation, I burned myself pretty seriously. I was making a bottle of tea and holding it while I poured. The water suddenly "glugged" out, covering the back of my hand with scalding water. I was on my way to a fairly serious burn.
As quickly as I could, I put everything down and began treatment by running cold water over my hand. Still, I knew it wasn't enough. I began to fill containers with ice water, gradually moving from small ones to larger ones, eventually settling on a plastic gallon size pitcher. I kept my hand immersed, off and on, for almost 2 hours. I was pretty concerned, having had friends wind up in the hospital because of infection to skin burns. They are pretty insidious because they a) cover large areas and b) are painful, making hygiene unpleasant. On the hand, exposure to further injury and bacterial infiltration are not uncommon. That's why I was very aggressive about my icing of the burn.
By being so aggressive, I figured I stood a chance of eliminating blistering, and that would reduce the chance of a vacation ruining infection. The icing also helped lessen the pain, which was, for a couple of hours, pretty unpleasant. I found that my hand was pretty sun sensitive (and I guess that to some extent, I was compounding the burn by exposing it to sun). It is now a bit over eight days since the burn. My skin had turned from an initial pink, to a sort of shiny purplish tone, to a leathery feel. This morning, it began to peel a bit. I've had no pain from the burn since about day 4, so I guess it's getting back to normal.
I guess I should count myself as lucky. I burned myself in a place where I could treat myself pretty aggressively. As a result, I think I'll get away without any problems at all. If you get burned, keep in mind that being aggressive with prompt self-treatment can prevent more serious problems. If you get anything worse than a small blister from a burn, you should seek medical attention quickly.