Sorry to be late to this thread. I am a medical doctor, I will give you the straight scoop as simply as possible. Burns are classified as follows:}
1st degree - redness, no blistering
2nd degree - blistering of skin
3rd degree - damage to underlying muscle and tissue
Most burns of 1st and 2nd degree can be treated out of hospital, 3rd degree you go to a burn unit. 1/2nd degree burns, if possible apply ice as soon as possible. This will stop the burn damage from worsening and reduce inflammation. In some cases it can minimize or avoid blistering.
Don't worry too much about OTC creams and stuff, they won't make much difference. Aloe (sap of the actual cactus plant) can help somewhat for minor 1st degree burns, don't know how much of it if any is in those creams they sell.
Silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene) is for burns that blister and peel. Once the skin is broken it is vulnerable to infection, the Silvadene has antibacterial properties to prevent infection. Usually the area is covered with gauze to facilitate cleaning and hygiene. 1st degree burns you can take care of at home, 2nd degree burns it's just easier to go to your Dr's office and have the staff there clean and dress it. Also, if the injury occurred at work, it will help to have medical records documenting the injury for purposes of Workman's Compensation.