The Most Effective Essential Oils for Burns
Everyone burns themselves at some point in their lives. It could be from spilling a hot cup of coffee, splashing oil, touching a hot pan, or hundred of other scenarios. One thing we can agree on is that burns hurt. This pain usually last until your skin heals, the more severe the burn, the longer and more extreme the pain.
Even worse, severe burns may leave unpleasant marks on the skin, especially when sensitive areas like face or hands are affected. These marks may lower your self-esteem to the point of affecting your social life.
Luckily, there are effective essential oils for burns that can work to start the healing process as soon as they occur.
What Are Burns?
Burns are damage to your tissue caused by exposure to heat, flame, radiation, electricity, or chemicals. They’re often categorized into first, second, or third degree burns depending on their severity and depth into the skin surface.
- First degree burns are the most common form of burns, affecting only the outermost layer of the skin. Although they are painful, and show signs of inflammation, they heal quickly.
- Second degree burns affect both the outermost layer of the skin and the middle layer. These burns are characterized by blisters, due to the underlying layer being burnt.
- Third degree burns are the worst form of burns and they lead to cell necrosis (death) of the skin. They affect all the skin layers and extend into the underlying muscle. Third degree burns damage nerves and require immediate medical attention.
Causes and Symptoms
First degree burns are caused by exposure to hot liquids, the sun, steam, electricity, and mild chemicals.
The affected surface dries up and should peel after a few days. There may be slight skin discoloration on the affected area, either darker or lighter.
Mild sunburns are an example of first degree burns, where you skin feel warm, tight, peels, and then heals.
Severe sunburns are an example of second degree burns and which often involve blistering.
Touching a hot cooking utensil or oven grate can result in a second degree burn. These instances may leave scarring marks and take a few weeks to heal.
Third degree burns are mostly caused by fires and harsh chemicals.
They damage the skin, underlying tissue, and even muscles. If some nerve sensation remains, it tends to be extremely painful. Third degree burns often require surgery and bandaging.
How Burns Affect Your Social Life
Minor first degree burns are quite manageable. However, extreme second and third degree burns often lead to unpleasant scarring that may affect a person physically and psychologically.
Although physical pain will come to an end after you’ve healed, the scars left behind may be permanent and can often be traumatizing.
Many burn victims show post trauma symptoms including:
- Isolation and social withdrawal
- Flashbacks to the traumatic event
- Anxiety and hypervigilance
- Restlessness and irritability
Some of these symptoms may diminish over time but if they persist, it is highly recommended to seek help from a counselor.
Essential Oils for Burns
Applying essential oils offer quick effective relief for first and second degree burns. In many cases they can speed the healing process, cool the burning sensations, and minimise the scarring process.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil has antioxidant and antiseptic properties that assist in cleaning burns and preventing infections. It is also works to reduce redness, inflammation, and the visibility of scars resulting from burns. By stimulating the natural recovery mechanism of the body, you’re sure to heal quickly.
Usage: Blend frankincense oil with coconut or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture directly on the affected area and the surrounding skin area.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has active soothing properties that relieve painful burning sensations quickly. It also has cytophylactic properties that promote new cell growth, thereby speeding up the healing process and preventing scarring.
How to use: Apply several drops on the injured area three times a day for best results. If you have sensitive skin, dilute with carrier oil before applying.
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Manuka Essential Oil
Manuka oil is effective in managing burns due to its stimulating and antiseptic properties. It prevents scarring in first to second degree burns and reduces pain and inflammation.
Application: Unlike many other essential oils, manuka oil can be applied directly without diluting. However, if you have sensitive skin, mix it with olive oil for best results.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for burns due to its cooling and refreshing effect on the skin. The oil also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates blood flow to the affected area, thereby speeding the recovery process.
Usage: Peppermint oil can be used internally and topically. Internal usage stimulates blood flow and natural healing. If you’re ingesting, make sure you’ve double check you pol is suitable for consumption.
Topical application eradicates swelling and pain. It should be diluted with almond or coconut oil for topical application.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea Tree oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, analgesic, and antibacterial properties. It is the most popular choice for skin and beauty products because it works quickly, especially as a soothing agent. This makes it one of the best essential oils for burns.
Usage: Only use topically and dilute it with coconut or olive oil before applying on the affected area.
Although essential oils for burns are excellent natural remedies for treating and managing minor burns, severe burns may be dangerous if not treated properly. In the event of severe burns, check with your doctor to ensure there is no nerve damage.
In the case of first and second degree burns though, applying these oils soon after the incident will help ensure quick, pain free recovery, with minimal or no scarring. This mean the only thing that will remind you of your burn is the memory of the incident and the knowledge to take extra precautions in the future if possible.