Ouch, that Hurts
Burns, we’ve all had one or two in our lifetime. They hurt. They blister. They peel. They pus. They scar. They are very uncomfortable to deal with. So what can be done? How can essential oils not only help in the healing process but help to rid the skin of scarring and/or redness that occurs over time? There are many ways in which essential oils can help in the healing process so let’s take a look.
General Information on Burns
When it comes to burns there are three different degrees of burns. Each degree of burn can occur in many different ways and can be painful to deal with. Not only that, depending on the degree of burn you sustain, the healing process can be long leaving lasting marks on our skin.
- First degree burn: in a first degree burn the outer layer of skin or the epidermis is affected; a superficial burn. The area that is burnt will have a slight redness in color, will be painful and dry but will exhibit no blisters. The affected area will peel and heal within about 7-10 days. Typically long-term damage to the skin is rare, but if is present will have a slight discoloration to the affected area being either darker or lighter in color. An example of a first degree burn would be a mild sunburn.
- Second degree burn: in a second degree burn the outer layer of the skin as well as part of the underlying layers of the skin will be affected; the epidermis and parts of the dermis layer. The area that is burnt will appear red in color, will blister and be painful and swollen. The affected area will blister, peel and heal within 3 weeks’ time. A second degree burn can leave scarring on the skin overtime as well it can discolor the skin overtime too. An example of a second degree burn would be burning your finger with a hot glue gun’s glue or touching a hot pan.
- Third degree burn: in a third degree burn both the outer layer of skin as well as the underlying layers of skin are destroyed; the epidermis and the dermis are affected and destroyed. The affected area will have severe damage to the skin and may also affect the bones, muscles, tendons and nerves that lie underneath the affected area. The affected area will appear white in color or charred/burnt with a leathery look to the area. When it comes to the pain of a third degree burn a person will either feel no pain at all because the nerve endings have been destroyed or a person will feel extreme pain. There is no set heal timeline when it comes to a third degree burn as each person is affected very differently and it also depends on if a person needs to have surgery done as well. An example of a third degree burn would be a chemical, fire or electrical burn such as acid or gas. Seek immediate medical attention with third degree burns.
Burns can be dangerous if not cared for and treated properly. It is always important to determine the degree of burn you have before treating it at home. Check your symptoms against the above list to figure out which type of burn you have. If needed, seek medical treatment immediately.
15 Essential Oils that Help with Burns
When it comes to essential oils that help with the healing process of burns there are quite a few to choose from and each has its own powerful way to treat the burn.
- Calendula: Calendula essential oil is wonderful when it comes to treating burns. Most are associated with the oil extract of calendula, but the essential oil carries numerous therapeutic benefits as well. It has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties that help in reducing the pain, swelling and redness that can be associated with a burn. It also helps to promote cells and tissue regrowth and regeneration in a burn site helping to speed up the healing process; this is also important in helping to reduce scarring in the affected area.
- Clary Sage: Clary sage essential oil has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties that make it great for helping to reduce the pain and inflammation in a burn. It also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that are important in cleaning the burn area as well as helping to prevent infection from taking hold. It can help in reducing scarring of the skin because it helps to regulate the skins natural oil production helping to keep the skin from being too oily or dry; too dry conditions can occur with a burn.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus essential oils has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help clean and heal a burn wound helping to prevent infection. It also has pain reducing and anti-inflammatory properties that make it great for helping to reduce pain and inflammation in a burn site.
- Frankincense: Frankincense essential oil has antiseptic properties that can help in cleaning a burn wound as well as help to prevent infections in the burn site. It also helps in reducing the visibility and redness of scars that can occur from a burn.
- Geranium: Geranium essential oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help in preventing infections in the burn site. It also helps to speed up the healing process of a wound by promoting cellular regrowth and regeneration which in turn helps to reduce and prevent scarring of the burn site.
- Helichrysum: Helichrysum essential oil is helpful when it comes to healing burns. It has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties that make it great for helping to reduce inflammation and pain in a burn site. It also helps to promote blood flow and circulation to the burn site helping to heal the burn quicker. Helichrysum is amazing when it comes to preventing scarring on the skin; it can also help to reduce the visibility of old scars too.
- Lavender: Lavender essential oil is great for helping to heal burns. Not only does lavender have natural anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties it also helps in promoting new cell and tissue growth and regeneration which is especially important to burn areas. This is also important in helping to reduce potential and future scarring of the affected area. It also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help with the cleaning of the wound as well as helping to keep it clean while it is healing. Finally lavender’s sedative properties help to calm and relax the burn site helping to reduce inflammation and pain quicker.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass essential oil is very helpful when it comes to cleaning the wound and preventing infection. It has antiseptic as well as antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help in cleaning a burn sore as well these properties help to rid the sore of infection and help to prevent future infection from taking hold.
- Manuka: Manuka essential oil helps to not only heal the skin but has wonderful antiseptic properties that help to clean the skin and prevent infection. It’s skin healing properties help to heal the wound quicker while helping to prevent scarring.
- Marjoram: Marjoram essential oil has antiseptic properties which help in the cleaning and healing of a burn wound. It also has antibacterial properties which are important in cleaning ad wound as well as helping to prevent infection in the wound. This is all very important in keep the wound from becoming septic or infected.
- Neroli: Neroli essential oil is great for helping to heal those pesky scars that can be left behind from a burn. Neroli essential oil works great not only on fresh or new scars but it also works great on old or already present scars helping to reduce the visibility and the discoloration associated with a burn.
- Peppermint: Peppermint essential oil is great in helping to sooth the affected burned area because of its natural cooling affect. This is great for burns that may have occurred in the kitchen due to heat, such as steam or a hot pot. This natural cooling affect also helps to relieve pain in the burn site too. Peppermint essential oil also helps to stimulate blood flow and circulation helping to increase the healing process of the affected area.
- Roman Chamomile: Roman chamomile has many helpful properties when it comes to healing burns. It has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties which help to reduce the swelling and pain of a burn. It also has antiseptic properties which help with the cleaning of the affected area while keeping it clean during the healing process helping to prevent infection.
- Rosewood: Rosewood essential oil helps in healing the skin of the burn by soothing and calming the affected area. It also has antiseptic properties that help in cleaning the wound and preventing future infections in the burn area. It also helps to reduce pain in a burn as well.
- Tea Tree: Tea tree essential oil is helpful in dealing with the pain of a burn. It helps to reduce the burning sensation often felt with a burn. Not to mention its antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties are great in cleaning a wound and preventing infection. By helping to prevent infection tea tree essential oil can help to improve and speed up the healing process.
10 Essential Oil Recipes for Burns & Scar Prevention/healing
Burns can be very annoying to heal and hurt quite a bit in the process. Essential oils offer a great way to treat and care for your burns at home, providing both healing and soothing energy. They will help to reduce the pain and inflammation of a burn while helping to promote healing and prevent infection. Here are some authentic DIY recipes for you to make at home to help with your burn healing process.
Essential Oil Burn Salve
- 2 oz. Manuka honey – regular honey will work as well, but Manuka has extra healing properties in it
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- In a glass jar mix all of the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Spread over the affected burn site.
- Cover with a band aide or a gauze dressing.
Essential Oil Sunburn Spray
- 10 drops lavender EO
- 10 drops peppermint EO
- ½ cup liquid aloe vera juice
- ⅛ cup fractionated coconut oil
- In a pot over medium heat add 2 inches of water.
- In a glass jar added the aloe vera juice and coconut oil.
- Place the jar in the sauce pan and stir until it is dissolved and mixed together.
- Remove from the heat.
- Remove the glass jar from the pot and add in the essential oils.
- Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and store in a cool location.
- Spray onto the affected sunburnt area as needed
Super Charged Burn Healing Spray
- 25 drops frankincense EO
- 20 drops lavender EO
- 10 drops coriander EO
- 10 drops tea tree EO
- 5 drops cedarwood EO
- 3 drops rose EO
- 2 drops peppermint EO
- 3 dropper-full colloidal silver
- Aloe vera juice
- In a 2.5 oz. spray bottle mix all of the essential oils together.
- Mix well.
- Add in the colloidal silver.
- Mix well.
- Fill the rest of the bottle up with the aloe vera water.
- Mix well.
- Store in the fridge to keep cool.
- Spray onto the affected burn area as needed.
Simple Lavender Essential Oil Burn Compress
- 5 drops lavender EO
- 1 pint cool water
- In a bowl add the lavender essential oil to the cool water.
- Mix well.
- Soak a cloth into the mixture and apply to the burn area.
- Leave on the affected burn area for at least 15 minutes.
- Repeat at least 3 times per day until the burn has healed.
Simple Essential Oil After-Burn Blend
- In a glass jar or bottle mix all of the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Apply to the affected area as needed several times a day until the burn has healed.
- Try replacing the peppermint essential oil with helichrysum essential oil.
Simple Lavender Essential Oil Burn Spray
- 20 drops lavender EO
- 2 cups distilled water
- In a spray bottle mix the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Spray onto the affected burn area as needed.
Lavender and Aloe Vera Gel Salve
- 20 drops lavender EO
- 1 cup aloe vera gel
- In a glass jar mix together the above ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Apply to the affected burn area as needed.
- Can be applied under a dressing or band aide.
Sunburn Soaking Tub Blend
- In the tub of cool water add all of the above essential oils.
- Mix well
- Soak the sunburnt area in the tub for at least 15 minutes.
- Do not scrub the affected area.
- Repeat as many times as necessary until the pain begins to subside.
Simple Essential Oil Scar Blend
- In a glass container mix all of the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Let the mixture sit for a day or two to cure.
- Shake well prior to applying to the affected area.
Essential Oil Scar Treatment Blend #2
- 6 drops helichrysum EO
- 6 drops frankincense EO
- 6 drops lavender EO
- 2 droppers full vitamin E oil
- fractionated virgin coconut oil
- In a glass roller bottle mix all of the above ingredients together except the coconut oil.
- Mix well.
- Fill rest of the bottle with the coconut oil.
- Mix well.
- Apply to the affected burn area 2-3 times daily until scar is visibility reduced and/or gone.
Here are some other ideas that you want to try when it comes to helping to heal and treat your burns.
- Try lavender essential oil neat. In other words try applying lavender essential oil directly to the burned area 2-3 times per day to help heal the wound.
- Try mixing lavender and Roman chamomile essential oils together in a cup of cold water and immerse your affected burn into the mixture.
- To help prevent scarring mix equal parts of lavender, helichrysum and neroli together with rosehip and hazelnut. Rosehip and hazelnut essential oils are great in healing the skin and preventing scars.
- Fill an empty glass bottle with distilled water and peppermint oil to create a burn spray that can be applied at any time.
Have fun and experiment with any and all of the essential oils above. There are many combinations that you can make on your own at home to help create your own burn treatment that work for you.
Other Ways to Help Heal Burns
When it comes to burn care it is important to do everything you possibly can to help reduce the pain and inflammation as well as helping to heal the wound quickly and without scarring. Here are a few other things to consider and try when it comes to your burns.
- Cool the burn. It is important to cool the burn as soon as possible to prevent the burn from burning more or from spreading to healthy skin. Try putting the burn area under cool running water for at least 10-15 minutes to help cool the area and begin reducing the pain. Or apply a cool damp towel to the area or soak the affected area in cool water. Do not put ice on the area as this cools the area too much and too fast preventing healing from beginning.
- Remove anything that may be restricting the burn area. It is important to remove rings or any restrictive or tight items from the area. These items will prevent and restrict blood flow and circulation to the area thus preventing the healing process from beginning. Please note that if you have a third degree burn do not remove anything and seek immediate medical attention.
- Do not break or open a blister. A blister is the way of your body naturally healing itself and breaking a blister removes all of the helpful fluids your body has created to heal the burn area. However, if the blister does pop on its own be sure to clean the area gentling and apply either an ointment or one of the above essential oils to the area and over it to promote healing and prevent infection.
- Apply aloe vera to the burn site. Aloe vera is a natural healing plant. It helps to cool the affected area while promoting healing. It also helps in preventing scarring to the burned skin. It also helps to reduce pain and inflammation in the area.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Sometimes the pain can be great so try taking an OTC pain reliever to help reduce the pain of the burn as well as the inflammation of the burn.
- Elevate the burn. Elevating the burn area can help to reduce the pain in the affected area because the burn area is above the heart level.
- Drink lots of water. It is important to drink lots of water or other fluids such as coconut water to help replenish any fluids that may have been lost due to the trauma of the burn.
- Eat citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin C helps to promote healing.
- Increase your Omega-3’s. It is important to increase your Omega-3’s because they help to reduce inflammation and help in repairing tissue damage that may have been caused by the burn.
- Have more zinc. Increasing your zinc intake can help promoting healing of the burn wound.
- Increase your protein consumption. By increasing your daily protein consumption you will be helping to rebuild your burnt tissue. Be sure it is lean protein and have at least 4-5 oz. per day.
- Apply pure Vitamin E cream to the burn. Applying pure Vitamin E cream to the affected area will help to promote healing and will help to prevent scarring as well.
- Apply a potato. As weird as it may sound applying a potato slice to the burn area can help to promote healing while helping to reduce pain and inflammation because potatoes are high in Vitamin C and help to absorb the heat from the burn.
- Apply a banana peel. It may sound crazy but bananas can help to heal a burn as well as helping to prevent blisters because of the leucocyanidin in the peel.
- Make a lettuce wrap of your burn. Lettuce is great in helping to heal sunburns because it helps to promote skin and cell rejuvenation while helping to reduce pain in the affected area.
- Put an onion on it. Onions have antiseptic properties which are great in wound care because it helps to cleanse the skin of harmful bacteria causing infections and at the same time it helps to prevent future infections from taking hold.
- Honey. Natural honey is great for healing wounds. Honey has natural antiseptic properties and also helps to heal and sooth the burn wound.
- Have a cup of tea. Black tea is high in tannic acid. This tannic acid can help to draw the heat out of the burn as well as helping to reduce the pain of the burn. Try steeping some black tea bags and applying them to the affected area. Or steep some black tea and allow the tea to cool and using a clean cloth soak the cloth in the tea and then apply to the burn. For either method keep on the affected area for at least 5 minutes at a time and re-apply as needed.
There are some things that will not help with healing a burn wound and can, in fact, slow the healing process greatly.
- Sugar. Sugar is not great when it comes to healing a wound. Sugar reduces the healing process needed in rebuilding the tissues or skin. It also helps to increase inflammation in the affected area.
- Trans and hydrogenated oils. These oils are not your friend. They help to increase inflammation of the burn area and also help in decrease your own body’s ability to heal itself.
- Processed foods. Processed foods can contain harmful chemicals and dyes that may reduce the healing process.
- Sodium. Foods that are high in sodium can greatly slow down the healing process of a burn.
Things Consider When Using Essential Oils on Burns
Caution should always be exercised and considered when a burn is present. It is important to know what degree of burn you may have before administering treatment at home. If a third degree burn is present it is very important to seek out medical attention immediately. It is also very important to note how large the burn is because even though the burn may only be a first degree burn medical attention should be sought out immediately if it takes up most of the body.
It is always important to cool the burn site as soon as possible as well as removing jewelry and restrictive items from the body as soon as possible. Do not remove anything if you have a third degree burn as it may cause more harm than good. Seek immediate medical attention and they will be able to remove all of the items properly and safely.
When it comes to using essential oils on any burn be sure to test the essential oil or essential oils blend on a small test area first to ensure there will be no adverse reactions to the treatment. It is important to test on a healthy piece of skin prior to use on the burn to ensure there are no sensitivities to the essential oil(s) or any allergies.
It is also important to note that essential oils should be diluted prior to applying to the skin. This will help to decrease sensitivity and reactions to the essential oil(s). When diluting the essential oil do not dilute with a vegetable based oils or any oil that may contain fat as these types of oils can increase sensitivity and can increase the burning sensation of the burn. Olive oil has been shown to help improve the healing process of the burn when applied topically or taken orally.
Caution should always be used around children and women who are pregnant or about to become pregnant. Caution should also be used around women who are breast-feeding as well.
Caution should be exercised around pets especially cats as they are unable to process essential oils properly causing the essential oils to become very toxic to them. Dogs are more easily able to process essential oils; however, some essential oils can be toxic to dogs as well.
Always do your research on the essential oil(s) you intend to use. Remember that not all essential oils are made equal from company to company, manufacturer to manufacturer. Research the company and manufacturer you are purchasing your essential oils from to ensure you are purchasing pure and true essential oils and not blended essential oils containing more carrier oil than essential oil.
When doing your research it is also important to look into their harvesting processes to ensure they are harvesting the plant at the correct and peak of growth to ensure the highest quality of essential oil as possible. It is important to also check into to their extraction process to ensure they are extracting the essential oil from the plant properly and safely.
Doing your due diligence will help to ensure you get the best quality of essential oil as possible to ensure you will have the purest form with the correct healing properties you desire for healing you burns and preventing scarring of the burn.
Hopefully you’ve found this post helpful! If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comment section below.