Essential oil for burns has become increasingly popular in recent times as many now use them to ameliorate the effect of burns. These burns have soothing effects on affected areas because their natural compounds relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Essential oils are also known to hasten the healing process by stimulating cell regeneration.
Burns are of different types ranging from first to third-degree burns; as we will explain in subsequent paragraphs, not all burns should be treated with essential oils. For severe cases, urgent medical attention is required. In this article, we want to review some of the best essential oil for burns but before we do so, let us explain the different types of burns.
Types of burns
First degree burns
First-degree burns affect the outer layer or top of the skin. The affected part is the non-blistered skin. This burn may be a result of skin exposure to a hot metal like a stove or pan, and it happens in an instant before the heat penetrates the deep layers.
Second-degree burns consist of blisters. The damage affects the region beneath the top layer of the skin. Second-degree burns are much worse than first-degree burns, and essential oils are ineffective in curing this type of burn.
Then we have third-degree burns that penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. This type of burn is the worst kind and requires surgery for the skin to heal.
There are certain symptoms that accompany burns, such as itching, swelling, topical pains, blistering, skin peeling, and secondary infections, to mention a few. But fortunately, essential oils can reduce inflammation and cure these symptoms before the affected region becomes affected. Essential oils also help the skin to heal much faster. But note that second-degree burns require urgent medical attention rather than self-medication. Even in the case of a first-degree burn, you may still require a doctor’s attention.
The purpose of this article is to review essential oils for burns but not to recommend self-medication over professional help. If you suffer from minor burns over a limited area and would like to reduce swelling and pains, here are some essential oils to try out.
Chamomile oil has been the go-to oil for traditional healers for generations, so it is not surprising to find so many skincare products containing the oil. Chamomile is a skin moisturizer and rejuvenator. It has healthy properties that stimulate cell growth. If applied judiciously, the dead skin cells will fall off, and new cells will grow in their place.
Eucalyptus Globus is another essential oil for burns you should try. This wound healer has several properties that aid healing and prevent bacteria. Eucalyptus oil contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties that heal and protect the skin. The oil is also effective for treating insect bites and preventing skin infections.
Juniper is an oil with similar properties to Cypress and Cedar. The Juniper plant is of the Cupressaceae family. Juniper prevents infections and reduces burn-related inflammation. It also minimizes scars after the wound heals. If you have an uneven skin tone, Juniper should be your oil of choice.
Lavender oil is a skin healer per excellence. It has very strong antimicrobial properties and relieves pains. Due to its wound recovery properties, it can be an effective burn treatment.
Oregano is of the Origanum species and is a widely used treatment solution for most skin conditions. Oregano mixed with sage, St. John’s wort, and any other carrier oil will firm up the skin and cause it to heal in no time. This oil also possesses pain-relieving qualities.
The sensation you feel after experiencing burns can be unbearable, but applying a perfectly diluted peppermint oil over the spot will give you some relief. Peppermint oil reduces swelling and inflammation, and more importantly, it prevents spasms. But only use in small doses so as not to worsen the pain.
Pine essential oil contains pinene and healthy compounds extracted from pine trees. Pine oil kills pathogens and bacteria that infect wounds and reduce scarring. It also acts as a wound healer. Pine oil is a very active cell regenerative oil. It stimulates the growth of new cells to replace dead ones.
Sage is of the Salvia Sclarea species with antibacterial compounds. Many use this oil to trust all kinds of wounds, and recently, healers have come to find out that it is effective as a wound healer. Sage also has a soothing effect on the skin.
St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is not new to the scene, but it is not widely used on skincare products like other oils. It has long been used to heal wounds but just like with other oils; new uses have been identified for it. This oil is more potent for healing burns if mixed with sage and oregano oils.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is by far the most studied and widely used oil today. It is found in many cosmetics and has a reputation for being a healthy oil. Sourced from the Tea Tree, the oil will trigger the healing process while providing soothing relief.
Rosewood oil is one of the calmest essential oil for burns you will ever use. Even though it has very strong antibacterial compounds, it doesn’t irritate the skin but protects and heals the affected parts. Rosewood also stimulates collagen production so that the affected part will have a similar skin tone after the healing process is complete. The best carrier oil to mix with rosewood is coconut or jojoba oil.
Manuka is effective for first and second degree burns. It prevents scarring and an uneven skin tone. This oil reduces inflammation and pains. If you have normal skin, you can apply the oil without mixing but if the affected skin area is broken or your skin is very sensitive, mix with olive, almond or coconut oils.
Neroli contains antioxidants that stimulate cell growth. It reduces burn-related stress and pains as well as burn scars. Neroli can be applied by using a cotton bud to soak up the oil and apply it to the affected part.
Treating burns with essential oils
It is easy to treat burns with essential oils, but if you do it wrongly, you may worsen the situation. The first thing to note is that essential oils may irritate the skin if applied in their raw form. To prevent skin irritation, ensure that you mix it with a carrier oil. With that being said, find below ways to utilize essential oils to treat burns.
One way is to use the compression method. This method is suitable for recent burns. All you need to do is to add about 5 drops of essential oil into a cup of warm water, then add a drop or two of carrier oil. Mix properly and apply on the affected spot several times a day.
Semi solid (Lotion/Balm/Ointment)
Another method is to turn the oil into a balm, lotion, or ointment. The is method is best for burns that are already in the process of healing. Applying the oil in this form will moisturize the area and speed up the healing process. Note that this method is not advised for fresh burns or second degree burns. Wait for the spot to firm up after inflammation subsides, then mix your essential oil with a thicker carrier oil like coconut oil. Then mix with any cream or lotion of your choice and apply over the spot.
The best carrier oils
If you mix with suitable carrier oils, the essential oil for burns will work much faster. Some of the best carrier oil we recommend are
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
We recommend carrier oils with a thick texture for greater effect.
What not to do with essential oils for burns
If you notice an increase in pains or itching after application, discontinue use immediately. Also, if you begin to experience severe allergies, do not use the oil anymore. Essential oils shouldn’t be used for third degree burns but consult your doctor for use on second-degree burns. They are great for first-degree burns but should be mixed properly with a carrier oil first. Lastly, essential oils for burns should not be ingested for any reason. Limit it to skin application and nothing more.
Essential oil for burns frequently asked questions
How often should I apply essential oil for burns on an affected spot?
Do so as many times as possible within a 24-hour cycle. Frequent use will lead to better results.
What properties do essential oils contain?
Essential oils contain anti fungi antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that prevent infection of exposed skin.
Will an essential oil irritate my skin?
Yes, it may. That is why you are advised to test it in a limited area before applying it to wounds and burn spots.