Red, swollen and painful, burns can be superficial or more serious. Fortunately, for superficial burns, there’s no need to run to pharmaceuticals. We have essential oils for burns that could help soothe and heal such skin lesions.
In this article, you’ll find out about:
- Details on how essential oils can help with burns.
- Details about the best essential oils good for burns. A few very good and useful oils to have around to soothe mild to moderate burns. With pros and cons (and safety tips).
- How to use these aromatic oils for burns safely.
- Steps towards a correct burn treatment (first aid).
- Essential oil recipes that can help calm down a burn and speed up its recovery.
- Facts, symptoms and tips associated with skin burns.
Best Essential Oils for Burns, Steps for a Faster Healing and Recipes
First of all, a burn is very painful, no matter how superficial it is. Burns are basically lesions of the skin or mucous membranes. These lesions can be caused by:
- Exposure to intense heat (flames, boiled liquids, etc.)
- Exposure to chemical agents like acids (sodium hydroxide/lye, chlorhydric acid, sulphuric acid, etc.)
- And exposure to electricity or radiotherapy (ionizing radiation).
Some tens of thousands of people are hospitalized for burn injuries each year. They are quite common in a household, and for that, people should have a ready-made ointment at hand. This ointment can be done at home very simply, with the help of essential oils.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. They are volatile, meaning they evaporate fast into the air. Because of that, they also carry some interesting and beautiful fragrances. These fragrances are given by certain chemical constituents.
Not only do they give the oils aromas, but they also give them therapeutic properties. Using essential oils for burns is a great natural alternative to expensive pharmaceuticals. They also make an efficient and soothing first aid.
Essential oils are good for burns because:
- They have a great (proven) potential to inhibit microbial and bacterial growth.
- They also support and boost the treatment of wounds.
- Essential oils promote faster tissue healing.
- The aromatic oils can soothe inflammation and pain.
- And they can prevent further complications caused by infections.
The chemical constituents of the oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. They also have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic (pain relieving) effects.
On top of all this, oil molecules can boost tissue healing and collagen production. In other words, they can speed up the healing of a burn without leaving scars.
Without them, your skin would heal on its own but slower and with difficulty. And when the healing and regeneration process is done, you’ll also be left with scars.
They can be minimal and insignificant, if the burn was superficial and in an out-of-sight place. Otherwise, you might care about the scars left after a burn, in which case using essential oils is handy.
I’ve put up a list with pros and cons for some of the best essential oils for burns. Hopefully, they will make great soothing blends for all your minor burn accidents.
1) Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical/Latin name: Lavandula angustifolia
- Using Lavender oil for burns can soothe the pain very fast. It has an inhibiting effect on the secretion of the molecules that send pain signals to the brain.
- The oil is very sedative and calming. On top of this, it also has anti-depression and anxiety
- If the wound is a bit deeper, Lavender can also calm the throbbing/spasms.
- The oil slows down the blood pressure and disinfects the wound very well. There’s always a risk of infection with any open wound.
- If you have asthma, seek medical approval before using Lavender oil for burns.
- Long term use of Lavender can cause allergic reactions to the most sensitive persons.
Why I like it:
Lavender oil for burns can be used even after the wound closed. The oil deals with itchiness and scar tissue by helping the blood flow easily. Thus, the wound doesn’t create discomfort while it heals.
2) Myrrh Essential Oil
Botanical name: Commiphora myrrha
- Myrrh essential oil is very good in wound healing. It has good anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic effects.
- It boosts the scarring process and limits skin affections, calming small to moderate burns.
- The oil of Myrrh has enough antioxidants that add extra benefits when it’s applied topically.
- Myrrh oil for burns should be used with care because it has an anaphrodisiac effect. This means that the oil can inhibit sexual drive.
- Even though it is one of the best essential oils for burns, Myrrh is not recommended to asthmatic and epileptic people.
- It should also be avoided as complementary medicine in case of hormone-dependent cancers.
Why I like it:
Myrrh oil is full of biblical meaning. But besides its history, it is also efficient in treating burns and wounds. It also smells very pleasant and calming, which helps a lot in domestic accidents. It’s great for skin care, anti-aging blends and digestion.
3) Wintergreen Essential Oil
Botanical name: Gaultheria fragrantissima
- Wintergreen has one major attribute. It is made almost entirely of methyl salicylate. This substance is very much like aspirin and helps providing significant pain relief. Especially when the oil is mixed and applied topically.
- It has strong anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that soothe burns.
- The oil can also improve the blood circulation. It is all due to the methyl salicylate that dilates the blood vessels.
- Do not confuse Gaultheria fragrantissima with procumbens. They’re both similar and contain high amounts of salicylate. Nonetheless, the first is a bit milder.
- Avoid Wintergreen oil for burns if you’re on anticoagulant medication.
- If you’re allergic to aspirin, Wintergreen may cause the same reactions.
Why I like it:
The oil’s fresh and medicinal yet sweet aroma makes Wintergreen a good natural remedy for burns. It is also useful for joint and muscle pain, among many others.
All essential oils must be tested for allergic reactions. Mix a few drops of EO with carrier oil and apply on the soft inside of the forearm. After a few hours, if there’s a reaction, the skin should start looking irritated, or burn and itch. Don’t use the oil that causes this kind of skin reaction.
Also, if you suffer from other illnesses, get the doctor’s approval before using a specific essence. The same goes for their oral consumption.
What other essential oils are good for burns?
- Tea Tree
- Spike Lavender
- Rose Geranium
- Carrot seed
- Clary Sage
Now, let’s see how to use these great natural remedies for all burn related problems.
How to Use Essential Oils for Burns
Essential oils should not be applied pure and undiluted to the skin! Especially when it comes to a fresh wound/burn. They need to be mixed with a gentle, healing carrier oil.
Some of the best carrier oils for burns are:
- Carrot infused oil.
Depending on the depth and severity of the burn, you may mix 6 – 25 drops of essential oil per Oz. (30 ml) carrier oil. Give the blend a good shake before each use to activate the essential molecules.
Apply with gentle movements on the open wound. After disinfecting it with some Aloe Vera or St. John’s Wort extract.
First Aid Steps for Burns with Essential Oils
A fresh burn needs to be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid scarring and infections. The best time is the first 20 minutes after the accident.
Place the burnt area under a jet of fresh, tepid water. Putting ice on the wound is not recommended. Keep it there for a few minutes, until the pain fades away. If the burn seems more serious, keep it under tepid water for 20 minutes. This simple gesture will soothe and stop the progression of the burn damage.
Right away, remove all jewelry or clothing from or around the affected area. This works in case of mild burns. 2nd and 3rd degree burns should not be touched and nothing removed, or you risk deepening the damage.
Disinfect the wound with a bit of Aloe gel or St. John’s Wort. Let it air dry before applying the healing blend.
Apply your homemade essential oil blend for burns in a moderate amount, on dry disinfected skin. Apply a Band-Aid and cover with a cling film. It’ll help keep the area warm. Simply lay it on the wound without wrapping it all under the film. The oils will protect it from bacterial infections.
If the burn is on the legs, keep them elevated for the night to avoid the damage progressing.
Apply the blend 2 – 3 times a day and continue even after the wound has closed and the pain subsided. You should also never peel the scar tissue (crust) off. You’ll risk damaging the skin tissue further and lengthen the healing process.
Essential Oil Soothing Blend Recipes
Now that you know what to do when you get a burn and what essential oils to use for burns, it’s time to make your own blend.
Concentrated Anti-Burns Blend
- Wintergreen EO: 5 drops
- Lavender EO: 8 drops
- Myrrh EO: 8 drops
- Rose Geranium EO: 4 drops
- Calendula oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Give the blend a good shake before application. Cool off the burn and apply between 2 – 6 drops of this mixture. The amount really varies depending on the burn extent. Apply every 15 minutes for the following hour and continue 3 times a day for as long as it takes to heal completely.
Kids’ Soothing Burn Blend
- Lavender EO: 6 drops
- Calendula oil: 2 teaspoons
This blend can be used on children older than 30 months. Apply a few drops on the burnt area every 10 minutes in the first hour. Continue 3 times a day until the burn heals. Lavender is a gentle essential oil for burns.
Anti-Burn Blend #2
- Myrrh EO: 5 drops
- Sage EO: 5 drops
- Lavender EO: 5 drops
- Macadamia oil: 1 tablespoon
- Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
Mix all the ingredients and shake the recipient before use. Apply on the disinfected area as suggested in the previous blends.
Fast Burn Relief
- Wintergreen or Peppermint EO: 2 drops
- Lavender EO: 4 drops
- Coconut oil: 1 teaspoon
Apply this mixture on the freshly cooled area for fast relief. In the meantime, you could make a new blend or continue with the same ingredients, as recommended.
Facts and Symptoms of a Burning, plus Tips to Protect a Burn
Burns are partial or total damage to the skin or the soft parts of the tissue. Sometimes, in case of severe burning, it can also affect the bone. The faster you act, the faster your skin will regenerate and heal.
As you well know already, there are 3 degrees of burns:
First degree – Burns of this kind are often superficial. They affect only the superior layer of the skin, looking red, painful and swollen. For instance, sunburns are first degree skin lesions. These will heal the fastest. It may take up to 3 weeks until complete healing.
Second degree – Burns of the 2nd degree kind penetrate deeper than the first skin layer. It will often be accompanied by painful blisters on a very red and swollen area. Punctured blisters favor serious infections.
Third degree – This is the most serious and life threatening degree of burning. It may also be called carbonization. It is very deep in the tissue, muscles, and joints and sometimes, even bones can be affected.
Some second and all third burn degrees often need skin reconstruction or grafts. They also require many months spent in the hospital. If the body is covered in third degree burns on more than 90% of its surface, it can be fatal.
Tips for the Protection of Burn Wounds
Let’s see a few things you could do to minimize the damage of a burn and speed up the recovery of wounds.
- The dead skin on very large blisters can be cut with sterile scissors before applying gauze imbued in a blend. Small or tiny blisters should be left alone.
- Hydrate plenty to help the body face the heat and inflammation.
- Avoid eating sugar or salt while your wound is healing. Sugar promotes inflammation and salt slows down the healing process.
- Don’t apply essential oils for burns undiluted on the fresh wound.
Don’t wait for the next accident to happen! Prepare a burn essential oil blend and keep it at hand. You’ll be thankful when you can soothe the pain and inflammation right away. And remember that the faster you act, the better your skin can heal.
The first 20 minutes after the burn are crucial. Cool the area with tepid water to limit tissue damage and elevate wounded legs for the same reason.
Have you used essential oils for burns so far? Did the wound heal faster/better? It would be great if you could share your experiences so we can all learn.