Your skin is the most exposed organ and may become irritated very easily. There are also enough irritants that can contribute to skin rashes. If you see your skin inflamed and feel it itching, natural remedies are very soothing. The best solution is using essential oils for skin irritation (rashes).
In this article, I’ll be telling you more about:
- How the best natural treatment for rashes should look like and how can essential oils help.
- Some of the best soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-itch oils to use from now on. With pros and cons to make the best decisions.
- Best ways to use them.
- Blend recipes to try next time you get itchy, red skin.
- Causes and symptoms of skin irritation. Plus a few questions and answers and details about possible irritants to look out for.
Best Essential Oils for Skin Irritation (Rashes), plus How to Use and Blends
The 2 major symptoms and signs of skin irritation are redness and itchiness. Check out the Q&A section at the end of the article, to learn how this happens and why.
Skin irritation is also called rash. It can be mild or severe. Severe rashes are accompanied by severe itching (pruritus) too. Skin irritation means damage to the skin. The body responds immediately to harmful factors by sending blood and histamine to the affected area.
Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the affected tissue, to help it recover. Histamine improves the circulation, but it also causes itchiness. It causes itchiness in the attempt of taking your mind off the pain.
What can essential oils do for rashes and dry, itchy skin?
They are concentrated plant essences, with complex chemical profiles and specific properties. Each essence has its own set of characteristics and effects on our health. These effects are given by the volatile constituents in their chemical composition.
Essential oils for skin irritation are anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antibacterial and calming, among others. They can help:
- Protect the skin from infections.
- Soothe the pain associated with the irritation or rash.
- Speed up the tissue regeneration process.
- Nourish the skin.
- Calm down inflammation and itching sensations.
- Improve the microcirculation.
- Stop an exaggerate body reaction by controlling the level of histamine released. (More about it in the last part of the article).
A few words of caution, though.
Some essential oils (EOs) for rashes may irritate the skin too. That’s why you should always test a new essence for allergic reactions.
Simply mix a drop of EO with a bit of carrier oil and massage it into the inner forearm. That’s a sensitive area that should react if the oil is not well-tolerated.
That being said, let’s see what the best essential oils for skin irritation are and why. Check out their cons also, so you can make safe and informed decisions.
1) Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Botanical name: Chamaemelum nobile.
- Roman Chamomile is one of the gentlest essential oils for skin rash. It has calming and soothing effects.
- It has good antispasmodic effects too. This means the oil can calm down nervous spasms of the affected tissue.
- Chamomile is a strong anti-inflammatory that also improves the local circulation. It is great for skin irritation and inflammation.
- The oil can also soothe the pain and itchiness of a rash, while protecting it from infections.
- High dosages of Roman Chamomile oil can cause vertigo and sleepiness.
- The oil is not recommended to people with epilepsy or prone to seizures.
- Do not confuse it with German Chamomile, which is blue and has different effects.
Why I like it:
Roman Chamomile is very soothing and can help you sleep or relax. Applied to the skin, it can calm down itching sensations and redness. It is also great for skin care, especially as an anti-aging ingredient.
2) Blue Tansy Essential Oil
Botanical name: Tanacetum annuum.
- Tansy is one good anti-itch essential oil. It has great anti-allergic effects. The oil acts on the histamine the body releases at the sight of an irritation/rash.
- It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, which helps calming down redness and heat sensations.
- Blue Tansy is great at stopping itchiness and pruritus. It can do so because of its antihistaminic action.
- The oil also lowers the blood pressure. It improves circulation and strengthens the venous walls.
- When used on long periods of time and in large quantities, Tansy oil can be neurotoxic.
- The oil can also have cortisol-like effects and can affect the endocrine system.
Why I like it:
I believe all people with skin and seasonal allergies should keep a bottle at hand. It is great for pollen allergies but also for eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
3) Palmarosa Essential Oil
Botanical name: Cymbopogon martini.
- Palmarosa is highly antibacterial, with a very pleasant scent.
- The oil is also great at stimulating the regeneration process of the skin.
- It can also soothe nerve ending spasms and protect against fungal infections.
- Asthmatic people should ask for the doctor’s permission before using this essential oil for rashes.
- Palmarosa is for teen and adult use only.
Why I like it:
Palmarosa oil has such a nice smell! Besides its anti-itch effects, this essential oil is great for sweating too. Its high antibacterial effects make Palmarosa useful in acne treatments too.
4) Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia.
- The oil of Lavender has calming and sedating effects.
- It also improves the blood circulation in the affected area.
- It protects the skin against bacterial infections and speeds up the healing and scarring process.
- If you suffer from serious cardiovascular problems, avoid using Lavender oil for itchy rash and dry skin.
- People with asthma and prone to seizures/epilepsy should not use the oil either.
- Large dosages may make you anxious and nervous instead of the opposite.
Why I like it:
Lavender is one of the most popular and used essential oils for skin irritation (rash). It is great for dry, itchy skin, eczema-affected skin, etc. Wounds close faster and without scars with this oil. It’s great as anti-aging and anti-anxiety ingredient.
Essential oils for skin irritation (rashes) should not be used by pregnant women without medical approval. Especially if they are in their first trimester. The same goes for nursing women, children and elderly people.
Don’t forget to test each new oil and batch for skin allergies! You don’t want to make your irritation worse.
Other good essential oils for itchy, dry skin:
- German Chamomile
- Spike Lavender
- Tea Tree
How to Use Essential Oils for Rashes
Given their high concentration, essential oils must not be applied to the skin undiluted. You’ll have to mix 6 – 20 drops of essential oils for skin irritation per Oz. (30ml) carrier oil. Give the blend a good shake and apply moderate amounts on the affected areas.
Depending on the area where the rash or irritation is found, you can also use the oils in:
- Soaks – Mix 5 – 15 drops of EO in a cup of salt, milk or honey. Stir well and throw it into the bath water or basin.
- Cold compresses – wet a compress with cold water and add a few drops of essential oils to relieve inflammation and itching. You can either apply it so or keep in the fridge a while longer before applying it.
Since aroma oils need dilution, the best carrier oils for skin irritation or rashes are:
- Black Seed (Nigella)
The only mention I’ve got here is to test these oils for allergic reactions also. Carrier oils are usually very well tolerated, but they are extracted from seeds and nuts. People with such allergies can have problems with them.
Essential Oil Blends for Skin Irritation (Rashes)
When it comes to practice, it is the only road to the best blend(s) for itchy, dry and irritated skin. The best blends need to hydrate the skin and stop the inflammation. They should also be able to stimulate the blood circulation. Better blood flow speeds up the healing and regeneration process.
The ingredients you’re going to use will determine how effective the blend is. Take your pick from the following essential oil recipes and give it a try next time you need it.
Anti-Itch Essential Oil Recipe
- Lavender essential oil: 10 drops
- Blue Tansy essential oil: 8 drops
- Chamomile essential oil: 5 drops
- Calendula oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Shake the blend well to activate the molecules, before each use. Apply 3 – 4 drops of this blend on the affected area 3 or 4 times a day. Keep at it even after the skin improves to ensure a complete, scar-less healing.
Fast Rash Relief Compress
- Compress/soft cloth
- Chamomile EO: 2 drops
- Palmarosa EO: 1 drop
Wet the compress, pour the oils and place on the affected skin. Keep it there until it warms up and then repeat until total relief.
Bath Soak for Eczema and Other Skin Problems
- Pink salt: 1 cup
- Blue Tansy EO: 10 drops
- Helichrysum EO: 10 drops
Mix the oils with the salt and add it to your warm bath water. The oils need to be mixed with a neutral substance like the salt to disperse all over the water. Soak and then massage your skin gently as the oils will stick to your skin the moment you get in.
All the essential oils for skin irritation (rash) can soothe. They can also protect and calm down itchiness. You can use only one essence or as many as 4 in a blend. A blend contains a neutral substance (carrier oil, salt, honey, etc.) and an essential oil.
Causes and Symptoms of Skin Rashes, Irritants and Q&A
I’ve combined some questions with explanations about the causes and symptoms you ought to be aware of. I’ve told you a bit about them in the first part of the article. But skin irritations need a bit more attention.
There are many, many types of irritation that could be treated differently. The more you know about them, the faster you can get rid of them.
1) What happens when your skin gets irritated?
Skin irritation is the skin’s response/reaction to irritants. An irritant can be anything that is aggressive to the skin. The skin is our largest organ and its main role is to protect the interior from outside harmful factors.
Whether they are bacteria, sun or physical damage (like blows), the skin is there to face them.
You know you have a skin irritation when it turns red. That happens because the body sends blood to the damaged area almost instantly. Its purpose is to deliver oxygen and all the right substances to start fixing the problem. This action is meant to also protect the damaged tissue.
Possible Skin Irritants
Skin irritants are substances that cause discomfort. They cause the skin to react with inflammation (redness) and itchiness. The effects of these irritants can be soothed with essential oils for skin irritation. They can be either one or more of the following:
- Weather (cold, heat, wind, etc.)
- Dry skin.
- Insect bites.
- Clothing (wool, latex, etc.)
- Chemical products (soap, cleaners, dyes, alcohol, etc.)
- Allergens (fragrances, plants, metals, etc.)
- Skin care products (serums, sunscreen, etc.)
2) Skin Rash vs. Irritation! Are they the same?
Skin irritation becomes red and itches as a response to something damaging. A skin rash is just another term to describe this type of skin reaction.
In a rash, the skin changes color also and becomes itchy and irregular. The same irritants can cause rashes. A rash is a type of skin irritation that can also be soothed with essential oils for itchy skin rash.
Causes and Symptoms of Skin Irritation
The irritants I told you about, are generally at fault for causing irritation. It may be a reaction to metal (contact dermatitis), an allergy or medication. Regardless of the irritant, the skin reacts pretty much the same.
There are also a few skin conditions and diseases that cause rashes and irritation. They are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Chickenpox and measles.
- Kawasaki disease (quite rare).
- Athlete’s foot.
- Fifth disease.
3) How do you recognize a rash/skin irritation?
You can recognize it when the skin turns red, bumpy, swollen and itchy. Depending on the cause and severity, you can also see blisters and lesions.
4) How do you take care of skin irritation (rash)?
- You’ll have to be very gentle with it and use mild cleansing products.
- Hot water is not recommended; instead tepid to warm water is preferable.
- Avoid rubbing your skin dry or scratching it, no matter how itchy it is. This simple act can cause deep lesions to the skin.
- Stop the use of the product that caused your irritation or avoid plants and other irritants.
- Apply gentle blends with essential oils for skin irritation. For the best results, apply them during and after the healing process. Prolonged use will ensure that all scar tissue fades away easier.
5) Why does an irritation/rash itch?
Burning and tingling are two common symptoms of itchiness. It basically urges you to do something about it. It is annoying and uncomfortable, true. But itchiness is actually a clever way to take your mind off the pain and burning sensation.
A wound, when it starts healing, it also itches. I’m certain you’ve felt it at some point in your life. Basically, if you pay close attention, you’ll see that one symptom is usually the most powerful.
One theory (“Gate Control” for pain) says that a sensation that’s not painful can close the “gate” to a painful sensation. The non-painful “gate controller” in this case is itchiness.
It all makes sense but unfortunately, this theory doesn’t answer many questions. And although helpful, itchiness also creates a vicious circle.
By scratching, you’ll deepen the damage to the skin. The skin will become inflamed again and new blisters or lesions will form.
When the skin is aggressed, it releases histamine. It’s part of the immune system’s response to damage. Histamine improves microcirculation and inflammation and helps to stop the “aggressors”.
Histamine is responsible for the redness of a rash and the itchiness.
Severe itching of the skin is also called pruritus. It can be:
- General – when it affects the whole body. It can be caused by eczema, chickenpox, psoriasis, or medicines (antibiotics or aspirin). Extra dry skin or hormonal imbalances and other diseases can also cause general pruritus.
- Local – when it affects only specific areas. Local pruritus is usually found on the scalp, due to fungi or psoriasis. The space between the fingers/toes can also be affected by local severe itchiness. The genital area, the throat and eyes can also be affected.
Both types of itching should not be treated at home, without the advice of a doctor. There may be more serious underlying causes and as such should the treatment be. Essential oils for skin irritation (rash) should be used only for mild cases.
6) How long does it take to heal a rash or an irritated skin?
The skin has its own healing process that can be sped up with some good quality ingredients. I’m talking about natural essential oils for rash and itchy skin. They will give the skin all the nourishment it needs to regenerate. It’ll also protect it from bacterial infections.
The skin has an average cell turnover of 28 days. That’s how long it may take to get completely healed skin. If the rash is not severe though, it may get back to its natural glow within a few days.
There are many causes for which your skin could get irritated. Fortunately, most of them can be improved and even treated in time, with natural remedies.
Using essential oils for skin irritation can be the answer to most of your skin’s needs. That is especially useful when dealing with any type of damage. Unfortunately, there will always be something to bother your skin. But fortunately, we have very good remedies now that we can use to protect it properly.