Here is a review of the best essential oil for burns that will give you much needed, on-the-spot relief from pain and inflammation.
However, burns, both minor and major, need immediate professional attention. Aromatherapy essential oils for burns usually help in cases where the skin is only superficially damaged.
I am going to discuss the best essential oils for burns which you must keep handy at all times in your aromatherapy medicine kit.
Burns: What You Need To Know
Apart from their extent or degree, burns can also be classified on the basis of the substance causing them. They could occur due to dry heat (electrical burns, fires, sun, chemical radiation etc) or even from wet or moist heat (boiling liquids, steam and so on).
See Doctor for Bad Burns
In most cases, burns arise from accidents at home or work. For very severe burns, it is best let a doctor assess the treatment needed. S/he may classify the burn as first/second/third/fourth degree based on the depth as well as the area of the skin burnt. In case of electric burns, the damage often is hard to assess. This is because the skin may seem intact but the burn may have extended to quite a depth under the dermis.
Apart from physical trauma, the patient could also suffer from mental shock for several hours after the burn. If the patient has more than 10% of the body burnt, the shock may last for hours and s/he needs immediate medical attention. So, even if one claims to feel better, it is important to get to the hospital.
Another important thing to worry about burns is infections. Burnt skin is extremely fragile and could give rise to blisters or pus filled secondary infections.
Here are some pointers to help differentiate between different degrees of burns:
First degree burns
These affect the outermost layer of the skin. Superficial burns and sunburns fall in this category.
Second degree burns
These affect the second layer of the skin (the dermis) and is characterized by blisters and broken skin.
Third degree burns
These burns need immediate medical attention as they are very deep. Care must be taken to prevent shock and infection. Your doctor will assess as to what treatment to go in for in such a case.
- Never apply essential oils to third degree burns.
Fourth degree burns
This is characterized by a burn that may have reached the muscles, tendons and could even result in loss of the burnt body part.
- Never apply essential oils to fourth degree burns.
Aromatherapy Essential Oil for Burns
Did you know that the very origin of Aromatherapy as a branch of alternative holistic science is attributed to a burn?
It was in the early 19th century when a French Chemist by the name of Rene Gattefosse burned his hand during a lab experiment, and for want of anything better, he plunged it into some Lavender oil. To his great surprise, he felt immediate relief.
He continued using Lavender essential oil on the finger and very soon the burn was healed completely without any significant scarring. This inspired him to study other essential oils and that was how Aromatherapy came into existence.
There are many essential oils that can help in burn management. I will be enlisting these soon.
But before that, let me give you a brief description of how Aromatherapy can aid in burn management.
Speeds up healing
Essential oils for burns speed up the skin's healing process. They sanitize the wound and stimulate the skin to close up quickly. This helps stop the pain.
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of certain essential oils reduces pain in minor and major burns giving the patient much needed relief.
Essential oil for burns have cicatrizing effects which means that they can regenerate the cells and tissues and stimulate the skin to restore itself. Regular use of the best essential oil for burns can prevent scarring in minor burns.
Aids in relaxation
One of the major effects of any accident including burns is shock. Aromatherapy essential oils can aid the patients in this. Using the oil in a diffuser can relax the patient and have a calming effect on the nervous system. The sedative and analgesic effects of certain oils can also help the patient sleep so the body can heal itself.
Cools down the skin
Many of the best essential oils for burns such as Lavender, Peppermint and Chamomile have a cooling effect on the skin. A burn raises the temperature of the skin considerably and by applying these oils diluted with suitable carrier oils, you can lower the temperature of the skin and allow it to heal itself.
Purifies the skin and prevents infections
Most essential oils have antiseptic and antibacterial properties which can prevent pus formation in burnt and blistered skin. They literally cleanse the skin of bacteria so your skin heals quickly.
Hydrates and nourishes the skin gently
Studies have shown that many essential oils have a transdermal effect on the skin which means that they are quickly absorbed anywhere they are applied where they pass through the circulatory system.
Here the oils soothe the inflamed dermal cells, boost circulation and restore the skin’s moisture levels. This enables the skin to receive all the nourishment it needs during this period of stress and trauma.
Protects the skin from environmental factors
When skin is burnt, it is already in a delicate and fragile state. This is when the essential oils for burns create a protective barrier on the skin to prevent further trauma caused by the environment.
Clears up airways to regularize breathing
Diffusing essential oils in patient's’ room can clear up the nasal congestion caused by smoke inhalation and enable them to breathe easily.
Best Essential Oil For Burns
Here is my list of the best essential oil for burns...
Eucalyptus oil has its origins in Australia where the aborigine tribes used this oil for treating minor burns, blisters, wounds, insect bites and other skin infections.
Eucalyptus oil has detoxifying properties and can prevent pus in burn wounds. It also strengthens the immune system, circulatory and respiratory systems.
In severe burns, diffusing the oil can clear airways of the patients who have inhaled smoke to prevent choking and help them breathe easier.
Found in Madagascar, parts of South Africa, Egypt and Morocco, Geranium oil has many skin healing benefits.
It is antiseptic and antibiotic in nature which makes it beneficial for cuts, nicks, scrapes and burns.
Geranium oil has healing and relaxing properties that make it one of the best essential oils for burn victims.
The oil that started it all! Lavender essential oil originates from France and is one of the most soothing essential oils to help burn patients.
For minor burns, you can apply it undiluted on the affected region of the skin.
It also helps calm tension and nerves so you can also diffuse it in the room to prevent and treat post-traumatic stress.
Chamomile oil, both Roman and German, are known for their capillary wall constricting action.
Both essential oils are also cooling, anti allergenic, sedative, calming, emollient, analgesic and healing.
These properties find use in healing minor and major burns.
Both sweet and wild marjoram essential oils have calming, antispasmodic, and sedative properties which find application in healing inflamed, sensitive and fragile skin.
However, highly concentrated marjoram essential oil can irritate the skin causing redness.
So, it is best to dilute this oil first with other carrier oils or essential oils before using it for burns treatment.
You may also try a patch test first to ensure there is no allergic reaction.
Tea Tree Oil
The reason why tea tree oil has been used for treating burns by native Australian cutters working in mines is because of its healing, antiseptic properties.
Of course, you shouldn’t apply this oil as is; always dilute it first.
One remedy is mixing 100% pure tea tree oil with ice water and making a salve of the mixture to treat burnt skin.
This treatment can prevent blistering and infections. You can also mix Tea tree oil with some raw honey and grapefruit seed extract to apply to the burnt skin. Use this remedy 2-3 times a day for 2 weeks to prevent scarring.
Yarrow is a wound healing herb. It’s essential oil is astringent, diuretic, calming, anti-inflammatory and fever reducing.
Yarrow essential oil speeds up healing of broken skin and stops bleeding immediately.
Peppermint is a cooling herb so it’s essential oil is also cooling. It stops pain and inflammation and soothes the skin.
Peppermint essential oil can be applied diluted on the burnt skin to speed up healing and calm the angry, red skin.
Applied regularly, it can prevent blisters and pus formation.
Other Effective Essential Oils For Burns
- White Fir
Essential Oil Recipes For Burns Treatment And Management
For Minor Burns
Always keep a bottle of Lavender essential oil at hand. Apply the oil undiluted to the burnt skin. You can cover up the wound with a damp compress. Use a thin, sterile gauze or muslin cloth which will allow the skin to breathe.
Never use an adhesive or a plaster bandage on burns. Repeat application of the essential oil 2-3 times a day.
Synergistic Burns Blend
Keep a mixture of the following essential oils or you can make it when you experience a minor burn.
- 10 drops each Lavender and German Chamomile oils
- 5 drops Roman Chamomile oil
Store this mixture in a glass bottle. Use requisite quantity to treat minor and major burns. For corrosive burns, mix the synergistic blend with some Aloe Vera gel. Apply it on the burn skin several times a day.
For First and Second Degree Burns
- 20 drops each German Chamomile and Helichrysum oil
- 40 drops Lavender oil
Add the above oils to a 5 ml glass bottle with a dropper cap. Mix the oils well by shaking the bottle. Leave the bottle undisturbed for 8 hours so the oils synergize. To use, dilute the blend with any carrier oil and apply it to the burnt skin.
Repeat application 4-5 times a day. You can also make a gel using the above blend mixed with some Aloe Vera gel. This blend is also effective as a cool compress.
Burn Bandage for Kids
- 2 tsp Lavender oil
- 1 drop each Thyme and Sage oils
- ½ tsp carrier oil
The healing effects of these essential oils for burns in kids are great and the best part is your child won’t even know their bandage has them.
Mix all oils well. Apply a few drops of the blend on a thin gauze and apply it around the burnt skin. Reapply every few hours. You can store the leftover oil in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Antiseptic Wash for Burns
A burn must be washed to remove dirt and particles. Use this antiseptic and soothing blend instead of plain tap water to do so. Do not use on open wound.
- 5 drops Lavender oil
- 3-4 drops Frankincense oil
- 4 oz. fresh distilled or mineral water
Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Soak a clean flannel cloth or cotton wool in it and apply as a compress to the burnt skin.
Let the wound air dry. Dispose of any remaining blend. Reapply it daily.
Mild burns can be easily treated using the aforementioned essential oils for burns. For more severe cases, it is best that you see a doctor immediately.
For on the spot relief, Lavender essential oil for burns works best as it can be applied neat to the affected areas.