Burns Care with Aromatherapy

Lavender essential oil reputation for the treatment of burns is derived from the well-known story of Gattefosse treated his badly burned hand with lavender essential oil during a laboratory explosion. The lavender essential oil has effectively healed his burn amazingly with little scarring.

The following case is the studied of a client who burned her feet when removing the head of turbo oven and it accidentally dropped on her feet, causing burns. The symptoms are redness, pain and blister. She has tried to apply toothpaste and ointment for two days but the burned area started to become wet.

I advised client to use 2 drops of neat lavender essential oils on her burn area, applying it during morning, afternoon and night time. The area started to dry up two days after applying the essential oil and after eight days, the burns area healed with little scarring (as per picture provided).

When you treat the burns with aromatherapy, do have some basic knowledge in mind with the depth of burn you or your clients have. Normally we will treat ourselves on the minor burn (first degree and second degree), but not the third degree. Immediately seek medical attention when you suspect third degree burns.

Depth of Burn Description and Characteristics Cause
First degree Damage involved only the outer layer of the skin, epidermis

  • Erythema
  • Pain
  • Absence of blisters
Sunburn
Second degree Damage involved the epidermis and some possible damage to the middle layer of the skin, dermis

  • Red or mottled
  • Flash burns
Contact with hot liquids
Third degree Damage involved to the innermost layer of skin, the subcutis.

  • Dark and leathery
  • Dry
  • Usually little or no pain (nerves are damages)
Fire, electricity or lightning, prolonged exposure to hot liquids/ objects

Source: derived and modified from the world health organization, wound management 2007.

According to world health organization, “It is common to find all three types within the same burn wound and the depth may change with time, especially if infection occurs. Any full thickness burn is considered serious. Third degree require medical attention, there is a risk of infection.”

First aid guides for treatment of burns for first and second degree burn with aromatherapy:

  1. Immerse the burn in cool running water up to 10 minutes. Do not use ice.
  2. Dry the area. Applying the lavender essential oils net to ease pain and promote healing. Or purring neat lavender onto a sterile gauze and apply this to the burn. Renew the gauze every few hours.
  3. DO NOT apply any oils and butters on burns.
  4. DO NOT break the blisters.

Lavender essential oils had analgesic properties; it can promote rapid healing and its ability to reduce scarring.

References:

BattagliaS. (2002). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (second edition). Brisbane: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy

World Health Organization, 2007, Burns Management.

 

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