Aromatherapy for Scars
My husband recently received a cut just below his eyebrow and had to have stitches. The cut has healed, but it seems to be staying red and quite angry looking. What aromatherapy for scars do you recommend to help lessen the scarring and speed-up healing?
I must say, the first thing that popped into my mind was how lucky your husband was to have missed the eye itself!
A basic understanding of what a scar is helps us to select the right essential oils + carrier oils for the task. Wikipedia offers; scars, also called cicatrices (who knew?), are areas of fibrous tissue that replace normal skin or other tissue after injury. A scar results from the biologic process of a wound in the skin and other tissues of the body. It is key to remember that with the exception of very minor lesions, every wound results in some degree of scarring.
With this in mind, the best essential oils to use are those known to have specific healing properties. Start with a cicatrisant (promotes the formation of scar tissue.) Cytophylactic (promotes the growth of skin cells) and vulnerary (promotes healing of wounds).
My top picks for your husband’s scar are
Carrot seed, frankincense, helichrysm (also known as everlasting or immortelle). And lavender, neroli, sage + sandalwood.
Carrot seed essential oil is an excellent cellular regenerator and is considered one of the strongest revitalizing essential oils. (i)
Frankincense essential oil has been used in skin care for centuries and is best known for its ability to help rejuvenate the skin. It calms wounds and inflammation, and it lessens the redness of scars.
Helichrysum essential oil is excellent for tissue inflammation + speeds wound healing.
Lavender essential oil needs no introduction as an excellent choice for preventing infection. While reducing inflammation + promoting rapid healing.
Neroli essential oil helps to regenerate skin cells and is a rejuvenation oil useful in preventing scar tissue.
Sage essential oil is reputed as highly regenerative.
And last but not least, sandalwood essential oil is often recommended in the case of skin inflammation.
The botanical names for the selected essential oils + the following carrier oils are found at the end of this article.
I suggest that you choose one or a combination of the following as your carrier oil:
- rosehip seed,
- sea buckthorn oil
- and wheat germ oil.
My first choice is rosehip seed oil which contains high levels of Vitamin A, perfect for assisting cell regeneration and promoting collagen and elastin levels. It also contains high levels of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E which promote healthy skin. And it helps to reduce the redness + formation of scar tissues by loosening the fibrous cords that make up a scar. (ii)
- Sea buckthorn oil is also a wonderful carrier oil rich in phytosterols, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, anti-oxidants and carotenoid all of which help with skin repair, regeneration and conditioning. (iii)
- Wheatgerm oil is known to promote the formation of skin cells. It is rich in natural Vitamins A, B and D, proteins and lecithin and also contains high levels of Vitamin E. (I don’t recommend wheatgerm oil as a carrier oil for anyone who has a wheat sensitivity.)
- Vitamin E oil would be a great additive to your blend. It helps to comfort the skin, aids healing and is said to improve the look of scars. You can purchase Vitamin E oil in a bottle or in gel capsules. If wheat sensitivity is an issue look for the vegetable based Vitamin E oil like that derived from the soya bean.
This is a basic recipe to use as a guide
- Into a container with a sealable cap combine
- 2 tablespoons (30 mLs, 1 oz) of a carrier oil
- or oils with 1/2 teaspoon (1 mL) of Vitamin E.
- Mix well with a wooden stir stick as Vitamin E tends to be sticky.
- Adding Vitamin E oil is always optional.
- Into the carrier oil add up to 24 drops of the essential oil or oils of choice.
- Then screw on the top securely and briskly roll the container between the palms of both hands to mix and warm up the blend.
- This represents a 4% essential oil dilution which is used for specific treatments such as scars. You could take a few moments while holding the container and inject healing thoughts into the blend. I use Reiki to bump up the healing factor.
To get you started, here are a few recipes for surgical wounds and scars of the face:
A very simple but effective blend is
- 14 drops of lavender
- and 10 drops of helichrysum
- blended into 2 tablespoons of rosehip seed oil.
A similar blend uses
- 8 drops each of helichrysum,
- and sage essential oils
- in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil.
- 11 drops of frankincense essential oil,
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- and 3 drops of neroli essential oil in
- 2 tablespoons of carrier oil.
A more sophisticated and somewhat expensive blend for Aromatherapy for Scars uses
- 8 drops of sandalwood essential oil,
- 7 drops of neroli essential oil,
- 6 drops of helichrysum essential oil
- and 3 drops of carrot seed essential oil
- with 3 drops of Vitamin E oil
- in 2 tablespoons of a rosehip seed and sea buckthorn carrier oil combination.
To be honest, I find that some of the simplest blends are most effective for assisting wound healing and minimizing scar formation.
No matter which essential oils or carrier oils you choose, avoid contact with the eyeball!
Apply sparingly with a cotton swab. Use an across-the-scar method to apply the rather than following the length or direction of the growth of the scar. Allow the blend to fully absorb into the skin before resuming activity.
According to Suzanne Catty, ‘tiny amounts repeated frequently are part of the key to success with scar tissue.’ (iv)
I agree! Treatment calls for three to four applications a day for three to four weeks when dealing with new scars, two to four months for older scars.
Before treating the scar with aromatherapy for scars. Make sure you do a sensitivity test. In this case, I recommend you apply a small amount of the blend on the inside of your husband’s bicep. Cover with a light gauze and leave it alone for an hour. If redness or burning occurs rinse the area well with soap and warm water. And then it is back to the mixing room for you!
I trust that this will guide you toward discovering the right blend. And because it will have the added bonus of genuine care + love, it is sure to be a success. Best wishes to your husband for speedy aromatherapy for scars healing with minimal scarring!
Common and Botanical Names for Selected Essential Oils
Carrot seed – Daucus carota, Frankincense – Boswellia carterii, Helichrysum – Helichrysum angustifolium, Lavender –Lavendula angustifolia, Neroli – Citrus aurantium var. amara, Sage – Salvia officinalis, and Sandalwood – Santalum album.
Common and Botanical Names for Selected Carrier Oils
Rosehip seed oil – Rosa rubiginosais, Sea buckthorn oil – Hippophae rhamnoides, and Wheatgerm oil – Triticum durum.