Skin burns can be scary, and you might be skeptical about using over-the-counter ointments for burnt areas.
We are happy to let you know that there are natural alternatives with antiseptic properties that can help prevent inflammation around burn wounds. But before we move on, we should ask you to consult a doctor if you have a severe or third-degree burn.
However, for first-degree burns and to treat minor injuries, essential oils can be helpful. Aloe vera gel is also used along with other essential oils to treat burns since these essential oils act as natural remedies and you might be able to prevent long-term scars.
Read on to know about the best essential oils for skin burns!
Best Essential Oils For Treating Skin Burns
To give you all the information regarding essential oils, we are here with a list of the top options mentioning the benefits they provide. You should be able to treat minor burns as well as second-degree burns with them.
1. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus has antimicrobial properties, and it can act as an anti-inflammatory and astringent agent for burns. You can use it for insect bites, lice, and cuts, as well as other skin problems. Plus, it can prevent the burnt area from getting affected while quickening the healing process.
2. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile oil has been used traditionally for healing burns and it is often added to ointments, creams, and lotions to increase the skin’s rejuvenating properties. Also, if you like aloe vera, it can be added along with chamomile to increase the moisturizing and emollient properties of the mixture. Chamomile is even used for sunburns for effective wound healing.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil acts as a great pain-relieving agent and has been used for ages. It is one of those essential oils for burns, which can reduce infection and inflammation at the same time. Know that it can speed up the recovery process for minor burns as lavender oil soothes the region and reduces pain to help you deal with the affected area better.
It has also been used by pregnant women during the childbirth process. If you are finding it hard to believe, let us tell you that a study(1) done in 2012 has shown how wounds can heal faster, thanks to lavender oil.
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Chances are that you have already been using ointments or gels with peppermint essential oil in them. Peppermint oil can also be used for burns as an analgesic, as it can stimulate the flow of blood to the wound to speed up the healing process.
But remember that this essential oil will have to be diluted in jojoba oil or almond oil before using. You can apply peppermint oil to the wound so that the swelling and pain reduce over time. One can also ingest peppermint oil to stimulate blood circulation(2) for faster healing.
5. Tea Tree Oil
While treating severe or chemical burns, you will have to keep the area free from infections and this is where tea tree oil comes in. Tea tree oil helps in burn relief because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Moreover, tea tree oil is antimicrobial in nature and heals burns naturally but remember that this essential oil is very potent and should never be applied directly. It can be toxic and may cause further problems and while it works well as a pain reliever, tea tree oil needs to be mixed with a carrier oil.
Using olive oil or coconut oil with tea tree oil will allow you to effectively treat burns and prevent infections.
6. Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil has some antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which can help in wound healing and treating minor burns. It can keep the wound safe and prevent it from getting infected. Also, frankincense essential oil can increase the body’s ability to recover faster as it reduces oxidative stress through its healing properties.
To use the oil, you will need to mix it with jojoba or coconut oil before you can topically apply the required amount to severe burns. In case of a second-degree burn or a chemical burn, the oil needs to be mixed with water and then applied with a soft cloth. This should provide pain relief and allow the skin cells to heal faster.
7. Calendula Essential Oil
Some major problems that occur during treating burn victims for deep burns are that you will need to reduce the inflammation and soothe the area. Calendula essential oil can help in just that and can be used for third-degree, second-degree, or first-degree burns.
Not only that, calendula oil will increase the production of tissues leading to the skin healing faster. You can mix this with any carrier oil and use it at later stages when the burn is healing. But if the burn is fresh, then follow the below method.
To use it, you will have to fill a tub with warm water and add 20 to 30 drops of calendula essential oil in it. Let it sit for half an hour before applying the solution with a cloth dipped in the fluid.
8. Neroli Oil
For those of you who have never heard of neroli oil, it is a citrus fruit extract(3). The essential oil has a number of medicinal properties and it is one of the best essential oils for burns because it can reduce scarring of the skin.
This oil will help skin cells grow faster and aid in eliminating oxidative stress, which should eliminate any signs of burn. Additionally, you should know that this oil can be applied directly to the wound, so take a cotton swab, and then add some drops of the essential oil to it.
Press it against the healing scar for some time daily, and you will see it disappear over time.
9. Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is extracted from Pelargonium graveolens(4), which is a plant that grows in South Africa. It is known to have a number of health benefits and can be used to treat burns, thanks to its antioxidant, antimicrobials, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. Thus, it works well when applied to the outer layer of the skin.
We recommend mixing it with a carrier oil before application as the aroma will help you relax while relieving the pain.
Process Of Treating Burns
Before you apply the best essential oils to burnt areas for wound healing, please know not to apply them directly to the affected area. Instead, you can follow one of the given ways for burn healing.
Be it a minor burn or severe burn, a compress can help in slow healing and relieving pain. You will need a few drops of the essential oil that you are using and it needs to be mixed with a cup of warm water.
If you want the benefits of more than one essential oil, then mix a few drops of different essential oils in the water. Then close the bottle and shake well so that the essential oils mix well.
Next, take a clean cloth and pour a little of the oil onto a cloth and press the cloth against the inflamed area for healing burns. This should heal burns fast and prevent them from getting contaminated.
2. Using Carrier Oils
You can mix the essential oils with a carrier oil or a moisturizer to get maximum benefits from them. This process is best used when the body’s natural healing process has already begun, and we will suggest not using this method for first-degree, second-degree, or fresh burns.
That is because the mixture of oils can be sticky and can trap bacteria in them after application on burnt skin. This could worsen the burn and lead to contamination, so people should only use carrier oils to moisturize the skin and aid in the tissue healing process.
For this, you can use any carrier oil, ointment, lotion, or cream, including coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil. These can be mixed with five drops of the required essential oil for effective pain relief.
We will also advise you to do a small patch test before treating minor burns with these oils. If the area where you have applied pains, itches, or you see rashes, then it’s essential to get immediate medical attention.
Home Remedies For Burn Treatment
If you have a minor burn, it could easily be treated at home and with these techniques you can even prevent scarring so that the skin heals faster.
1. Cold compress
You will need to place a cold, wet cloth over the required area and keep applying the compress every five to ten minutes. This should help with pain relief for a first and second-degree burn. However, do not keep doing this for long hours as you might end up irritating the burnt area.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera can be used on first and second-degree burns as it has a very soothing effect. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and prevents bacteria from growing in the area.
Moving on, it is best to take aloe vera gel directly from the leaves and then apply it to the affected region. If you do not have access to an aloe vera plant, then you can buy concentrated aloe vera gel from medical shops. But remember to check for impurities in it as you are going to apply it to a sensitive area.
3. Cold Water
To get burn relief, you should apply cold water over the affected area for around 20 minutes. Then wash the area with a bar of mild unscented soap and water which should prevent infections and keep the burnt area safe.
You can apply honey to the affected region to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. It has antifungal and antibacterial qualities, which will ensure that minor burns heal fast.
5. Keeping Blisters Clean
We know how much you may want to pop the blisters, but it is best not to do so because you may actually end up infecting the area. To keep it out of eyesight, cover the blister with a soft cotton bandage which will keep it dry and prevent dust from settling.
6. Taking Pain Killers
If it hurts a lot, you can take over-the-counter painkillers but if the pain persists, it is best to visit a doctor and get the area checked.
When To Go To The Doctor?
Third-degree burns can be dangerous, and it is best to reach the doctor’s place or the emergency ward if you have a serious injury. These could be complicated, and you might face blood loss, while the area is also susceptible to infections.
Often known as “full-thickness burns,” third-degree burns can damage the tissues or nerves under the outer layer of the skin. You might then notice waxy skin, dark brown color or charred appearance, or even a leathery and raised texture.
Another factor to be aware of is burns caused by electric shocks since these can be pretty serious, and it is best to get medical help. You should call emergency services and ask for an ambulance if needed.
If you find that the burn has affected an area beyond three inches, it is best to consult a doctor. Also, if the wound starts smelling or you get a fever, get medical help immediately.
It is best to ensure that the wound is healing before you apply any essential oil. And make sure to clean the area well before every application, as you would not want the area to get contaminated.
With this, we have reached the end of this guide, and it is time to wrap up. We hope you have a safe experience and the wounds heal quickly. Take care!