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Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Acne, Athlete's foot, Boils, Chapped Lips, Dermatitis, Detoxification, Eczema, Impetigo, Insect Bites, Jock Itch, Lice, Melanoma, Parasite Infections, Poison Ivy, Psoriasis, Ring worm, Scabies, Scar Reduction, Skin cancer, Skin cosmetic problems

Your skin, the protection between you and the outer world, is your body’s largest organ.  It is there to protect you from infectious agents, environmental extremes, bumps, scratches, or invasive objects.  It has a system of nerves to warn against impending dangers, a system of sweat glands for cooling, a capillary system that can bring nutritional helps from the blood stream, and a system to exude poisons from the body.  Rashes on the skin can originate from a wide variety of internal and external factors.  Often, as the body detoxifies, if the liver is overloaded toxins will be eliminated through oil glands in the skin causing itching and a rash.  Or rashes can come from allergic reactions to contact with allergens or poisonous insects or plants.

How oils can help.  It is best to understand the underlying cause of a rash and treat that concern.  See a number of possibilities in the links at the top of this page. For immediate help with the rash essential oils can help.  Lavender is well known to sooth as well as relieve itching. It may be applied topically directly to the affected area for almost immediate relief. A number of other oils listed under the Suggested Protocols tab above are also suggested.

Reactions to Oils.  Occasionally someone has a reaction to applying essential oils directly to their skin.  This can result in an uncomfortable rash.  Two scenarios can lead to this situation. 

1) The person has very sensitive skin and reacts to the oils.  This can be easily alleviated by diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil.  Reports are that this does not lessen the effectiveness of the essential oils.

2) Application of the essential oils has triggered the expulsion of a Candida infection already in the body that may result in a rash or other external manifestation.  In this event using a cleanse (GI Cleansing Formula) and a probiotic replacement (Probiotic Defense Formula) will rid the body of the Candida and allow successful use of the essential oils without a reaction.

Experiences with these reactions are discussed under the Procedures tab above and on the webpage Side Effects.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  LavenderC, MelaleucaC, MyrrhEC, Cleansing BlendC, Roman ChamomileEC, SandalwoodEC, TerraZymeC

Essential oils based products: GI Cleansing Formula, Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV), Probiotic Defense Formula

Also consider: Basil, Clary SageE, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, GeraniumE, HelichrysumE, Oregano, PeppermintE, RoseE, Thyme

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Because there is such a great number of possibilities for a skin rash it is very important to identify the root cause and use oils that will address the problem at that level. See the list of links to other pages on the Summary tab above. That being said here are two universal helps:

·    To address the immediate discomfort of a rash Lavender essential oil applied neat (undiluted) to the area will provide relief. Also consider other oils listed above.

·    Since many rashes are the result of the body eliminating toxins some have found  using 3-4 capsules of TerraZyme 3 times daily (may sound extreme but has proven successful). Also consider coupling this with the GI Cleansing Formula and Probiotic Defense Formula cleansing protocol.

·    In many instances a root cause or contributing factor is lack of proper nutrition and starting on the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) will prove beneficial.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Arin - A friend had a breakout in a horrible rash after using a face wash containing "Tea Tree" oil. Maybe the oils was not pure, maybe he has an allergy to tea tree, maybe he has a really bad case of candida? we don't know, but we do know that (...) helped him!  He applied Lavender to his face for 3 weeks. Look at the before, intermediate, and after pictures!

Rash1  Rash 2  Rash3

Editor’s note – The following submission by Pony demonstrates the complications of pharmaceuticals and how difficult, but possible, it is to use more healthy alternatives.

Pony - OH MY GOSH!!!  I have the same thing (speaking of another contributor's comments about a hand rash)!!  And it's driving me crazy!! The itch is unbelievable when it flares up! Nothing seems to really help!  It started this Feb. on the right hand between the two middle fingers. Then the other hand a week later in the same place. These two spots have never ended completely.  Little tiny pumps, blister like, that break open when you scratch. Then dry up and stop for a while. Then repeat it again in a few days to a week.  At the same time as both hands, it was behind my right ear, base of neck, and the first go round my entire chest area and under left armpit area. This all quieted down for about a week then the second go round both arms from wrist to elbow, both sides. Again quieted down and then in a couple weeks the Third go round went to my inner thighs and behind knees. Now that has quieted down, but fingers and armpit persist although quiet for the moment.

None of the oils worked except Helichrysum. But I used an entire bottle in one week just on my arms. Many of the oils made it worse. I have been happily using the oils along with Probiotic Defense Formula and LLW regularly for well over a year now with incredible benefits! This has been a blow to my psychy about the oils. I even stopped using them at all for 3 weeks to see if that would help. Not.  I do drink a shot glass 1-2X day of Oregano, Frankincense, Roman Chamomile, and either Basil or Thyme. I do this for at least 10 days and then give it a break for several days. But the Oregano is the only thing that keeps the bad super-bug, psneudomonus aerugenosa, (lung bug) under control. And I know these are heavy cleansers but I have been doing this for over 6 - 8 months now.

This all started when I decided I wanted to get off a drug that has steroids in it I use for my COPD (chronic bronchitis) (Over a year ago, with the help of the LLW and Respiratory Blend, I quit using altogether my fast acting inhalator! Yes!) And I had been feeling so much better I wanted to see if I could get off the Advair too (long lasting bronchia- dilator). That's when it went nuts!   So, I believe(d) it was my body dumping the toxic buildup.

I went to my AMA doc in early March at first go round and she said "because I had built up such a high level of steroid that certain allergic reactions to "what" (unknown) were being suppressed. As I lowered this level of steroid in my system the allergies were no longer suppressed and began appearing".  She prescribed Prednisone, a strong anti-inflammatory, and a prescript cortisone anti-itch cream. And suggested I get on an anti-histamine (maybe forever--not!). I don't like adding more drugs to my body when I'm trying to get off them. I have worked with Prednisone before when I was really in trouble with my lungs years ago, so I used this and it worked immediately. All swelling went down--all itching stopped. Since none of the oils where working for the itching I worked between cortisone cream and Neosporin cream. I hate the fact that there is petroleum in them and a dozen other nasty things--but this itch is nasty too. I increased the steroid some to try to get to a level. And I believe I am there.

Each episode has slowed down more than the one before. I am now down to 50% of the inhaled Advair steroid since the beginning. I have been trying to regulate which foods seem to trigger the rash. Definitely dairy!  And sugars, of course. Anything that is going to impede the immune system. I try to eat balanced and as organic as possible. Very little red meat.  Salmon, chicken, pork (home grown). And tons of veggies! Need more grains, though.  Also--seems the more exercise I get helps. But not over doing it or it flares up.  I do feel I am making headway as the itch is less and shorter durations now. I haven't used the Prednisone for several weeks--I found Ibuprofen worked ok for anti-inflammation, and only if needed. But you say three years--every spring? I had shingles last spring. The oils did help tremendously for this. No pain at all and only lasted 4 weeks total. I wonder if they are related? Sorry, didn't mean to write a book. Hope someone's got an idea out there!  


Kirstin - I have an acquaintance with a red, raw, sore rash under her arms. We thought it was a yeast/fungal infection and tried GI Cleansing Formula followed by the Probiotic Defense Formula with no relief.  Any ideas. I tried making a cream with anti-fungal essential oils in it and Roman Chamomile plus Lavender to calm it. Hmm, it stung the sore areas. What should we do?

Pat - It sounds like a yeast infection and you have to remember the one cleanse is not enough for some. They should wait 10 days and do the cleanse again and a third time if necessary. It really does work, but some just have such a build up of yeast that one cleanse does not do it. You do not want anything stronger, as a gentle cleanse is so much easier on the body. She should also start the nutritional supplements (LLW).

Rob - I would continue the cleanse.  It may take some time, but something is trying to exit the body.  I would also consider using virgin coconut oil with any oils you apply topically.  It is a great carrier for a rash, and some of the good oils for a rash may need to be diluted like Lemongrass. For instance Lavender stings me on burns... unusual??  So I have to dilute it then it works well.

Brooke - I would like to offer a suggestion.  My 11-year-old daughter has yeast issues because of her 'picky' diet.  She won't swallow pills, and so we proceeded with a GI Cleansing Formula through her feet.  I would puncture the pill and rub one on each foot every night.  In a few days, she broke out with a blistery type rash under her one armpit.  I know it was caused by the yeast trying to escape, but it was slightly uncomfortable for her.  We discontinued the GX Assost, and started applying Melaleuca, Helichrysum, and Lavender each night to her underarm - the rash went away in about 10 days.  

I know her yeast issue is not going to go away quickly, especially because of her diet. The GI Cleansing Formula is very powerful.  You need to be aware of the reactions your body has to it and precede with 'dosages' accordingly.  It is ok, if you feel it is better, to do one every-other day even, especially if your body is reacting to it because of it's power.  Then build up to a more regular dosage.  I will approach her yeast more slowly, and I know we will get it under control eventually, but patience is the key.  And listening to our own bodies is vital to our success. .


JulieMarie - For the last month or so, I've been dealing with an itchy rash that my doctor has diagnosed as an "id reaction".  Seems that the immune system gets stimulated by something (in my case, contact dermatitis to automotive products) and then starts creating more eczema-like symptoms far from the original site.  I have tried some topical things to soothe it,  i.e. Melaleuca and Lavender.  Both help briefly but aren't addressing the underlying issue.  Advice and suggestions?

Rob - First of all, be on the Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) supplements.  You don't want to deal with contact allergies while you have nutritional deficiencies. Make sure you're eating well too. Try to determine what the underlying cause might be.  Scrutinize any chemicals, cleansers, soaps, pesticides, latex gloves, lotions, metals, or other chemicals in various products that you come in contact with.

Certain types of eczema can also be aggravated by Candida. If that is a possibility, there are good cleansing protocols available. (Editor’s note: GI Cleansing Formula and Probiotic Defense Formula were introduced after this time but are good candidates.)

Single oils that might be beneficial would be Melaleuca and Lavender as you mentioned.  Also consider Frankincense, Geranium, or Sandalwood.

I would add 3-4 drops of your choice of essential oils to a teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil, this is better than fractionated coconut oil. You get EVCO or VCO at the health food store.  It is solid and white. You need to melt it with low heat (not with a microwave). Add the essential oils then allow it to harden again. Keep it in a small jar and apply it to the effected area 5-6 times daily.  This is important because the VCO helps with healing just as much as the essential oils.  It is very good for the skin. Even if you see or feel a change within a couple days, continue using it for several days after the rash appears to have gone. If it takes longer than a week or two, there might be further issues with candida or other internal issues.


Allergic Reactions to Essential Oils

Angeline - I am new to the essential oils, everywhere I put the essential oils on I now have a rash. Am I allergic to essential oils or what do I need to do. I want to use them, I love them.

Rob – Two things to consider.  This may be a reaction because of a Candida infection or it may be very sensitive skin.  I personally have very sensitive skin and I react badly to a neat application of Lemon, Lavender, or Melaleuca.  BUT... If I apply them with about 50 - 75% dilution with a carrier oil, it not only does not cause a reaction, but it is fully efficacious.  I prefer VCO (virgin coconut oil) as a carrier, but other carrier oils will work similarly.

Pat - I perceive a couple of problems, one being very sensitive skin, in which case you should test behind the elbow with VCO and your choice of oil, watch for redness to appear. Using the VCO might be the answer. The other would be some serious Candida, or inflammation that would need to be handled internally. That is when I would stop all oils and take the GI Cleansing Formula for 10 days followed by the Probiotic Defense Formula for five days. And then slowly start using the oils.


Chelsea - I have a friend with an skin reaction to the oils. She says it burns and itches terribly. I was super surprised by it all.  It was with the Cleansing Blend. I took her in to see Dr. David Hill (chief medical advisor for (...)) and Pat is right according to what Dr Hill was saying. Candida is likely the problem. She is aware of that and agreed that it is probably the problem. She is also celiac, which would increase her need to do the Candida cleanse.  Perhaps she would need to repeat the cleanse several times as I have found that Candida is likely an underlying cause of autoimmune disorders. I have an autoimmune disorder as well but I have no signs of it when my Candida is under control. Are you aware of anything like that? Anyone can correct me if I am wrong, but everything seems to point to those blasted fungal terrorists! I would love to hear about your progress so I can pass it on to her. She is discouraged and has a view right now that her health isn't worth the money it may take to get well. I would love to help her shift that.

AnnMarie - My mother is having the same problem. She is using helichrysm and Lavender on her legs for another problem and she broke out with a pimply, itchy rash in the area surrounding where she was putting the oils and also on her hands, plus experiencing eczema behind her ears. At first we thought she was having an allergic reaction to the oils, but Dr. Lawton said her body is releasing built up toxins and Candida in her system through her skin. Dr. Lawton also advised that she must drink lots of water to help her body rid itself of these toxins. Mom is also taking Lemon and Melaleuca in a capsule 3x a day and the Probiotic Defense Formula. I am also getting the  GI Cleansing Formula for her.


Marti - Please help...here is the situation.  I gave some samples of Melaleuca and Lavender to someone who said her son had a rash, she emailed me this a day or two later.... "Thank you for the samples you gave Amy for my grandson.  His face is actually worse after using the Melaleuca and Lavender samples.  We are not sure it was the oils or if he is allergic to something."  

I think he is prone to eczema.  It is worse on his cheeks, with small spots on upper legs and arms, and very dry skin. He is not on any medications but is allergic to dairy and they also took him off gluten. The areas look like a scrape, with peeling skin about the size of a small apple. It does itch at times and they put the oils directly on him without a carrier oil.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

Pat - Is this son old enough to take capsules? It seems to me that he has some serious yeast infection going on. If he is old enough he could take a capsule for that every morning with 5 drops of Lemon, 5 drops of Melaleuca and 3 drops of Oregano. It is a suggestion that he be consistent and stay on it for 30 days and then reevaluate the condition. (Editor’s note: GI Cleansing Formula was introduced after this)

Rob - People that have hyper-sensitive skin and sometimes more prone to have allergic reactions will sometimes react to certain essential oils.  Even though Lavender is a very mild oil, I know people that have reacted to it. I always ask people if they react easily to metals, lotions, etc, and if they do, I recommend they do a skin test before applying oils, especially to sensitive areas. I would apply Organic VCO (virgin coconut oil) immediately to areas that have the rash. I would continue that every couple hours.

I react to Lavender myself unless I use a carrier oil.  With a carrier, even though Lavender is slightly caustic to my skin, it is still be efficacious for many things for me.  I use it internally more that externally.

If he want's to do a skin test, it might be the easiest way to find out, but either way, I would apply the VCO (organic virgin coconut oil).

Marti - Rob, is the VCO (...)'s coconut oil or something different? Thanks, Marti

Rob - Marti, (...)'s coconut is a great product, but is fractionated and does not even include medium chain fats.  It's more or less a simple carrier that offers great lubrication. VCO on the other hand has some real followers that are adamant about its health and wellness attributes.  A little internet research and you'll see the passion out there.  I have personally seen it do amazing things by itself, especially in the area of skin care, but when you blend VCO with (...) essential oils you create a synergizing product that I believe is far superior that just either product alone.

An example.  We had a friend who had a son with a rash under his eye. Likely herpes. We had him apply some essential oils, which seemed to slowly be helping, but when we combined the oils with VCO, the irritation was completely gone in a few short days.

ReNay – Where can we get some VCO?

Rob - You get organic VCO at the health food store or on line.  It's white, solid (below about 73 degrees) and has a slight coconut flavor.  If you melt it to add essential oils, don't use a microwave and only heat it enough to make a liquid.  Then you add the oils and blend a salve and save it in a baby food jar or other small jar.

Protocols folks recommend for children



Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying



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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.