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Scar Reduction

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

Summary

A scar is the resulting blemish as the skin repairs itself after a wound from an accident, a disease or surgery.  The more intrusive or rough the wound typically the more visible the scar.  As a wound heals the area will be red and may thicken at first.  With time the visible scarring will diminish.  Essential oils will help the body in this natural process of healing and will promote repair of tissue to its original condition.

Remember with any open wound to:

  Make certain the wound is clean and free of any debris or possible infectious material.

  Close the wound as carefully as possible. Butterfly bandage may be required or  for serious open wounds professional medical help and stitches of course.

  Use antibacterial oils/ointment periodically to protect the area. Cover with clean bandage if necessary.

  Follow the protocols suggested here to prevent scarring.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  FrankincenseC, HelichrysumEC, LavenderC

Essential oils based products:

Also consider: Soothing Blend, EucalyptusE, GeraniumC, MyrrhC, RoseC, Sandalwood, White Fir

Suggested protocols:

Using a roller bottle (typically 1/6 ounce) add 6 drops each Helichrysum, Frankincense, and Lavender.  Add Vitamin E oil (empty 6 capsules) and the remainder with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Apply consistently to the area 2 to 3 times daily.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Editor - Here is a very interesting response from a Doctor after a patient used oils following bunion surgery.

Bev. G. -  I have a good experience to share.  My sister recently went through 2 different bunion surgeries (about 7 weeks apart).  After the first week (because her foot was wrapped), she put Soothing Blend all over her foot (except where the incision was).  She put Frankincense or Helichrysum on the scar. At her first appointment with the podiatrist, he was in shock.  There was very little bruising and no swelling. "I've never seen anyone heal so fast!  Whatever did you do?"  She showed him her Soothing Blend roll-on.  He was flabbergasted, "I've never seen anything like it in all my years of practice."  She was thrilled.  I thought I would share, in hopes that it might help someone else out there.

 

Kathy - I have a neighbor who has titanium plates in her spine that cause her a lot of pain, mostly from scar tissue.  I am going to do the Massage Blend Technique on her with Birch for inflammation and what should I use for deep scar tissue in her spine? She says the problem started with a virus that is dormant in her spine that flares up once or twice a year and attacks her spine.

Pat - I would use Helichrysum for the scar tissue and put her on the candida protocol for the inflammation that keeps popping up. I think the Massage Blend Technique is great but I would add Oregano after the Soothing Blend.

 

Marti - I am working with a 9 year old girl who is going blind in one eye due to scar tissue caused by a parasite.  They believe the parasite is now gone, and it's the scar tissue still doing the damage.  Any suggestions other than Helichrysum and Myrrh?


Pat -
I would suggest using the Candida blend for a couple of weeks just to make sure that the parasite really is gone. Since this is affecting her eye, I would imagine that the scar tissue is somewhere near the cornea. The following is good scar prevention, but we have found that it also helps to reduce scar tissue.  4 drops Helichrysum, 6 drops Lavender, 8 drops of Myrrh and 2 drops of Sandalwood. Dot this blend around the eye bone, a couple of times a day, being careful that she does not rub that area and get it into the eye.

Rob - I like the blend Pat, another application option would be to get an eye patch and put drops of the blend you mentioned on a cotton pad, then put the cotton pad over the closed eye and put on the patch. Have her try to sleep with the eye patch.  It will take a few days to get used to, but the results might be amazing.

Penne - I am type II diabetic and have used Lavender for burns and healing with great results. In fact I had surgery a few months ago and (...) oils, including Lavender, were instrumental in one of my incisions healing with minimal scaring. Here is a test I did so I could tell if the oils were doing what I thought they should, I used the oils on only one incision.  The incision I used the oils on is dramatically different (in a great way) than the one I didn't.  Now I am in the process of oiling the second site to get it as healed as the first one. Use the Lavender!

 

Debbie - What do you do to prevent scarring on the face?  My grandson took a bad fall and has two layers of stitches on his face.  They told me I could start vitamin E in 2 weeks.  I thought of Helichrysum, Frankincense - looked it up and two additional oils were Geranium and Lavender.  I couldn't get a good answer as to why to wait 2 weeks.  Any additional oils, thoughts, ideas? THANKS!  ~Deb

Rob - The two week is likely to wait till the skin closes, so nothing that can cause infection will get into the wounds.  They are not aware that (xxx) oils are pure and highly anti-bacterial.  Lavender, Helichrysum and Geranium would be most helpful to prevent scarring.  I would also trust VCO as a carrier if you use one.

Monica - Doctor may want to wait 2 weeks on the vitamin E because while good for healing, is not necessarily antibiotic/antiseptic/etc.  If it were my son, I would begin immediately with Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender, and Geranium.  I would create a "custom blend" using several drops of each, and gently apply to the wounded area three or so times per day.  

I suffered a severe burn on my chest last spring, and used just the Frankincense and Lavender ((...) was barely getting started, didn't even have product to ship yet, and Justin had sent me samples of those, plus Lemon and Peppermint... *instantly addicted*, but I digress....). Anyway... the wounded area healed splendidly, and the scar is only noticeable to people whenever I point out the area when sharing my story.  Only bad thing: I forgot to take photos of the ordeal!!!

Now, I use the 4 oils mentioned above whenever I have a skin injury, to facilitate the healing process...AND I use them every day on my face as part of my skincare regimen.  I am nearly 43 and have noticed wonderful results in the tone, evenness of color, and a significant reduction of those wavy, deep things that start with a W (SHHhhhhh.... Don't say the wrinkles word!!)

Tamalu - Amen to Monica, and I use a lot of White Fir.  Burns, bruises, cuts, any kind of pain, and...yes, even the W word!  It has been referred to as Poor Man's Frankincense for good reason!  I would be slapping oils on my boy immediately, as well!

Debbie - Thanks Monica and Tamalu!  I will get Myrrh, White Fir, and Geranium.  I have the Frankincense and Lavender.  Any reason why I shouldn't add the Helichrysum?  There's no burning in any of these particular oils is there?  I love the regiment for the "W's". 

These oils are great, for example, just a few days ago I was in an accident that could have easily left me paralyzed.  Long story, without all the gory details, I feel like a walking miracle today because of the oils (Helichrysum, Frankincense, Calming Blend, Lavender, Peppermint, Soothing Blend)  that brought me out of shock, curtailed the pain and have been healing my body.  Some of my kids saw the accident and freaked out.  I went to the ER to make sure I didn't have neck fractures.  By the time we got to the hospital, about two hours later, my neck was moving and the pain was minimal and I felt in my heart all was well. 

Penne - I was told they like to wait two weeks because of infection dangers. I had surgery on my right elbow in December.  Two weeks out I started occupational therapy.  However, I started using Lavender neat within about 3 days.  The therapist was going to just use Jergens lotion with Vitamin E.  I told her not to, that I would bring my own oils in.  In one of the roller bottles I mixed Vitamin E (I poked a hole in the end of 6 of the little caplets and squeezed out the oil), 6 drops of Helichrysum, 5 drops of Frankincense, and 4 drops of Lavender, and filled the bottle up with the Fractionated Coconut Oil.  Toward the end of the therapy I backed off of the Frankincense and added Lemongrass.  The therapy was twice a week for three months.  I also used Jojoba Oil and it worked really well!  It carried well and absorbed much quicker than the fractionated coconut oil.

Scar Example

The attached photo is of my incisions.  Because I had two, and I wanted to see if the oils really did make a difference, so I only used them on the outer SLP incision (scar on the left side of photo), not on the inner Ulna nerve incision (scar on the right side of photo).  

WOW!  THESE ARE THE GREATEST OILS EVER!!!!!

Monkeez5 - We just had an amazing experience with the oils.  My 2 yr old daughter stepped in a pile of hot embers/ashes- needless to say- very severe burns requiring medical attention.  I too, was told not to use my oils until wounds healed (estimated to be three weeks).  For the most part- I did what they told me for the dressing- with these exceptions: Foot soaks- I was told to soak her feet daily before applying the dressings- well of course I could not take a chance of infection from tap water- so I dumped a few (Lavender, Frankincense, Helichrysum) drops each into a stainless steel mixing bowl with warm water. I let her soak and splash as long as possible. Spine-I also rubbed the above three oils plus Lemon (reproduction of white blood cells to speed healing) along her spine a couple times a day. Internal- I also added Lemon to her OJ thru the day (sometimes Protective Blend) and broke the capsules up to dump about 1/3-1/2 each of the LLW to her yogurt daily (to speed healing from inside as well). 

With all of this- she needed very little pain medicine (maybe first day is all).  We went in for our one-week check up expecting two more weeks of this only to hear the burns were healed.  She was not expected to walk for three weeks.  She walked out that day.  Because of the remaining skin and such (still looked yucky) I hadn't even realized they were healed.  I have continued by applying this blend daily (usually twice, with coconut oil to avoid drying out).  It has been 4 weeks today- she looks great- I don't even think she will have scars.  I am going to add the Geranium also which I avoided at the beginning because I was afraid it would burn her a little.

I agree the warnings are to avoid infection or complications but medical professionals are not aware of the (xxx) of (...) essential oils so I can't say I blame them. I would not have trusted any other oils in this situation.  This is my baby girl.  I am just thankful for (...) oils.

 

Sharon - Comfrey ointment and Helichrysum work wonders for any scars!

Angela - I need some help.....my husband has split his knuckle on his pointer finger, he should have had stitches but didn’t. It has healed to the point that the skin is hard but it never came together, it is not infected but continues to be painful and open?  Do you have any  suggestions as to what we might try?


Tara -
I have a scar right at my wrist line that is from 25 years ago.  After  2 weeks of applying Lavender I started seeing a small scab and NOW it has shrunk to half its size. It is still there, but I believe that it is helping. After seeing that I put it on all my scars.  Hope this helps.

Rob - I have heard that Helichrysum is excellent for scars.

Koleke -I am using Lavender and Frankincense together for a similar ailment

Lil - I would keep dropping White Fir on it. He will be amazed at how quickly it will heal.

Protocols folks recommend for children

 

 

Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils

 

What Science & Research are saying

 

Inhibitory effects of essential oil from rhizomes of Ligusticum chuanxiong on hypertrophic scarring in the rabbit ear model.

Pharm Biol. 2011 Jul;49(7):764-9.;   Wu JG, Wei YJ, Ran X, Zhang H, Nian H, Qin LP.;   Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, P. R. China.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Hypertrophic scarring, a common proliferative disorder of dermal fibroblasts, results from an overproduction of collagen and excessive deposition of extracellular matrix. Although the treatment with surgical excisions or steroid hormones can modify the symptoms, numerous treatment-related complications have also been established.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effects of essential oil (EO) from rhizomes of Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (Umbelliferae) on hypertrophic scarring in a rabbit ear model.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A rabbit ear model of hypertrophic scarring was established. EO (5, 10, and 20%) was applied once daily to the scars for 22 days. After 28 days of post-wounding, excision of scars was respectively performed for both histological examination and assays of the levels of collagen I, collagen III, matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β₁). The scar Joyful Blend (Elevating Blend) index (SEI) was also determined.

RESULTS:

After 22 days of treatment with indicated concentrations of EO, hypertrophic scarring was significantly inhibited in the rabbit ears. The levels of TGF-β₁, collagen I, and collagen III evidently decreased and MMP-1 level markedly increased in the scar tissue. SEI was also significantly reduced. Immunohistochemical findings exhibited significant amelioration of the scar tissue.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

EO suppresses hypertrophic scarring in the rabbit ear model and is a probably effective cure for human hypertrophic scarring.

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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.