SCARS – New and Old

by Penny Keay © 2013

Scars. We are contacted quite regularly about help with skin that has been injured from either an accident or from surgery.

Many folks want the scar to not be so noticeable. Others want any of the following to happen: less painful, heal quickly, help with numbness and regain feelings (touch, pain, heat, cold). I’m sure there are more reasons that are not coming to mind at the moment.

Everyone at one time or another gets some type of wound that will leave a scar. Whether it is from a cut, scrape or surgery, most of us would like to do something about them so they won’t be so noticeable.

Although there is not a guarantee from any company or any product to completely hide and heal scars, the best anyone can hope for is lightening of the scar so it is less noticeable. Occasionally you can get a scar to fade to the point where it is barely detectable.

Essential oils and carrier oils can hasten the process to help scars become less noticeable and to heal quickly.

Several essential oils can help the process of healing of any wound. The property an essential oil has to heal wounds is cicatrisant or cell regenerative. Essential oils such as Lavender, Helichrysum, Neroli, Rose, Sage, Niaouli, Rosemary, Cistus and Frankincense are cicatrisant. Over two dozen essential oils possess this property to varying degrees. These listed are the most commonly used.

Lavender, once diluted, can also be used around almost all new wounds. It helps to fight infection and helps the body to heal quickly, again, by helping the body to regenerate new cells. The more quickly a wound can heal the less likelihood of scarring.

Helichrysum works great when used around new wounds, especially when there is bruising also present. It has properties to help the cells regenerate quickly, especially nerve cells and to help with pain relief. Although it works on old scars too, it does its best work on fresh ones.

Minor Cuts and Wounds

When, a minor cut or wound is fresh, clean the area with 2 cups of warm water to which you have added 5 drops of Lavender and 2-3 drops of Tea Tree. This will help to clean and disinfect the area. You can also use a mild soap solution if the wound is very dirty from debris. Then use the above water and essential oil mixture to do a final rinse.

Next, apply a bandage or piece of gauze over the wound that has 2-3 drops of Lavender diluted with carrier oil, such as Rosehip seed oil, added to the pad and place over the wound. Change this a couple times a day. After the third day, you should be able to leave it uncovered. If not continue for a couple more days.

Cuts or Surgery sites with Sutures

If the cut is severe enough to require stitches a.k.a. "sutures", you should consult your doctor and make sure there is no objection to using diluted Lavender on the wound.

Some doctors prefer you wait until the 'stitches' are removed. If that is the case, the doctor may not object to you applying the essential oils around the perimeter of the wound, not touching the suture line itself.

Remember many essential oils constituents can penetrate the skin, enter the blood vessels and are free to travel throughout the body. Even if you cannot apply the healing oils directly to the wound to start with, you can still use the oils. The cells that need the help of the essential oils will still be able to get to them.

Neroli and Sage also play important part in the healing and treatment of scars.

Once the cut has sealed shut and that can be anywhere from a couple days to about a week or more, you can start to apply blends known to help reduce scarring. Do not remove any scabs. Apply the blend over the top of the scab and surrounding area. If you pick, pull or rub off the scab, instead of letting it fall off naturally - you WILL have a scar!!

A simple blend of Helichrysum - 10 drops in Rosehipseed oil - 1 ounce - applied to the wound a couple times a day will help the healing process to continue rather quickly and there should be minimal to no scarring. According to French aromatherapy literature, these oils will also help slow-healing wounds and the prevention of keloid formation.

If you have old scars you can start a daily treatment using all of these oils too but realize it may take as long as 3 to 6 months before you will see results. You need to be committed to this and consistency is “a must” if you want to see results.

Rosehipseed oil and Hazelnut oil are two very skin nourishing carrier oils in the healing process of scars.

When I had surgery (abdominoplasty aka tummy tuck) 10 years ago, I used a mixture of Rosehipseed oil and Hazelnut oil along with Helichrysum , Lavender, Neroli and Sage.
My 20” incision line is almost invisible. (If I did not do ‘tanning’ for Vitamin D – you would not see it in my fair colored skin.)

Below is the recipe I use and we continue to suggest when contacted as to what to use on scars – new or old. We also have it available premixed for those who prefer to not buy the ingredients and blend themselves. To order this blend premixed Click here for our Scar Lightening Blend.

My scar recipe:
Helichrysum 1 ml
Lavender 1 ml
Sage - 10 drops
Neroli - 5 drops
Rosehipseed oil 1 oz
Hazelnut oil -1 oz.

Mix until well blended, apply to the scar 2-3 times a day until your scar has lightened and healed.

I did not start applying this until all the sutures and staples were removed from the very large incision. Since some of my 'stitches' were in for 3 weeks, it delayed my ability to ‘get going’ like I had hoped to on the reduction of scarring. I was able to apply diluted Lavender oil near the incision line.

This by itself, helped reduce the inflammation and itching that accompanies such types of incisions. This, I am sure, helped the healing process along as well. Once the sutures were out, I applied this twice a day.

By the time six months post op came around the majority of the incision was invisible.

Another thing I want to add here is that as your skin and nerves heal from a cut, surgical incision or other trauma, it will go through several stages of healing.

(For those interested in the medical interpretation and aspects in wound healing see this article in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wound_healing       It is very interesting. )

Every surgical incision or deep cut will have numbness, loss of feeling, possibly unable to tell heat or cold, no sensation of pain, touch or more. The above blend will help the nerves to ‘wake-up’. You may feel strange sensations. Your skin may feel like it is ‘crawling’ or a strange itch. This is normal as the nerves wake up and regenerate.

During a Tummy tuck, many of the nerves to the skin are severed or damaged. It takes a lot of time for the nerves to reconnect or regenerate. Even after 10 years, I can still feel the nerves ‘waking’ up. I have an area about 3 inches in diameter in the center of my abdominal skin where I have very little feeling. I do feel pain if I ‘pinch’ it hard enough. I have no sensation of touch or temperature in that area.

Everywhere else though, the feelings have returned. Right after surgery and for about the first year there was no feelings – it was numb – no pain sensation, no touch, no cold or hot feelings and this was the whole abdominal area – about the size of a large dinner plate. I had to be careful since I could not tell if I was getting burned or ‘stabbed’ by anything.

The best thing is that over the years I have used Helichrysum or the Scar lightening Blend and each time I can tell the nerves are regenerating. Even after 10 years, the area of no sensations is getting smaller. Who knows what the next 10 years will bring. Maybe I will get all the feelings back in that skin!

Every cut/wound will ‘itch’. It is a sign your body is healing the area. But, do not scratch it! It will make it worse. Itching begets scratching which begets more scratching – until you do damage – so don’t scratch that itch!!

Everyone will heal and react differently but the suggestions here are an all-natural method and very inexpensive thing to do. So, if you wish to give them a try, remember essential oils and some nourishing carrier oils are very effective at helping you lighten those awful scars!

Scars blend – another recipe
Helichrysum - 10 drops
Sage - 10 drops
Rosehipseed oil 1 oz. - 1 tablespoon
Hazelnut oil 1 oz. - 2 1/2 ounces.

Mix and blend together. Apply at least 2 times daily to the scar. This blend should help your wound heal with minimal scarring in about 10 days. When used on older scars, it can take several weeks to months to see results.

SCARS on YOUNG CHILDREN

If your young child – under 5 years of age - falls and has a cut on the chin, eyebrow etc, consult your physician. Most have been receptive to you applying with a small cotton swab the Scar lightening blend.

For children younger than 2 years where you cannot control their hands – from rubbing the wound, we suggest you apply only Rosehip seed oil. You can apply this several times a day. Again, get permission from the physician beforehand.

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We do not endorse, nor do we encourage anyone to implement Aromatherapy or any suggestions contained within this site without the consent of his/her medical doctor. We also do not take any liability for your implementation of any oils, recipes, or anything else available through this site, from any book or company recommendation, or available on any site linked from Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC


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Copyright © 2013 Penny Keay
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