Essential oils have been a part of traditional medicine in various cultures from ancient times. With evidence based studies clearly showcasing the effects of cold pressed oils in treating various conditions, there has been renewed interest in the oil. An increasing number of users rely on essential oil for scars and wound management. It is important to note that while essential oil has multiple benefits, there is limited documentation about its effects. It is therefore necessary to take an informed decision about the efficacy of essential oil in treating scars. We now take a studied look at scars, to determine if essential oil for scars are truly effective or mere hype.
How does a scar form and do essential oil for scars really work?
Wound repair in the body is a natural process and this involves scarring. The natural healing process includes the formation of collagen fibers that attempt to mend the damage to an open wound that could be due to an external injury or as a result of conditions like acne. The collagen forms after the wound has healed and the new collagen is basically the body’s repair mechanism of closing the wound after the healing process. Consequently, the new tissue that is formed appears different from that of the tissue surrounding the wound or mark. Scars are healed wounds and marks that are different in color and skin texture from that of the skin around the wound/mark.
Depending on the type of wound and the area where the wound forms, the scar can be raised, which is because of the increased production of collagen to repair the wound. Similarly, a pit like or sunken appearance in scars is also common when the scarring is the result of surgical intervention. Finally, scars that are unrelated to wounds are those stretch marks that appear when the skin expands rapidly or if the individual loses too much of weight/mass in a short time.
How can scars be treated? Are essential oil for scars a part of treatment options?
There are multiple options for scar removal and treatment. The more severe cases of scars will require surgical intervention. Other scars are treated through other methods that include microdermabrasion, resurfacing, steroid and filler injections. These fall into the realm of medical/surgical methods for scar removal. Essential oil for scars also have desired results for specific types of scars, as a part of topical treatment options. It is important to understand that essential oil for scars will only work when it is a part of a treatment option and not the only method used for handling the condition.
Topical treatment options for scar removal usually work in conjunction with other methods. The result of topical applications and essential oil for scars is primarily the reduction in color and texture difference. These methods help to lessen the appearance to a certain extent, which can then be managed through the use of camouflaging cosmetic products. The effects of essential oil on scars are basically the impact on the skin tone, the ability to reduce the reddish/inflamed appearance of the scar on the skin. These two effects help to lessen the appearance of scar on the skin.
Can essential oil for scars be used alongside all treatment options?
Essential oil for scars can be used alongside most treatment options. It cannot be used with certain methods during the course of the treatment, but can be used after the treatment has ended. For instance, essential oil for scars are typically never used alongside microdermabrasion during the procedure. The procedure involves the removal of a fine layer of the skin to treat superficial scarring. The application of essential oil to expose skin is likely to cause discoloration, especially when exposed to sunlight. Patients are normally advised to wear protective clothing and avoid direct exposure to the sunlight for a particular period, immediately after the procedure. Similarly, patients are also advised to apply protective creams during this period and the application of essential oil for scars during this period will result in possible side effects. However, the oil can be used after the treatment has ended which will help in reducing the scarring significantly.
Different essential oils used for treating scars
Let us now look at the different essential oil for scars that are typically used, with measurable results. Not all essential oils are suitable for treating scars – some are primarily for the purpose of fragrance, while some are meant for other healing purposes. The oils that are generally used for treating scars include the following :
This is one of the oldest essential oils ever known, dating back to the BC era. The main effects of this oil include the ability to soothe, balance skin tone, promote the production of new skin cells and tighten the skin. The combination of balancing skin tone, producing more new skin cells and tightening of the skin helps to considerably reduce the scarring. Another standout effect of frankincense essential oil for scars is the anti-inflammatory property that helps in controlling possible inflammation that is generally associated with wound management.
Part of ancient medication in Middle Eastern nations and parts of Europe, chamomile is one of the more popular medicinal herbs. The wide variety of uses include scar treatment. Chamomile is often used even during wound management, which helps to treat the scarring early on. By virtue of its mechanism of action that blocks the entry of microbes into wounds, the oil is often used while treating the wound. This helps the oil to have desired results in bringing down the inflammation, through its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Among essential oil for scars Hyssop is regarded as one of the most effective due to the multiple properties – antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It has been a time tested oil used in treating acne and for tackling wrinkles. The combined properties of the oil, including its powerful antioxidant qualities, make it effective in treating scars, while managing wounds.
Geranium essential oil promotes the growth of new cells which helps to improve the appearance of skin and lessen the effects of scarring. The oil has additional properties such as anti-inflammatory qualities and restoring of skin tone balance. The combination of the properties makes the oil effective in treating the condition with desired results.
#5 Rosehip seed
This may be relatively unknown to a large number of individuals but is effectively one of the most effective in treating scars. Considered as one among the top essential oil for scars it is used for treating acne, fighting wrinkles and lessen the appearance of scars. Though not essentially belonging to the category of essential oil, it is a part of the traditional treatment options.
Essential oil for scars are effective in reducing the scarring, and the outcomes depend on the duration of usage. Unlike surgical methods, the use of topical applications for scar reduction take a longer time and the results are more likely to be noticeable gradually. With patience and continued application of the right type of oil, you can experience considerable change in the appearance of the scars.