Amongst the many amazing uses for our lovely home-distilled lavender oil is its efficacy in wound and scar healing. It is said that the ability of lavender to promote faster healing was first discovered when a scientist burnt his hand in a lab and immediately plunged into a beaker of lavender to cool it. He then noticed how quickly and cleanly the wound healed and so went on to prove lavender’s healing abilities with further scientific testing. Since then it is widely accepted that lavender oil does indeed have powerful anti-cicatrizant properties. However, regardless of how knowledge of lavender’s scar and wound healing properties came about, it can prove to be a very effective natural treatment. Lavender essential oil can be used at all 3 stages of scar formation and healing, to help to ensure that the wound or scar heals as quickly as possible.
The first stage of scar formation is the actual incident of the wound, i.e. when it occurs. At this point the most important thing is to ensure that the wound is cleaned and protected against infection. For small lacerations or dryburns then this can be easily done yourself, although with any more serious wounds then you should always seek medical advice. Initially washing the wound out with water is recommended to remove any debris or dirt etc. and it is at this point that a few drops of lavender essential oil diluted in some watercan be applied directly around wounded area. Lavender will not only stimulate cell renewal and thus advance the healing speed of the wound, but it also has anti-bacterial properties that will help to protect the wound from infection.
The second stage of scar formation is known as the immature scar, and this is when wound healing is firmly established. It is at this point that the skin may appear red and inflamed and may feel itchy and irritated. It is upon the immature scar that the application of lavender essential oil can be most effective. Apply 1-2 drops directly onto a small scar and massage into the affected area twice a day. This will really help to encourage skin renewal and thus reduce the extent and appearance of the scar. For larger areas add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to 10ml of a carrier oil high in Vitamin E, such as almond, wheatgerm or olive. The combination of lavender and Vitamin E can really help to nourish your skin and speed its renewal.
The final stage of the scar is when it is known as a ‘mature scar’ and tends to be a scar that you have had for several months or even years. These scars tend to be the hardest to treat as the body’s natural healing process will have considerably slowed or even stopped. However a regular routine of deep tissue massage (to stimulate blood circulation) with lavender oil may be able to have an effect on even mature scars. You could also try combining lavender with avocado oil to help penetration into the deeper skin layers and/or citrus essential oils (such as lemon or bergamot) to help to fade the scar’s discolouration. Be sure to always read the usage instructions of any essential oil before using.