People across cultures have been using essential oils for thousands of years for various medicinal and health purposes. Because of its detoxifying, antibacterial, calming properties, among others, essential oils are slowly gaining popularity as a natural, safe, and cost-effective way to address various health concerns.
While there has been very little scientific research on the health benefits of essential oils, these oils seem to provide excellent complements to traditional treatments.
In this article, we explore the usefulness of selected essential oils that are supposedly helpful to treat scars effectively.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is probably the most widely known essential oil. Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, native to Australia. It has been used by Aborigines for centuries as a form of traditional medicine to treat coughs and colds.
Tea tree oil is mostly known for treating acne because of it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it is widely used in many acne skincare products to reduce inflammation caused by acne bacteria.
In addition to eliminating acne bacteria, tea tree oil helps to trigger the activity of white blood cells that are key for promoting skin healing.
The oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant. Lavender is commonly used to promote calmness and encourage sleep because studies have shown that lavender oil is useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness.
In addition to its calming effects, lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which is effective for treating minor burns and insect bites.
According to an experiment done on rats in 2016, it was found that lavender oil helps to prevent scarring by promoting cell and tissue repair.
This oil is produced from geranium, a flowering shrub found throughout temperate regions and mountains of the tropics, mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region.
Commonly used in aromatherapy applications, geranium essential oil reduces stress, anxiety, fatigue, and tension. People also claim that it helps with cognitive function and balances emotions and hormones in the body.
A little-known fact of geranium oil: It is also useful for treating new, red scars by reducing inflammation, evening out skin tone, and encouraging new cell growth.
Rosehip oil is extracted from the seeds of rose plants. This extract is well-received among skincare manufacturers because it contains in linoleic acid and vitamin A. Studies have shown that using the oil regularly can reduce signs of photo-aging and other abnormal skin conditions.
A study conducted in 2015 found that rosehip oil improved the appearance of post-surgical scars. Participants of the study saw a significant improvement in the texture and appearance of the scar after 12 weeks of application.
Also called “Everlasting flowers”, Helichrysum is a type of flowering plant in the sunflower family, found mainly in Mediterranean countries and southern Europe. Helichrysum essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the plant.
Studies have suggested that Helichrysum essential oil promotes healing, fights infection, and reduce inflammation. It contains antimicrobial properties which are helpful to fight colds and coughs.
Recent studies also found that the essential oil encourages wound healing so that it reduces the chance of leaving a permanent scar on the skin. At the same time, the antimicrobial properties kill microorganisms and bacteria to prevent deeper infection, which could result in formation of deep scars.
Other scar treatment options
Exploring the use of essential oils as the first choice of treatment may work if the scar tissues are superficial and newly formed.
People with deeper, older scars may require a major revision by receiving outpatient medical treatments.
For example, PicoSure Laser is the latest laser technology that delivers shorter laser pulses as compared to traditional Q-switched lasers. Its targeted mode of energy delivery aims to stimulate collagen production in the skin with better precision, leading to reduced appearance of depressed scars.
Another scar treatment that is hugely popular in Singapore recently is INFINI radiofrequency micro-needling treatment. It involves using micro-needles with adjustable depths to administer radiofrequency waves into the dermis to stimulate collagen growth to reduce scar tissue.
Always seek a consultation with a doctor before you embark on any new treatment plan for your scars.