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I have a friend who recently had breast cancer surgery. She has asked that I make her a cream to help minimize scarring. What essential oils and carrier oils would be useful to blend into a cream for this purpose?


Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #2 

Good Morning Juliana, First of all you must work with the supervising physician. Ask your friend to communicate her wishes to use essential oils in order to minimise the scarring after her surgery. Although the use of essential oils at safe levels of concentration topically is unlikely to pose any hazard to her, she really should make sure there are no potential interactions or contraindications with medications etc. Having said that there are a wide range of essential oils that could be employed to great benefit to increase the rate of healing and extent of reintegration of scar tissue. Try to determine what therapeutic actions are required first. For example if the phase of healing is still in the inflammatory stage, then one would look for an effective yet gentle antiinflammatory agent. German chamomile - Matricaria recutita, Roman chamomile - Anthemis nobilis, Everlasting/Immortelle - Helichrysum italicum, high altitude Lavender - Lavandula angustifolia, come to mind initially. The effects of Cupressus scariosus was considered comparable to that of hydrocortisone in the reduction of inflammatory fluid exudates - and "could supress inflammation within three hours of its administration" Gupta SK et al Indian J Exper Biol 1972 10:41-42. Essential oils with significant proportions of ketones are also recorded as being particularly useful in wound healing. Franchomme & Penoel and therefore other experts such as Schnaubelt recommend the judicious administration of "oils high in ketones for wounds, scars, burns, and surgical wounds, suggesting that ketones prevent cheloids and over-production of scar tissue" E. Joy Bowles, The Basic Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Essential Oils, page 54. Essential oils containing diketones (i.e. 2 carbonyl groups bonded to 2 hydrocarbon radicals) are considered as posessing anti-hematomal properties. The italidiones found in Helichrysum italicum (ssp serotinum) - according to Franchomme & Penoel can assist in the scavenging of dead cells as a bruise reintegrates. Other 'cicatrisant' oils (cicatrisant = promotes healing by the formation of scar tissue) according to Philippe Mailhebiau et al oratoires Phytosun'Aroms in France and author of Portraits in Oils, Les Cahiers de l'Aromatherapie and La Nouvelle Aromatherapie the following essential oilsare useful cicatrisants. Cistus ladanferous = Rockrose Helichrysum italicum var.serotinum - as above Lavandula x hybrida = Lavandin (a.k.a Lavandula x intermedia) Lavandula vera var. fragrans = the old name for L. angustifolia Melaleuca quinquenervia (viridiflora) = Niaouli Salvia officinalis = Dalmatian sage - use sparingly As for suitable carriers you could really use any of the following: Pure vegetal oil - check possible nut allergy with any of the nut derived oils. Use a maximum of 5% of total eo's of choice. For example in 15 mls or 1 tablespoon of oil add up to 15 drops of eo in total. Massage around the scar - proximal to distal. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a perfect adjunct and highly effective. Or blend same % in unscented, additive-free msoiturizing lotion. Auroma has a great range of unscented additive free products perfect for eo blending and suitable for everyday use. Or add up to 10 drops in total of eo's to a bowl of warm water. lay a clean cloth or gauze over the surface - allow the excess water to drip off, and then apply as a compress over the area. Adding essential oils to the bath will also help support other methods. Use up to 10 drops in a full tub of warm water and soak. Blend the eo's of choice in a tablespoon of honey before adding to the water as a slight emulsifier and to aid dispersion throughout the water. Honey also has healing properties. Normally I would suggest using dried milk as a base and the lactic acid may be supportive too. Just try to avoid an alkaline environment since that supports putrefaction and an acid environment is naturally preventative. Please note that damaged, hypersentitive, or inflamed skin is much more potentially absorbant than whole, healthy skin, and so you should reduce the suggested dosage by half to start with and then you can increase up to the levels as above as you see appropriate. There is also a greater risk of potential irritation or sensitization reactions by the recipient especially when the immune system is already compromised. Go gentley and slowly with low dosages. Please also note that Tisserand and Balacs report essential oils high in citral - an aldehyde and found for example in lemongrass, May Chang, melissa - studies have shown rise in ocular tension, sebaceous gland proliferation and associated estrogen/testosterone-dependent hyperplasia. Levels of essential oil used were way above the normal levels used in aromatherapy and most tests were done on animals - but it's worth bearing in mind as a responsible approach. Lastly, please involve your friend in any final selection of essential oils. The efficacy of aromatherapy seems to be strongly related to the affinity that the individual recipient has for the eo's used. Hope this helps Best Carolyn


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for all that information, I found it very interesting as I have some old surgery scars that I want to diminish.

I had read that sage (salvia officianlis) was good for old scars, but I also know that it can be toxic - what are your thoughts on using it for topical massage on old scars?

Also which of the oils mentioned above would you suggest are best for old scars? And would it be possible to see results apply the oils once a day, or would you need to apply twice?

Many thanks! 

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks a ton for such a niche information. It has been verified with research and works as well. 
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