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Sunburn Care With Lavender Essential Oil

Sunburn can be very uncomfortable and is serious in the case of babies and infants, whose skin is thinner than an older child‘s or adults. Repeated sunburn in young children can lead to more serious skin problems in later life.

Signs and symptoms of sunburn:
-redness or pinkness of the skin
-skin feels sore when touched
-sometimes with swelling or blistering
-sunburn can take 24 hours after exposure to reach its worst
-fever is sometimes present
-the dead, dried skin can start to peel away after about 3 days

The worst thing you can do is try to pull away the skin if it starts to peel.
Let it come off in its own time, no matter how unsightly it is. Cool baths help a lot, especially immediately after exposure to the sun. On areas that aren’t submerged in baths such as the face and neck, use cold compresses.

Lavender oil (lavandula angustifolia) has a long history of healing burns. Renee-Maurice Gattefosse, PhD, a French cosmetic chemist, is widely regarded as the “Father of Aromatherapy”. In his 1937 book, Aromatherapy, Dr. Gattefosse told the real story of his now famous use of lavender on a serious burn. Dr. Gattefosse had been literally aflame-covered in burning substances-following a laboratory explosion in July, 1910. After he extinguished the flames by rolling on grassy lawn, he wrote that “both my hands were covered with rapidly developing gas gangrene” (dying skin tissue). Dr. Gattefosse said that just one rinse with lavender essence stopped the ‘gasification of the tissue’. This treatment was followed by profuse sweating, and healing began the next day.

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Note: There are several species of lavender but lavandula angustifolia is the most healing for burns. Other species often contain a high level of camphor which can be irritating to the skin and create even more discomfort.

Lavender Baths:

Age: Up to 5 years use 3 drops

6 years: 4 drops

Add a drop for each year of the child’s age to a maximum of 12 drops.

Lavender Compresses:
Add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to one ounce of cool water. Swish this mixture around in a glass bowl. Soak a baby washcloth and squeeze it out. Place compress on cheeks, forehead, ears, keeping away from the eyes. If eyelids are sunburned, you could soak cotton balls in the compress water, squeeze them dry and place over eyes like eye pads.

Aloe/Lavender Soothing Gel:
Mix together one teaspoon of pure aloe vera jelly and 5 drops of lavender. Smear mixture over sunburned skin. Also try Young Living’s LavaDerm Cooling Mist for all types of burns, rashes or skin irritation.
These tips are for educational purposes and not intended to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. If severe discomfort is present, always consult your health care provider.

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Cascia Talbert

Cascia Talbert is a devout Catholic, mother of five children, health and fitness enthusiast and positive parenting supporter. She is also the founder of the award winning online health, fitness, parenting and Christian faith magazine for moms, the Healthy Moms Magazine. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, five children and one spoiled cat. Her hobbies include gardening, country music, running, and playing her flute. Check out her first book, "Taking Care of your Family's Health and Well-being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available exclusively on Amazon.

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  1. 4 Lettre Words July 21, 2009

    I bet it smells wonderful!!

  2. Felicia July 21, 2009

    I used the Lavender oil on a serious sun burn and it worked!!! I had minimal peeling and it heeled up very quickly!