It happens more often than you think. Someone is treating a scar with a NewGel+ Scar Management System Product and boosting their healing efforts with essential oils, only to find out that they are pregnant! If this happened to you do not let your elation be overshadowed by fear.
It is true that some essential oils are bad during pregnancy but many can be taken in low doses without any known harmful effects. So before you panic and worry that you have done damage the baby you are carrying, it is prudent to learn which oil is in which of these categories and what is safe for prenatal use. And remember that our silicone products are safe to use at all life stages. So if you remain unsettled after your research you can still rely on us.
Essential Oils for Skin Treatment
There is a significant body of research, especially coming out of eastern medicine, on the positive correlation between the use of certain essential oils and the reduction of skin conditions and scarring. (Source). Much of this, however, is coming from the industry that is promoting aromatherapy, rather than peer-reviewed science. (Source). And while there is evidence that exists to show positive therapeutic benefit of some compounds, most are not backed by the same diligence. Despite that, and while our silicon-based products are recognized to be the single most effective product on the market to reduce or eliminate noticeable scars, there is certainly no lack of people that rely on other compounds.
There is supposed to be an oil for almost every skin issue, from bacterial infections, which slow down wound healing, to wrinkles, scabs, and inflammation. In particular, yarrow, frankincense, neroli, carrot seed, mandarin, palmarosa, galbanum, immortelle, hyssop, lavender, patchouli, vitamin E, and onion are all believed to help with scarring. Some of these oils, such as lavender, patchouli, and frankincense have additional suggested uses that include calming and relaxation.
Frequently people use oils blended together, or to accomplish more than one goal. These oils are mixed with other compounds and are consumed, applied topically, and/or diffused. The quality and concentration of oils can vary widely and there is no true regulations guiding either the production or use of any of the oils. Since the quality of essential oils is unpredictable it is important to be especially careful when using them during pregnancy. Some oils are recognized as being dangerous to use during pregnancy. Remember, that even those that have never been shown to have a negative impact on pregnancy, have not been shown to be as effective as silicon for treating scars.
Even aromatherapists, whose job it is to sell you oils, will warn you about a number of oils being either completely unsafe to use when pregnant (and breastfeeding), or that you should be highly cautious using. The concerns center around three issues: impacts on early fetal development, toxicity caused from crossing the placenta, and the triggering of contractions. Searching the internet for information will bring up inconsistencies. For instance, there actually seems to be disagreement about whether frankincense is safe to use at all, or only in small doses and for short periods of time. This is why it is important to look to scientific studies for as much information as you can find.
There are laboratory studies that have looked at the development of mammals when exposed to plants’ essential oils. In one such study sage, oregano, thyme, clove and cinnamon were all tested on mice embryos with the results clearly showing negative impacts from all but thyme and nothing positive. (Source). There are other lists that can easily be found of oils to avoid, which include many of the same oils that are recognized for treating scars.
Vitamin E and onion extract are two of the most cited compounds for scar tissue treatment. Neither of them is recommended for use during pregnancy, however, though it is unclear if they are unsafe for topical use only. Perhaps most importantly, the prevailing research indicates that neither is as effective as silicone therapy.
In the first trimester your safest bet is to avoid essential oil use as much as possible, especially when inhaled or ingested. Grapefruit, mandarin, neroli, and lavender are probably safe to use in low amounts in the second and third trimesters. Grapefruit and mandarin are also on the list of oils that may be helpful with post-pregnancy stretch marks. Lavender is regarded by many people as an ideal tool to help with relaxation and relaxation is certainly good for pregnant women. In all cases, however, it is best to speak to your doctor before use and if you are having pregnancy complications to avoid the use of anything that your doctor does not specifically prescribe or authorize.
Pregnancy is an exciting and wonderful stage in a woman’s life. It can also be one of the most complicated and daunting. There is no reason that treating your scars should add to that. Trust your healthcare provider to guide you and your baby to a happy, healthy, birth.