Open Wound Care


As a mother of six boys, I've had my share of experience with open wound care. 

Common injuries in need of open wound care come in various types.  They can be abrasions, cuts, and sometimes puncture wounds.


In any case, when one of these kind of injuries arise, my basic objectives are the same.  I want to reduce any bleeding, disinfect the affected area, promote healing, and minimize any scarring.

I also want to do what I can to calm down the person needing care -- especially if dealing with a younger child.  (Lavender and the blend Peace & Calming serve this purpose well.)

compress

First Aid for Bleeding

The incidents I've experienced needing open wound care typically begin with some kind of first aid for bleeding.  Here I basically follow what would be standard first aid for cuts.  I use a compress to reduce the bleeding.

Besides just using a piece of clean cloth or gauze, however, there is also something else I would do -- add some essential oils to the compress.  One blend that might be used with a compress is 5 drops geranium, 5 drops lemon, and 5 drops German chamomile.  Other single oils that can be used to help slow bleeding are helichrysum, lavender, and myrrh.

In addition to a compress, the indirect application of cypress can be very effective to control bleeding.  Cypress is known to strengthen the circulatory system, particularly through the buildup of capillary walls.

In his excellent audio course, <em>Family First Aid with Essential Oils</em>, Dr. Peter Minke discusses numerous examples where bleeding has been controlled with the use of cypress.

In these cases, the cypress is applied not directly to the wound, but in an area that will readily absorb the cypress into the blood stream -- like the inner arm or inner thigh.

When it comes to reducing bleeding for abrasions or scrapes, Lavaderm Spray is a good consideration.


spray

Disinfecting a Wound

Once any bleeding is about stopped, my open wound care then proceeds with cleaning or disinfecting the wound.  Sometimes this is easier than others, depending on how much dirt may have gotten in a wound.  Regardless, I want to make sure I do what I can to get the wound good and clean to prevent any infection.

Many people use hydrogen peroxide, and I don't have anything against that practice.  But I find that my essential oils are very effective as an antiseptic for disinfecting wounds.

My first choice for this purpose is Thieves Antiseptic Spray.  Thieves is an essential oil blend comprised of  clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary.  Together, these oils make a powerful antibacterial, anti-infectious, and anti-inflammatory combination.

Along with flushing a wound with water, I like to spray this oil blend mist directly on the wound.

Some other oils I might incorporate in the disinfecting process are melaleuca or tea tree, mountan savory, or thyme.


Promoting Healing

Once a wound is disinfected, I'll then apply a bandage or dressing and do what I can to avoid any infection and promote healing.

A good oil to accomplish this is melaleuca (or tea tree) which was used during World War II to help prevent infections. 

Melrose is a blend of a couple types of melaleuca, plus rosemary and clove,  This blend serves not only as a good anti-septic, but it also can help regenerate tissue which, of course, enhances the healing process.

There's also a first aid spray that can be used to help prevent infections and promote healing.  Here's the recipe for it. . .


First Aid Spray

  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 3 drops meleleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil
  • 2 drops cypress oil

Mix  these oils together with ½ teaspoon salt. Combine this  with 8 ounces of distilled water and shake vigorously. Apply  with spray bottle  to minor cuts and wounds prior to covering  with bandage. Repeat  2-3 times daily for 3 days. A drop or two  of tea tree oil on the wound daily for a few days  may also be helpful.

Source: Essential Oils Desk Reference

Minimize Scarring

For me, open wound care is not complete without doing what I can to prevent scarring, especially on the face or other visible parts of the body.

The old stand-by, lavender, is the oil I rely on most when I am trying to minimize scarring.  But there are other oils that can be used, too.  These include a blend called gentle baby, as well as frankincense, helichrysum, lemongrass, geranium, and myrrh.

I have found that it is good to use these oils even if professional medical care is needed.

A few months back one of our sons needed stitches above his lip as a result of a fall.  I used essential oils on the area before the physician's assistant sewed him up, and for about a week after the incident around the area of the stitches.

Besides wanting to limit the chance of an infection, I wanted there to be as small a scar as possible above his lip. So, I alternated with lavender and elemi (which is from the frankincense family).  The result?  The healing process ran its course smoothly with hardly any scarring.

When the need for some open wound care comes up, it can be a little unnerving.  But with my essential oils, I am confident I have the tools I need for the incidents that typically arise in this area.


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