I know better than to apply certain essential oils undiluted (neat) to my skin. I really do know better. I have read the research, and studied the effects of the constituents when applied topically. I know which medications I am on, and I know which oils may interfere or reduce my medication’s efficacy.
So all this “knowing” doesn’t mean diddly when I forget to use my brain!
Yep, I did a big “oops” and I am now paying the price. Let me take you back a few days to set the scene.
Last week was a busy week around here, in addition to our normal school schedule, we were also getting the house ready to host a bridal shower. Over the course of the week I must have overdone it (yeah, it really doesn’t take much for me to overdo it, I know) and started to feel nerve and joint pain in my arm and lower back. I ignored the pain for a couple days the best I could, but by the time Saturday night came round, I was ready for some relief. (Here is where I forgot to use my brain…and my eyeglasses)
As I was getting ready for bed I thought I could benefit from some pain relief and grabbed my bottle of arthritis plus (This is a proprietary blend, not one made by me) and proceeded to rub a couple drops into my elbow and forearm. Then I fell asleep.
I slept very well and woke up with no nerve or joint pain. And, I went on to have a very nice Sunday with the family. My nice Sunday came to a screeching halt about 24 hours after the application of that arthritis plus blend.
I started itching like crazy, that “can’t stop myself until I draw blood” type of itching. My forearm looked like a landscape from a Dr Seuss storybook. Pale skin (no, not all Hispanics tan nicely) dotted with a thousand pink pin pricks. I quickly realized that it was popping up in the exact location that I applied the blend. Argh!!!!
I opened the box of blended oils (yeah I have a separate storage box for single oils and blended oils) and went to take a closer look at the blend, thinking that there must be something in this particular blend that I am allergic to.
White Cedar, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Black Cumin, Helichrysum italicum, Black Pepper
Nope nothing there that I am knowingly allergic too, and the bottle had a blue sticker dot on top so that means it is oils blended with a carrier.
Wait! Where is the carrier in the ingredient list? Yep, this is where my eyes and brain failed me. The first time I looked at the blend when I bought it, I missed the fact that it was a synergy of oils and not a blend in a carrier. I miss identified it. And I had proceeded to rub a couple (2-3) drops straight into my skin.
Well, now I just had to wait a couple more hours to watch the remaining spots erupt. You see, Sunday mid day I was so happy with the pain relieving effects from the night before, I rubbed a couple more drops on my lower back.
So fast forward to today. I am still dealing with a polka-dotted forearm that is still very itchy, and a lower back in the same condition.
Out of all my recent studying, this by far is the most painful lesson to date. Maybe I needed to learn the lesson about using oils neat the hard way, I mean I have read about the reactions that can happen, but maybe having it happen to me gives me a heightened awareness now? Yeah, let’s say that this had to happen so that I can become hyper-vigilant from this point forward. I think I prefer that spin on it. But, you can bet the farm that I will be double checking all my blends today!