Life | 3 days ago
Woman shares facial burns she suffered from diffusing essential oils
'A life-changing incident.'

A woman has shared images of the facial burns she suffered after diffusing essential oils.

Emily Smith was using a popular electric diffuser in her home a few weeks ago.

She said that she was well aware of the "benefits" of essential oils, such as increased relaxation, meditation, and so-called healing properties.

However, she was not aware of the dangers involved in the practice.

She took to Facebook last week to share her warning about diffusing essential oils and the burns she received to her face as a result of them.

"I’ve seen numerous articles on social media insisting that diffusers are a necessity in the home for relaxation, meditation, and ‘healing properties’ such as ‘18 Reasons - Why Every Home Needs An Essential Oil Diffuser’ and ‘10 Reasons Every Home Should Have An Essential Oil Diffuser’.

"But I've not seen a single one about potential hazards. And what’s less relaxing than having your face chemically burned, and your eyes permanently scarred? Or going blind?"

Emily wrote that she was diffusing a mix of patchouli oil and other oils, but when she leaned over the diffuser to turn it off, some of the vapour sprayed onto her face.

At the time, she said she didn't think anything of it.

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It was only when she was leaning over her fire to put another log on it sometime later that she noticed a "stinging sensation" on her face.

"The burning sensation increased, and I realised that I had been burned, although extremely confused and unsure about how it could have happened.

"I ran my face under a tap for ten minutes, then soaked it in cold water for twenty minutes whilst I rang 111 for medical guidance.

"I described the red, unblistered burn to the operator, who affirmed that I had only suffered first degree burns, and that professional medical attention would not be necessary. First degree burns are treated at home, with cold water and aloe vera/Vaseline. I followed the advice given, and went to bed."

However, Emily woke up in the middle of the night to the feeling that her face and eyes were "burning."

She managed to get back to sleep again, and when she woke in the morning, she said she "didn't recognise" herself.

"My face had swollen, my eyes were blurred and continually watering and my skin looked pus-y. My face and eyes burned and I was unsure whether this transition was normal for a burn."

Emily went to A&E where she was diagnosed with a chemical burn.

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She said that had she known that was what had happened, she would have gone to the hospital right away as the advice she had been given over the phone had not helped her situation at all, as the oil had not been removed.

Emily said that she was left wondering whether people know enough about diffusers and if they know how to use them properly.

"I’m not saying that people should stop buying and using diffusers, or essential oils, although I personally will not be around them again.

"I’m not saying that there is a likelihood of this happening to you. But there is a risk and you need to know about it.

"Essential oils can be combustible, poisonous, corrosive and flammable. They are oils in every sense of the word, and not just the scents that they are marketed to be.

"In the past month I turned 24 and got engaged. My face and eyes were chemically burned. I'm extremely fortunate to have my sight at all, and lucky that the burn wasn't worse, but I have suffered permanent eye damage and am potentially facially scarred for life.

"A life changing incident, that was preventable."


Emily encouraged people to share her post with their friends.

She has since received over 5,000 shares and 2.3k comments from Facebook users warning others to be extremely careful when diffusing essential oils.

Sure it's only bleedin' deadly #Girls With Goals! 


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