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Reader Question: Can lavender really help cure skin conditions?

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For centuries lavender has been used for all kinds of medical applications. It has been said to soothe and cleanse the mind as well as the body, and even the name comes from the latin root lavare, which means “to wash”. The most common uses of lavender are aromatic, but lavender essential oil is also used for massage because of the calming qualities of the scent and application of lavender oil.

As it turns out, lavender oil can also be used for joint pain, arthritis, and rheumatism, because lavender oil has some minor pain relieving properties. Lavender oil is also slightly antiseptic, which means it can be used in minor cuts and scrapes to safely clean bacteria from wounds, reducing the risk of infection.

The antiseptic quality of lavender has also been shown to improve skin conditions such as eczema, fungal infections, and acne. Lavender oil is said to improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles as well, but these assertions have not been studied thoroughly. If you have a skin condition that would respond to a topical antibiotic, lavender oil may be an appropriate substitute.

However, you should always talk to your doctor about anything you use on your skin conditions. It is possible that the lavender will have a positive effect, or it may have no effect, and if you would like to try it you will probably be safe. But the risk of an allergic reaction should be taken into account and your doctor will be able to tell you if lavender has been known to improve your particular skin condition in the past.

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