Woman suffers chemical burns on her face from diffusing essential oils

Sarah Carty

A woman has revealed the horrific burns she suffered after diffusing essential oils in her apartment.

24-year-old Emily Smith was celebrating Bonfire Night in the UK last week when she decided to diffuse some oils as she and her boyfriend say by the fire and watched a film.

However, when she went over to turn it off, some vapour from the diffuser sprayed up onto her face and when she woke up the next morning her vision was blurry and her face had swollen.

A woman suffered horrific burns from diffusing essential oils. Photo: Facebook/Emily Smith

Emily took to Facebook to warn other about the dangers of using the oils, after saying she had no idea they could be so dangerous.

“I walked over to the diffuser and held the button down for a number of seconds (as this is the way to shut it off),” Emily started the post.

“In the process of turning the appliance off, some of the vapor from the diffuser must have sprayed onto my face. But I didn’t think anything of this.

“Whilst I was somewhat aware of the danger of getting essential oils directly on my skin, I was unaware that the vaporised 'diluted' oil from my diffuser could also be dangerous.”

However, she rang for medical guidance later that night when she realized she had actually been burned and they told her to treat it at home with cold water and Vaseline.

At 3am, Emily woke up and went to the bathroom with her eyes burning but decided to take some painkillers and go back to sleep.

Emily said she wants to warn people of the danger they're putting themselves through when they burn oils. Photo: Facebook/Emily Smith

However, when she woke up in the morning, she could barely recognize herself.

“My face had swollen, my eyes were blurred and continually watering and my skin looked pus-y,” she said.

“My face and eyes burned and I was unsure whether this transition was normal for a burn.

“By the time I spoke to the health advisers, my face looked considerably worse, and I was in more pain.”

Emily was sent to the burns unit Brighton, Accident and Emergency Hospital where a nurse “peeled off my blisters and my skin”.

She was diagnosed with chemical burns and only realized after the whole thing happened that there was link between the accident and the essential oil diffuser.

“I’m left wondering how many people realise the danger they are potentially putting before them,” she wrote.

“When exposed to the fire, these had a chemical reaction and ‘ignited’.

“Oil does not just wash off. When I soaked my face in a bowl of water, I was not really relieving my burn. I was marinating my face in the cause of my troubles.

“Are people aware that if the vapor sprays onto their skin, it stays there? If they later light a candle or cigarette, approach a fire, do some cooking, do they know that they could be putting themselves in harm’s way?

“The way to turn our diffuser off - holding the button on the side - put me in direct risk of coming into direct contact with the vapor.”

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