November 21, 2014

Yes Virginia, photosensitivity is r.e.a.l.

Bergamotcitrus bergamia – is an essential oil that I have come to admire and use often. Diffusing and topical applications abound, everything from your standard diffuser or applying it to my skin in the form of a lotion and spraying it on my pillow before I crash for the night. Yes I adore this essential oil and the reason I adore this e.o. is because of the effects that it has on my stress levels and my nervous system. For me - it kicks lavender out the window for relaxation and calming, enabling me to get a good night's sleep or to focus on the moment. Some very important concepts when one is on the healing side of stress overload and fighting for their margin.

So about this lotion application... 

I must mention that this was not the kind of lotion that was full of synthetic chemicals that you can't pronounce, nope... this lotion was the real deal. Where Bergamot is Bergamot and thus bringing all of the benefits... and advisories. Advisories that are real. Advisories that should be heeded. Advisories that one would do well to commit to their memory before this...

Readers meet my “photosensitivity sunburn”- please note that this photo is a little over a week old, as it took me a few days to figure out just what exactly I had done to warrant this burn and then another couple days to think hey, maybe I should share this learning experience.

This Bergamont essential oil that I relish so much, comes with strict warnings for avoiding sunlight for at least two hours, some sources would even recommend much longer... either way it slipped my mind. You see - it was a beautiful fall day... it was suppose to be up in the high sixties and I was eager to go out and play in it. So just before I ran out the door, I threw on some lotion and went about my business. 

And a couple hours of being outside in the general sunshine led to this.

Yes, Virginia. Photosensitivity is real.

The first evening I definitely noticed a sunburn, but I could not figure out why it was concentrated in the crease area of my neck and across... and as it progressed on blisters formed in the front of my neck, over the throat area. 

Over the course of days I ruled out food issues, soap laundering concerns and other contact dermatitis problems. Mulling over each step leading up to that first 'burn' day and then it hit me... I had just applied my lotion and went out side in a hurry, fast enough to not have rubbed in the lotion on that area of my neck. I saw it clearly in my mind as I remember that days actions. 

Yep. This was a sunburn - made worse by my Bergamot lotion. Photosensitivity...

Photosensitivity/phototoxicity/photoirritation/photosensitizing  – is the term or terms used when certain essential oils used on the skin can cause it to become more sensitive to the UV rays of sunlight, thus resulting in sun burn or damage. The main essential oil group are those of the citrus orientation... however I would encourage you can head on over to Heritage's newsletter for a very detailed sharing on the subject.

My beloved Bergamot essential oil is known for it's use as a CNS depressant and emotional balancing properties. It also has indications for cold sores, insomnia and colic... it's anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and viral. And still number one in my life right now!

~ Blessings!

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