Plant-Based Remedies For Common Skin Lacerations

  • Nadza DzindoBSc Biomolecular Engineering, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

Skin lacerations are a form of open cuts or wounds which usually have irregular jagged edges. Such wounds can negatively impact patient's independence, ability to work, as well as their general well-being. Therefore, effective wound healing management is of great importance. 

Continue reading to discover more about how some herbal remedies may provide symptom alleviation and hasten the healing of skin lacerations. 

Overview of common skin lacerations and their causes

Skin lacerations are tears of the skin, which can occur as a result of an injury with a sharp object, a blow, tissue rupture, or due to illness. They are produced as a result of blunt force strikes, which compress and break the skin. Skin lacerations typically have uneven or macerated edges and may also exhibit other characteristics of a blunt impact injury, such as swelling, reddening, and bruising.1

Cuts and lacerations are sometimes used synonymously as they both refer to skin damage caused by a blunt or sharp tool. However, the term "cut" frequently refers to a minor laceration. Skin lacerations can be deeper and may require pressure to stop the bleeding and even stitches depending on the degree of the damage or the exposure of other parts like bone, tendons, ligaments, or muscle.

Generally, one can distinguish between deep, shallow, long, short, wide, and narrow skin lacerations. Lacerations that need stitches are infected or won't stop bleeding are considered severe.

Benefits of using plant-based remedies

Since ancient times, plant-based systems have been used to promote health and target diseases. The use of plant-based remedies is continuing to grow fast across the world as more people turn to these products for the treatment of a variety of health issues in various healthcare settings.2

The list below covers the main advantages of herbal medicines:

  • More affordable and accessible than conventional medicines
  • Mitigated risk of side effects
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Strengthens the overall body
  • Enhance skin’s natural repair mechanisms
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties

Common plant-based remedies for skin lacerations

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is well-known for its anti-inflammatory, skin-protective, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and wound-healing effects. This plant contains a variety of basic and complex natural bioactive components, including glycoproteins and polysaccharides. By reducing pain and inflammation, glycoproteins accelerate the healing process, whereas polysaccharides promote skin development and repair. Additionally, these substances might boost the immune system. Aloe vera is sold commercially in the form of ointments, creams, and lotions. Furthermore, aloe gel is frequently included in skin care products sold over the counter and in cosmetics. The gel is thought to be secure when applied to the skin's surface, but it shouldn't be used on deep skin lacerations.3


The antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties of lavender will aid in defending the wound against microorganisms that could potentially result in infections. Lavender essential oil promotes cellular growth, stimulates faster healing, and can help lessen the pain from the wound. Another advantage of utilizing lavender oil to treat skin lacerations is that it will reduce the appearance of scars. Lavender oil can be applied to a damaged area of the skin by using cotton balls.4 5


Calendula flowers have been used for centuries to treat a variety of clinical problems, especially dermatological disorders. This plant is applied topically to encourage faster healing by decreasing inflammation and promoting granulation. To extract the herb's antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory qualities, calendula flowers can be infused into oil and used to make products such as salve (see recipe), lip balm, soap, cream, and lotion formulations. 

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics. According to some studies, the oil's broad-spectrum anti-bacterial properties come from its capacity to damage bacterial cell walls.6 Additionally, studies have demonstrated that this oil activates white blood cells. White blood cells are essential for the body's defence against dangerous microorganisms and for the healing of wounds.7 For the treatment of skin lacerations, tea tree oil needs to be diluted with a carrier oil, such as almond oil, avocado oil, or olive oil, as it can cause dryness, blisters, and rashes in its pure form. Tea tree oil should make up no more than 3% of your oil mixture, with the remaining 97% being the carrier oil.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is rich in acids that are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. Lauric and capric acids in coconut oil, especially, have antibacterial qualities and destroy potentially hazardous microbes that can grow on the skin.8 To cure skin lacerations, collagen synthesis is necessary because wounds damage the collagen fibres present beneath the epidermis. By promoting the production of collagen and enhancing the cross-linking of collagen fibres, coconut oil improves brittle and damaged skin and hastens wound healing. 

Virgin coconut oil has been used in the majority of studies discussing the utilization of coconut oil in wound treatment. The reason for this is that virgin coconut oil has more anti-inflammatory antioxidants than refined coconut oil and is more effective at fighting free radicals.9 To treat skin lacerations a generous amount of virgin coconut oil should be applied to the cut using sterile gauze.

When to seek medical attention

A skin laceration isn’t always a reason for concern and can sometimes be managed at home. Nevertheless, in some cases, lacerations may require medical attention. Because certain lacerations might be deceptive, it's critical to recognize the situations and elements that demand medical care. Deep lacerations that penetrate through the fat layer or to the muscle layer may require immediate medical attention.

If in doubt, it's always a good idea to seek medical attention for a skin laceration. 

You should get immediate medical advice from your healthcare professional in the following circumstances:

  • Bleeding profusely from the wound
  • Lacerations on your face or eyes
  • Lacerations on any part of the genitals
  • Extreme pain or localized numbness 
  • Stiffness in the joints close to the wound
  • A wound that’s not healing or is very slow to heal
  • Infected wound

An infected wound may exhibit several indications and symptoms, such as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Worsening pain
  • Swelling, warmth and redness around the site
  • Clear fluid or pus collecting in the wound
  • Blisters or sores
  • Fever
  • Drainage or pus
  • Any signs of dehydration, such as peeing less, dark pee, dry mouth, or sunken eyes

In addition to the above symptoms, knowing what has caused the skin laceration is critical. If the wound is a result of an animal bite or a dirty/rusty object, you may need a tetanus booster and oral antibiotics.

General tips for skin laceration care

  1. Cleaning the wound effectively

To clean the wound effectively, use saline solution and clean water to wash away any dirt or bacteria. Avoid putting soap directly on the wound, as it can cause irritation. You should only use soapless, no-rinse and/or pH-neutral skin cleansers.10 

When the wound appears clean, use a fresh cloth to pat it dry. In order to clear debris from severe wounds that contain dead tissue, glass, bullets, or other foreign objects, a doctor may need to perform a surgical debridement.

  1. Keeping the laceration covered

In order for skin lacerations to heal correctly, they must be covered. If a wound is left uncovered, the newly formed surface cells that are being produced might quickly dry out, leading to a slower healing process. Furthermore, an exposed wound runs the risk of being knocked, rubbed, or scraped. This might induce a haemorrhage or remove a scab before it's ready to come off. Therefore, after washing and disinfecting the laceration, a clean bandage should be applied. The bandage should be secure enough to stay in place but not too tight to prevent the wound from healing. Once the wound has developed a scab, there is no longer a need to cover it because the scab serves as a protective barrier.

  1. Monitoring the healing progress

Barriers to wound healing should be evaluated if skin lacerations do not heal within an appropriate period of time. Generally, skin lacerations take about six to eight weeks to fully heal. To make sure that best practices are being followed and all modifiable elements are under control, it is important to evaluate the physical environment around the wound, as well as the local wound environment.10 

All potential healing-affecting factors, such as nutrition, diabetes, vascular supply, and oedema, should be taken into consideration.

Safety precautions and potential allergies

Just like with all other wounds, before beginning to treat skin lacerations with plant-based remedies, it is crucial to assess the skin tear's ability to heal as well as any potential side effects. There should be special caution when choosing herbal topical treatments for the pediatric population.10

Plant-based remedies have the potential to interact with other herbs, vitamins, and pharmaceuticals. They can result in an allergic reaction, which is mostly in the form of a skin rash. 

Before using the herbal medicine for its intended purpose on your skin, it is good practice to perform a patch test to determine if you have any allergies or sensitivities. The test involves applying a small amount of the substance to a part of the skin (e.g. forearm)  and leaving it on to see if irritation will occur.


Lacerations are tears in the skin that leave an unevenly shaped wound. They can be caused by injury to a sharp object or by impact injury from a blunt object or force. Plant-based remedies such as Aloe vera, Lavender, Calendula, tea tree oil, and coconut oil have been validated to have beneficial effects on wound healing, including the stimulation of the skin's natural repair mechanisms. These herbal medicines, followed by appropriate wound care, can be used to treat minor lacerations at home. On the other hand, deeper or more severe lacerations that won't stop bleeding may lead to infections and require medical attention. When in doubt, speak with a medical expert who can advise you on the best course of action to take to ensure a speedy and secure recovery.


  1. Payne-James JJ. Injury, Fatal and Nonfatal: Sharp and Cutting-Edge Wounds. Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 2016;244–56.
  2. World Health Organization. WHO guidelines on safety monitoring of herbal medicines in pharmacovigilance systems [Internet]. 2004. Available from:
  3. Sharma A, Khanna S, Kaur G, Singh I. Medicinal plants and their components for wound healing applications. Future Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2021 Feb 25;7(1).
  4. Mori HM, Kawanami H, Kawahata H, Aoki M. Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016 May 26;16(1).
  5. Can You Reduce the Appearance of Scars with Oils? [Internet]. Healthline. 2018. Available from: 
  6. Sd C, Cm M, Jl M, Hc B, Je G, Jr W, et al. The Mode of Antimicrobial Action of the Essential Oil of Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil) [Internet]. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2000. Available from:
  7. Budhiraja SS, Cullum ME, Sioutis SS, Evangelista L, Habanova ST. Biological activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil component, terpinen-4-ol, in human myelocytic cell line HL-60. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 1999 Sep;22(7):447–53
  8. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago J. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International Journal of Molecular Sciences [Internet]. 2017 Dec 27;19(1):70. Available from:
  9. Marina AM, Che man YB, Nazimah SAH, Amin I. Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2009 Jan;60(sup2):114–23.
  10. Leblanc K, Woo K, Fapwca R, Christensen D, Forest-Lalande L, Med R, et al. Foundations of Best Practice for Skin and Wound Management BEST PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE Prevention and Management of Skin Tears [Internet]. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Nadza Dzindo

BSc Biomolecular Engineering, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

MSc Genetics and Bioengineering, International Burch University, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nadža is a Biomolecular Engineering graduate with a special interest in red biotechnology and science communication. She has over one year of experience in the healthcare industry working as a Medical Information Associate and communicating accurate medical and scientific information to both members of the public and healthcare professionals. Her goal is to convey accurate, factual, and understandable information to various audiences, whilst further developing her research and writing skills. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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