A Wisconsin woman who says she suffered severe burns after applying essential oils during a yoga session and later going tanning is sharing her cautionary tale in hopes that it may help others as summer months approach.
Elise Nguyen wrote in a now-viral Facebook post that on March 25 she applied essential oils to her wrists and neck before a hot yoga class.
“After class (one hour later) I went tanning in a tanning bed as I was going to Jamaica for a wedding and I didn’t want to fry my skin off while there,” she wrote. “The next day, I noticed irritation where I applied the oil.”
Nguyen initially said she thought the irritation was a reaction to a new laundry detergent, but over the next few days the reaction grew worse – much worse.
“I developed nasty blisters due to a chemical burn,” she wrote. “Turns out, there is a teeny tiny caution on the oil that states ‘stay out of sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after application’ or something like that. I developed second and third degree burns from the oils.”
Nguyen shared photos of her burns and blisters on Facebook with a warning to fellow users.
“I’m not blaming the company, it was my own damn fault,” she wrote. “But every yogi that I’ve talked to has no clue that this could have happened. So as summer is getting closer, and the weather is getting nicer, I just want everyone to be aware of this. Please, please read the bottles of anything you put on your skin.”
Her post has been shared more than 140,000 times with more than 42,000 likes.
In a statement, the company that makes the essential oils Nguyen used, doTERRA, said it was “saddened to see the ordeal Elise Nguyen has endured due to a combined use of essential oils, a tanning bed, hot yoga, and perhaps other factors” and reached out to her to find out more on what happened.
“Safety is a top priority for doTERRA, and we collect a record of all adverse reactions,” the statement read. “We take each incident very seriously, and are grateful that our adverse reaction rate is almost negligible at .0072 percent. doTERRA labels its products to help customers avoid any potential issues, no matter how rare, and provides a great deal of education on our website. We also provide extensive trainings at doTERRA events, and through our Wellness Advocates. doTERRA encourages all who have product questions to call our product support number at 1 (800) 411-8151 or via email at service@doTERRA.com.”
The company added that it also recommends using “properly-diluted application techniques.”
Nguyen said her burns and blisters lasted for weeks. At least 22 days later, she still had open areas on her skin, she said.
“I wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Nguyen wrote. “It’s been hell.”
Published at 8:29 AM CDT on May 5, 2017 | Updated at 10:22 AM CDT on May 5, 2017