A Dermatologist Uses Emu Oil in Acute Skin Care

Aiming Beyond Conventional Care

By Beth Silva

Esta Kronberg, a dermatologist specializing in Dermatologic Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology, is just one of a growing number of medical experts that are taking a closer look at emu oil.

Well known in the Houston medical field where her practice has been located for the past 13 years, Kronberg’s goal is to provide her patients with the best skin care possible. Also on the medical advisory board for the publication Derma, she has been quoted in magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Allure and Glamour. Her treatments embrace acute skin care problems including burns, skin disease, psoriasis, roacea, eczema, as well as anti-aging and general skin improvement treatments.

While some dermatologists may continually treat skin care patients with routine medicine, Kronberg, in an effort to keep pace with advances in both conventional and alternative medicine, utilizes the best of both for the patient’s benefit.

“A lot of times an emu oil product is my first choice, even though I can choose any prescription that I wish, and the irony is the emu oil works so well,” concedes Kronberg.

Kronberg’s husband, Bill Davis, was the first of the pair to be introduced to emu oil. “I read a small article in a chemical magazine that discussed the benefits of emu oil and mentioned that it was an excellent moisturizer. It caught my attention because we’re always looking for pharmaceutical grade, highly purified, high quality products for our (skin care products) program. And our belief is that although there are many products on the market, better can always be located. And so it was we found emu oil.”

After Davis obtained several emu oil samples, he began sharing some with acquaintances. One such individual was a woman about to undergo a plastic surgery treatment on her neck. Davis explained that the procedure is painful, irritating to the skin and results in redness as well as blistering and scabbing.
“Familiar with our (skin care) product program, she inquired if we had something that could help,” says Davis. “I told her we were experimenting with a wonderful moisturizer, and suggested she give it a try. I sent her a sample, and a request that she let me know how it worked. After using the oil pre-and postsurgery she reported that she experienced minimal pain with no blistering or scabbing whatsoever. On her first checkup with her surgeon, she noted that he was visibly impressed with her wound’s rapid progression and questioned her as to what she was using because she had not disclosed that she wasn’t using the product he normally recommends. And this was our first real clue that this product indeed has not only anti-inflammatory capabilities, but much more.”

A short time after that incident, Davis supplied an acquaintance, who is a nurse, with an oil sample. He explains that this woman was on leave from a dermatology office (located in a psoriasis treatment center) because her own 10 year experience with sever psoriasis was not subsiding.

Recalls Davis, “Her first report a week later was that she was already experiencing relief. Her itching was subsiding, the discoloration was fading and she requested more oil! We ran into her at a drug conference in California just three weeks later, and we didn’t recognize her at first. She was wearing short sleeves for the first time in ten years, because it was a large portion of her arms and legs that had been affected.”

“I couldn’t’ believe what I saw and asked her to let me have a closer examination,” says Kronberg. “What I found was that her psoriasis was almost completely resolved!”

So the couple stepped up their research into the oil’s properties and Kronberg began using it on patients – but not just anyone. She remarks, “I give it to the worst patients with extremely severe problems, such as burns, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, and I’ve been extremely pleased with the results. It brings immediate relief to a lot of individuals, and as a result, I have a lot of happy patients.”

She continued, “We have patients that come in that have had laser resurfacing or bad chemical peels somewhere else and are severely burned. We give them the emu oil as an application and it calms things down tremendously and keeps the skin from scarring. We also use the oil on sores that haven’t initially healed. And on patients with severe rosacea, emu oil calms down the redness of skin and inflammation of blood vessels, and they don’t break out even though it’s an oil. This is because the oil is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).

I’ve observed that the oil has an extreme anti-inflammatory response and is a healing aid. Even when my topically applied steroids and antibiotics don’t work well on rosacea patients, once applied, the emu oil will calm things down and the report immediate relief.”

Another area in her practice that Kronberg uses emu oil as a treatment is before-and-after application to sites of laser tatoo removal. She relates that the oil stops the initial onset of discomfort from stinging and pain associated with this procedure and that it encourages a superior and faster healing process.

Kronberg also uses the oil on young patients. She relates, “It’s great for using on kids getting their shots. If you medicate the area prior to injection with emu oil (emu oil only, no anesthetic), and then directly afterwards, it diminishes discomfort and they don’t get achy and irritable later on.” Konberg says that she uses the oil for the same objective herself when administering shots before traveling abroad.

She’s not the only doctor with an interest in using the oil to block pain before and after an injection procedure. Dr. William Code of Duncan, British Columbia, has researched the advantages of using emu oil with the local anesthetic Lidocaine and has delivered several discourses on his research findings. And there’s even been a patent involving this same function for the oil. The patent “Compositions Comprising Lidocaine and Emu Oil and Methods of Use Thereof” was granted to inventor David Rivlin in 1997.

Davis is very excited and optimistic about the utilization of emu oil in medical procedures and relates he thinks that emu oil lives up what it’s been reported to do – as a “bioactive transport,” in that it has the capability to carry other ingredients into the skin. “It actually takes the ingredients into the skin with it as long as the ingredient molecule is small enough to penetrate the skin. And since it takes it quickly, we tend to see things improve faster.”

Adds Davis, “And our feeling is that if at all possible, start the healing process prior to a procedure in order to accelerate the body’s ability to heal itself. Emu oil is doing that. We believe that if you can prep the skin with the oil in advance of a procedure, similar to prepping your body prior to a marathon, chances are that the healing process will be dramatically improved, and that’s what we’ve found. We’re actually able to see a 50 percent improvement time with patients recovering from laser resurfacing, where they’re going back to work in just two weeks, vs. four weeks or more, and with no blisters or scabs!”

Reprinted from Emu Today & Tomorrow, October 1998