Tea tree oil for acne

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Tea tree oil is obtained from the leaves of the melaleuca plant. It is often referred to as a natural acne remedy. While several small studies show that tea tree oil may have some acne-fighting abilities, the true effect of tea tree oil on acne is unclear. And as with conventional acne treatments, tea tree oil can cause side effects on its own. and should be used with caution.

Get Medication Information / Gary Foerster

What is tea tree oil?

If you are generally interested in aromatherapy, alternative medicine, or even natural personal care products, you are probably familiar with tea tree oil. It is a common and inexpensive essential oil that is often added to skin and hair care products.

Tea tree oil is obtained from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, a woody shrub native to Australia. Its oil is liquid, from transparent to yellow, with a striking medicinal camphor smell. It is sometimes called melaleuca oil or tea tree oil.

Historically, tea tree oil has been used for skin infections, fungal infections (such as mycoses ), ulcers, and other wounds. Today, it is also commonly used in soaps, body washes, bath products, and shampoos.

Possible benefits of tea tree oil

Tea tree has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, making it likely a popular natural remedy for acne. Tea tree oil is believed to help kill the Propioni acnes bacteria that cause acne breakouts.

As the 2015 Cochrane Research Review showed, only a few small studies have been done, so the actual effects of tea tree oil on acne are still unclear. Only one was deemed worthy of inclusion. This was a 2007 study that found that 5% tea tree oil improved acne compared to a placebo .

Much more research needs to be done before tea tree oil is recognized as a proven acne remedy.

Disadvantages and side effects.

As exciting as some of the initial information may seem, tea tree oil is not a magic cure for acne. The biggest drawback is that it is not as effective as some of the other acne medications available today .

While tea tree oil is a promising antimicrobial agent, acne isn't just caused by bacteria. There are many factors that cause acne breakouts . One of them is the pathological peeling process that occurs in acne-prone skin. Another is the excessive activity of the sebaceous glands . Tea tree oil does not address these factors.

Remember also that natural treatments are not entirely harmless. Tea tree oil itself can cause side effects.

Tea tree oil can irritate the skin, especially the delicate skin of the face. In some people, this can cause contact dermatitis , a raised, itchy rash. Over time, you can develop sensitivity to tea tree oil.

Tips for using tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is not the most effective remedy for acne. But if you are interested in using only natural skin care products, tea tree oil is probably your best option as a natural alternative for treating acne .

You can buy tea tree essential oil at any health food store, but you must dilute it before applying it to your skin. Most aromatherapists recommend diluting tea tree oil in a vehicle like coconut oil or sweet almond oil. But be careful, these oils can clog your pores and make acne worse.

You may find it easier to find a skin care product that contains tea tree oil. If you are following this procedure, read the ingredient list and select one that uses tea tree oil as the active ingredient.

Tea tree products are probably best used as a spot treatment for occasional acne, rather than as the sole remedy to prevent acne.

Get Meds Info Word

More research is needed on the effects of tea tree oil on acne. Proven acne treatments are still your best option, not only because they have a well-researched track record, but also because they treat all the different triggers that cause acne, not just bacteria.

If you have not only occasional acne but persistent acne as well, tea tree oil is simply not the most effective option. It's best to use a proven over-the-counter acne treatment , such as benzoyl peroxide, or get a prescription from a dermatologist. This is especially true for stubborn or severe acne.

Are you already using prescription acne treatments ? Be sure to check with your healthcare professional before adding tea tree oil products to your daily routine.

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