tea tree oil (Melaleuca Oil)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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GENERIC NAME: tea tree oil

BRAND NAME: Melaleuca oil

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Tea tree oil is topical antiseptic. It contains Terpinen-4-ol, which has antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Tea tree oil is used to treat minor cuts, scrapes, burns, abrasions, insect bites, and stings. It is also used for acne, nail fungus, and athlete's foot.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of tea tree oil may be local irritation and inflammation at the application area.

PRESCRIPTION: No

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tea tree oil is available as 5% gel, 5% ointment, 100% solution, 25-50% solution, and 10% cream.

STORAGE: Store tea tree oil below 86 F (30 C).

DOSING:

  • The recommended dose for acne is: Apply 5% gel to affected areas daily.
  • The recommended dose for nail fungus (Onychomycosis) is: Apply 100% solution twice daily for 6 months.
  • The recommended dose for athlete's foot is: Apply 10% cream topically twice a day for 1 month OR apply 25% or 50% solution twice a day for 1 month.
  • Tea tree oil 100% solution can be applied to cuts, scrapes, burns, abrasions, insect bites, and stings.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: There is no information on drug interactions with tea tree oil.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/12/2015

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