tea tree oil (Melaleuca Oil)

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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.



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).

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.


  • 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.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies done on tea tree oil to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether tea tree oil enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

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

REFERENCE: NIH.gov. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/27/2014

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