What is tea tree oil? What is tea tree oil used for?
Tea tree oil is topical antiseptic. It contains Terpinen-4-ol, which has antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
What brand names are available for tea tree oil?
Is tea tree oil available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for tea tree oil?
What is the dosage for tea tree oil?
- 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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with tea tree oil?
There is no information on drug interactions with tea tree oil.
Is tea tree oil safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies done on tea tree oil to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women.
What else should I know about tea tree oil?
What preparations of tea tree oil are available?
Tea tree oil is available as 5% gel, 5% ointment, 100% solution, 25-50% solution, and 10% cream.
How should I keep tea tree oil stored?
Store tea tree oil below 86 F (30 C).
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Tea tree oil (Melaleuca Oil) is a topical antiseptic and is used to treat cuts, scraps, wounds, burns, acne, insect bites and stings, and fungal infections like athlete's foot and fungal nails. Side effects, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using this product.
Related Disease Conditions
Flea Bites (In Humans)
Flea bites are caused by the parasitic insect, the flea. The most common species of flea in the US is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Signs and symptoms of flea bites in humans include itching, hives, a rash with bumps, red spots with a "halo," and swelling around the bite. Treatment for flea bites includes over-the-counter medicine and natural and home remedies to relieve and soothe itching and inflammation. The redness of a flea bite can last from a few hours to a several days.
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a skin infection caused by the ringworm fungus. Symptoms include itching, burning, cracking, peeling, and bleeding feet. Treatment involves keeping the feet dry and clean, wearing shoes that can breathe, and using medicated powders to keep your feet dry.
Ear Infection Home Treatment
Infections of the outer, middle, and inner ear usually are caused by viruses. Most outer (swimmer's ear) and middle ear (otitis media) infections can be treated at home with remedies like warm compresses for ear pain relief, tea tree, ginger, or garlic oil drops. Symptoms of an outer ear (swimmer's ear) and middle ear infection include mild to severe ear pain, pus draining from the ear, swelling and redness in the ear, and hearing problems. Middle and inner ear infections may cause fever, and balance problems. Inner ear infections also may cause nausea, vomiting, vertigo, ringing in the ear, and labyrinthitis (inflammation of the inner ear). Most outer and middle ear infections do not need antibiotics. Inner ear infections should be treated by a doctor specializing in ear and hearing problems.
Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of oil glands at the base of hair follicles. This inflammation, depending on its location, can take the form of a superficial pustule (contains pus), a pimple, a deeper cyst, congested pores, whiteheads, or blackheads. Treatments vary depending on the severity of the acne.
Fungal nails (onychomycosis) may be caused by many species of fungi, but the most common is Trichophyton rubrum. Distal subungal onychomycosis starts as a discolored area at the nail's corner and slowly spread toward the cuticle. In proximal subungal onychomycosis, the infection starts at the cuticle and spreads toward the nail tip. Yeast onychomycosis is caused by Candida and may be the most common cause of fungal fingernail.
Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Other types of eczema include: contact eczema, allergic contact eczema, seborrheic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Puncture Wounds
Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds are common, and most people will experience one of these in their lifetime. Evaluating the injury, and thoroughly cleaning the injury is important. Some injuries should be evaluated by a doctor, and a tetanus shot may be necessary. Treatment will depend upon the severity of the injury.
Burns (First Aid)
Burn types are based on their severity: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns are similar to a painful sunburn. The damage is more severe with second-degree burns, leading to blistering and more intense pain. The skin turns white and loses sensation with third-degree burns. Burn treatment depends upon the burn location, total burn area, and intensity of the burn.
Insect Sting Allergies
The majority of stinging insects in the United States are from bees, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, and fire ants. Severity of reactions to stings varies greatly. Avoidance and prompt treatment are essential. In selected cases, allergy injection therapy is highly effective.
Bug Bites and Stings
Bug bites and stings have been known to transmit insect-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Lyme disease. Though most reactions to insect bites and stings are mild, some reactions may be life-threatening. Preventing bug bites and stings with insect repellant, wearing the proper protective attire, and not wearing heavily scented perfumes when in grassy, wooded, and brushy areas is key.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
NIH.gov. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties.