Get Clear Skin! Tea Tree Oil for Acne
Dr. Stephanie Rubino, ND, offers helpful tips on how to use tea tree oil for acne.
The uses for tea tree oil are endless! It can aid in treating athlete’s foot, eczema, cuts, burns, lice, dandruff, and many other conditions due to its antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. A must have first aid home remedy, tea tree oil is an essential oil produced from the leaves of the plant, Melaleuca Alternifolia. 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil by Holista® complies with Australian standards for “Oil of Melaleuca” and is standardized to contain a minimum of 30% Terpinen-4-ol, the key constituent responsible for tea tree oil’s healing and antimicrobial properties.
Tea tree oil can also be used to treat acne as it is thought that tea tree oil can destroy Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria that is involved in the development of acne. It may also act as a solvent, stopping oily matter from clogging up sebaceous glands and forming pimples.
Research into the use of tea tree oil is limited, however, one randomized double-blind clinical trial performed in 60 patients with mild to moderate acne vulgaris treated one group with 5% tea tree oil gel, while the other received a placebo. The patients were followed every 15 days for a period of 45 days and there was a significant difference between the tea tree oil gel and placebo in the improvement of the total acne lesions and the acne severity index. The researchers concluded that topical 5% tea tree oil is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne vulgaris.
Another trial involving 124 patients evaluated the efficacy and skin tolerance of 5% tea-tree oil gel in the treatment of mild to moderate acne when compared with 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion. The results of this study showed that both 5% tea-tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide had a significant effect in ameliorating the patients' acne by reducing the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions. Although the onset of action of the tea tree oil was slower, it provided fewer side effects.
How to Use:
Using tea tree oil for acne is easy! Simply apply a small amount on blemishes 2-3 times per day to help prevent outbreaks and acne-related infection. If undiluted tea tree oil causes any skin irritation, you can make a diluted solution. For example, a 5 percent tea tree oil solution can be made by mixing 5 mL tea tree oil to 95 mL of water.
Other natural remedies for acne include eating a healthy diet which provides sufficient amounts of vitamins A, C, E and zinc; drinking plenty of water throughout the day; and engaging in regular exercise. Regular exercise may be one of the best remedies for acne.
Bassett IB, Pannowitz DL, Barnetson RS. A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne. Med J Aust. 1990 Oct 15;153(8):455-8.
Enshaieh S, Jooya A, Siadat AH, Iraji F. The efficacy of 5% topical tea tree oil gel in mild to moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2007 Jan-Feb;73(1):22-5
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