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Tea Tree Oil for Rosacea


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Melaleuca alternifolia image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There are a number of anecdotal reports of using Tea Tree oil (TTO) for rosacea, usually diluted at least 50/50 with some other oil, i.e., rose hip oil, most of these reports found at the Rosacea Forum. There are numerous over the counter treatments for acne containing TTO. [1] There are anecdotal reports that adding Tea Tree oil to baby shampoo has been used as a cleanser. [2]

There are a few clinical papers on using Tea Tree oil for medical uses showing it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. [3]

"Australian tea tree oil (TTO) and its extract terpinen-4-ol (T4O) are found to be effective in moderating demodex-related diseases. Their possible effects are lowering the mite counts, relieving the demodex-related symptoms and modulating the immune system especially the inflammatory response."  [4]

TTO may cause an allergic reaction and may be too harsh for rosacea sensitive skin so be sure to dilute it. 

"The survival times of the six different TTO groups confirmed a dose-related pattern, all of which had survival times shorter than the negative control (immersion oil). TTO 25% had comparable efficacy to the positive control agent (permethrin 5%)." [5]

Tea Tree Oil and Baby Shampoo

End Notes

[1] Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 Feb;45(2):106-10
Treatment of acne with tea tree oil (melaleuca) products: a review of efficacy, tolerability and potential modes of action
K A Hammer  

[2] Tea Tree Oil and Baby Shampoo

[3] Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jan; 19(1): 50–62.
Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties
C. F. Carson, K. A. Hammer, and T. V. Riley

[4] Parasitology. 2018 Oct;145(12)
Can the tea tree oil (Australian native plant: Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel) be an alternative treatment for human demodicosis on skin?
Nelson Siu Kei Lam, Xin Xin Long, Robert C Griffin, Mu-Kai Chen, James Cg Doery 

[5] The comparative in vitro killing activity of tea tree oil versus permethrin on Demodex folliculorum of rosacea patients

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