Tea tree oil is one of those mythical products that have been rumored to be a cure all. People use this essential oil to combat dandruff, acne, herpes, stretch marks and a dozen other problems.
On the one hand, the idea that one product can address different issues that may seem attractive. On the other hand if your purse is a graveyard of useless beauty products, you probably want to avoid disappointment in respect of another superfood that actually does not benefit. So how justified all the fuss surrounding the tea tree oil? Let’s first find out what it is.
What is tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil is a fluid obtained by evaporation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia. This seemingly simple oil contains about 100 different components, including molecules called terpenes, which, apparently, have antimicrobial properties. Particularly of interest is one active ingredient called terpinene-4-ol. Researchers are studying the ability of tea tree oil to kill various micro-organisms on the skin with the help of elements such as terpenes.
Despite the fact that tea tree oil has many useful properties, there is a sufficient number of randomized control trials to prove its efficacy in different dermatological conditions. However, some data do exist.
Studies of tea tree oil
There is some evidence that the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil may be useful in the treatment of various skin problems, including acne.
In a review published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, conducted in 2015, it examined seven case studies of how tea tree oil works on acne. Scientists have discovered that the use of OTC products containing at least 5 percent tea tree oil, twice a day for two weeks is able to reduce acne.
Unfortunately, many of the included studies was not performed properly required for the claim that tea tree oil helps to fight acne. Taking into account this fact, in the review of the 2016 Cochrane reviewed the effectiveness of different methods of acne treatment. After reviewing 35 studies, it was found a large quantity of poor quality evidence that a gel containing 5 percent tea tree oil can reduce acne.
If tea tree oil affects acne, how is this happening? Tea tree oil can reduce the level of bacteria on the skin, reducing inflammation and speeding up breakthroughs. But acne is not just a condition caused by bacteria. Excess skin oils and clogging pores can also cause acne. Another possible reason may be the increased level of hormones called androgens. Thus, although tea tree oil may indeed be effective in some cases, it is not schitalochke.silnim treatment. The advantages include the fact that tea tree oil are non-comedogenic product that will not clog your pores.
Antifungal properties of tea tree oil
It is believed that tea tree oil may also have anti-fungal properties, so it can be useful in the treatment of such problems as dandruff. Cause of dandruff is often the seborrheic dermatitis that develops due to excess yeast called Malassezia furfur. When the levels of yeast on the scalp stramilano grow, there is inflammation with subsequent exfoliation of the skin and itching.
Tea tree oil can reduce the levels of yeast and to facilitate the inflammatory response. In review 2013 in International Journal of Dermatology notes that different studies have examined the effect of the shampoo with 5% tea tree oil that is guaranteed to get rid of Malassezia furfur and dandruff. As it turned out, shampoos with tea tree oil really reduce or moderate dandruff if you use them two or three times a week.
However, the effect of tea tree oil for severe dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis is unclear. For more serious outbreaks, experts recommend sticking to traditional treatments for dandruff, such as shampoos containing antifungal and antibacterial ingredient zinc pyrithione or medications prescription a dermatologist.
But can I use tea tree oil to eliminate other fungal problems, in addition to dandruff, for example, plastikowego zoster, athlete’s foot and nail fungus? Experts recommend sticking to conventional antifungal treatments for these conditions.
Ringworm and athlete’s foot are contagious, and nail fungus can be resistant and to cause pain if not treated properly. Tea tree oil can stop and destroy the fungal infection by destroying the outer layer of fungal cells, preventing their growth and division, but this mechanism is not sufficiently reliable, so rely on tea tree oil for solving serious problems is not recommended. It is important to consult a doctor and follow his recommendations on treatment, for example, use antifungal drugs topical or oral assignments.
Tea tree oil for treatment of herpes and warts
Several studies, mainly in cell cultures, analyzed whether tea tree oil to treat infections caused by herpes simplex virus or human papillomavirus. So far, the results have been mixed, as some studies have shown inhibiting the replication of the virus, while others, on the contrary, its absence.
So don’t believe if someone tells you that tea tree oil can cure herpes or warts. While this is not a medical fact, moreover, that it is not entirely clear what will be the results of studies carried out on humans. Instead, talk to your doctor about treatment oral or genital herpes outbreaks using antiviral drugs for prescription such as acyclovir or valacyclovir.
As for the warts, it depends on the type that you are dealing with. For the treatment of plantar warts, your doctor may recommend treatment with salicylic acid to scrub the skin, removing layers of the wart over time. Freezing the wart can be another good option, for example, in the case of genital warts.
Tea tree oil can cause irritation or even an allergic reaction
Because essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts, they can cause irritation when used directly on the skin. In some people it can even cause redness and itchy rash known as contact dermatitis. Also possible allergic reaction.
All of this suggests that tea tree oil is not suitable for people with sensitive skin or related conditions such as eczema or rosacea. Hypersensitivity means that the upper layer of the skin does not protect you from inflammation and infection properly. When the skin barrier is severely disturbed, it appears microscopic cracks, and the skin becomes dehydrated. Applying tea tree oil on the outer layer of the skin, which weakened to such a degree, can cause significant irritation and dryness.
How to use tea tree oil?
Want to make a mix of tea tree oil? First, know that the end result may depend on your chosen brand of oil. In addition, because tea tree oil can oxidize when exposed to too much light and air, experts recommend to choose a product in a sealed, dark box, and use it as recommended on the label.
The dissolution of tea tree oil will help to avoid skin irritation. Until more research is conducted, identify the best ways to use tea tree oil on your skin, start with adding a few drops of cosmetic products that you already use, for example, in a cleanser. If the smell is too strong and skin irritation, reduce amount of butter to find the perfect one for you concentration.
Inorganica tea tree is sold in combination with such oils carrier like olive, coconut oil or avocado oil. This combination should help to reduce the irritation, but these oils can clog the pores. For this reason to struggle with acne dermatologists recommend to dilute the tea tree oil water soluble serum.
No matter if you are preparing the product at home or buy ready-made product based on tea tree oil, you must first conduct a patch test. Times a day for about a week, apply diluted tea tree oil (or product in question) on the sensitive area of skin such as the forearm. Watch the reaction of the skin, dilute the oil stronger or completely discontinue use if there is an allergic reaction.