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What are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil?

A.E. Freeman
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are numerous benefits of tea tree oil. The oil, which comes from Melaleuca alternifolia, a tree that grows in Australia, can clean wounds and help clear up infections on the skin, including infections caused by fungus and those caused by bacteria. Other benefits of tea tree oil include its use as a hair and general cleaning agent. Some people claim that other benefits of tea tree oil include boosting the immune system, but evidence shows that ingesting the oil can be toxic.

Tea tree oil is considered effective for treating acne, fungal nail infections, and athlete's foot. A 5-percent solution of tea tree oil may work just as well in treating mild acne as a 5-percent solution of benzyol peroxide, but with less irritation. Tea tree oil may take longer to clear up acne, though. To get the benefits of tea tree oil without irritation, it's important that a person use only a 5-percent solution for acne.

Stronger concentrations of tea tree oil can treat athlete's foot and nail infections. A 100-percent concentration of the oil will usually clear up a toenail infection within six months. Diluted versions of tea tree oil do not appear to have the same benefits. If a person has athlete's foot, applying a 25- to 50-percent tea tree oil solution seems to kill the infection and relieve a person's symptoms, usually within a month. Lower concentrations can clear up symptoms but do not kill the fungus.

There are a few other believed benefits of tea tree oil that lack the scientific backing of using the oil to treat athlete's foot and acne. Some believe that the oil will treat both vaginal and oral yeast infections. It may also kill lice and scabies and mites that cause eye infections, though there isn't enough proof either way. Some people find that gargling with the oil kills bacteria in the mouth and helps prevent gum disease.

A person suffering from dandruff may find that washing her hair and scalp with a shampoo that contains a small amount of tea tree oil may cure the dandruff. A solution of tea tree oil and another oil, such as almond oil, can also help clear up cradle cap, a scalp infection in infants. Tea tree oil shampoo may also soothe a dry and itchy scalp.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
A.E. Freeman
By A.E. Freeman
Amy Freeman, a freelance copywriter and content creator, makes engaging copy that drives customer acquisition and retention. With a background in the arts, she combines her writing prowess with best practices to deliver compelling content across various domains and effectively connect with target audiences.
Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Nov 14, 2013

I just started using a body wash with tea tree oil for acne. I have back acne and my fried recommended tea tree oil for it. I didn't think that it would work but I decided to give it a try since it doesn't cost much.

After just a few days, my acne is starting to get better. Pimples are drying up and I haven't had any new ones appear this week. I'm going to keep using tea tree oil. Hopefully, I will be free of acne soon.

Has anyone else here tried tea tree oil for acne? Did it work for you?

By discographer — On Nov 13, 2013

@literally45-- Tea tree oil is antiseptic and it can be effective against yeast and fungal infections but it can take a while for it to work. I've used tea tree oil for nail fungus before, along with apple cider vinegar treatments. The fungus finally disappeared but it took one month.

All you have to do is apply undiluted tea tree oil directly on the nail with the fungus and cover it with a bandage overnight. Repeat this every day until the fungus disappears. Tea tree oil can be irritating for some people so test some on your arm first and try not to get it on the skin around the nail.

For thrush, I think that tea tree oil is applied topically and diluted with either water or a carrier oil.

By literally45 — On Nov 13, 2013

How do I use pure tea tree oil for a nail fungal infection? And can tea tree oil be used for thrush?

A.E. Freeman
A.E. Freeman
Amy Freeman, a freelance copywriter and content creator, makes engaging copy that drives customer acquisition and...
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