Top 10 Tea Tree Oil Benefits For Skin

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Top 10 Tea Tree Oil Benefits For Skin
Top 10 Tea Tree Oil Benefits For Skin. Graphic – Photo: (no affiliation)

Tea tree oil is one of the most popular skin care ingredients, primarily because of its acne-fighting properties. However, have you ever wondered if there is any truth to this? How beneficial is tea tree oil for the skin? Are there any side effects to worry about? Here are ten science-backed benefits of tea tree oil and its applications in skin care.

1. Combats Acne

Fighting acne is regarded by researchers as a significant function of tea tree oil. Different studies have supported this widely-propagated claim, including a human study published in 2016. According to Malhi, et. al. (2016), tea tree oil (specifically tea tree oil gel) was able to significantly improve the skin condition of people afflicted with mild to moderate acne. There were no major side effects in using tea tree oil, aside from localized peeling, dryness, and scaling as the acne is resolved. [1]

2. Kills Ringworm

Dermatophytosis is the medical name for a “ringworm infection” which, ironically, is not caused by a worm of any sort. This condition is characterized by an itchy, red rash in the shape of a ring (where it received its moniker “ringworm”). A study published in the Oxford Journal of Antimicrobial Therapy in 2002 found that tea tree oil has significant inhibitory and fungicidal activity against dermatophytes and other fungi. [2][3]

3. Helps Athlete’s Foot

Tea tree oil was able to relieve the symptoms caused by dermatophytes in Athlete’s foot (a.k.a. Tinea pedis), in an experiment published in 2002. The study included human volunteers; only four people out of 158 experienced mild to moderate dermatitis after tea tree oil use – otherwise, the treatment was very effective in 68% of the volunteers who received 50% tea tree oil and 72% of the 25% tea tree oil group. [4]

4. Disinfects Wounds

The ability of tea tree oil to battle acne lies within its strong antimicrobial properties that fight acne-causing bacteria. A study in 2015 found that tea tree oil could also be used to manage serious wound infections, specifically invasive fungal infections in people suffering from traumatic injuries (e.g. vehicular accidents, falls). The results of the study concluded that tea tree oil possessed significant antifungal powers that can be used to disinfect wounds and fight infection. [5]

5. Removes Skin Tags

There are numerous anecdotes on tea tree oil and skin tag removal– and while these claims can easily be found and read on the internet (and often by word of mouth!), there is little scientific evidence for it. However, tea tree oil has been proven to fight infection-causing bacteria which can be helpful when mechanically removing skin tags. When you wrap a piece of string around a skin tag, adding tea tree oil may help fight off infection as the tag falls off.

6. Softens Corns

Tea tree oil’s popularity in skin care can be seen in most moisturizers sold in the market. However, it is quite potent so a few drops added to your favorite moisturizer, lotion, or face oil can be effective in softening corns and calluses on the hands and feet. While there aren’t any scientific studies that focus solely on corns and tea tree oil, there are many anecdotes that suggest its use in softening the skin – there is even a pending patent on a skin cleansing and sloughing solution with tea tree oil as the main ingredient! [6]

7. Removes Warts

Compared to a lack of scientific evidence regarding the role of tea tree oil in skin tag removal, there are a few studies that focus on a similar condition – warts! According to Millar and Moore (2008), tea tree oil was able to effectively remove hand warts in a pediatric patient after 12 days of application. Not only was tea tree oil able to remove warts, it was also able to completely heal the lesions and re-epithelialize the affected areas. [7]

8. Anti Dandruff

With tea tree oil’s antibacterial and moisturizing capabilities, it makes sense that it would be able to fight dandruff. Dandruff is characterized by dry, flaking skin of the scalp, accompanied by mild to moderate itching. In a study published in 2002, tea tree oil-infused shampoo was able to effectively manage dandruff, with a 41 percent improvement in the experimental group (compared to 11 percent in the placebo group). Furthermore, there were no adverse effects reported either! [8]

9. Relieves Itching From Insect Bites

Insect bites can be quite a bother if the itching is hard to ignore. Excessive scratching can even break the skin and cause an infection! Different studies have found that tea tree oil can relieve itching caused by severe skin conditions like dermatitis and demodicosis. Gao, et. al. in 2012 found that tea tree oil was able to relieve ocular itching caused by Demodex (a genus of parasite). Similarly, Wallengren’s study published in 2011 concluded that tea tree oil was an effective anti-eczematic agent able to control the itching symptoms of contact dermatitis. If tea tree oil is able to manage itching caused by these severe conditions, they can certainly manage the itching caused by insect bites. [9][10]

10. Alleviates Razor Burn

There are different recently-published studies that focus on tea tree oil and burn management. The first study by Cuttle, et. al. (2008) noted that while tea tree oil was not recommended for the wound healing of burns, it was able to reduce temperature (and therefore pain) in affected areas. The second study, published in 2002, concluded that tea tree oil was able to skin inflammation, which can be used to manage razor burn. [11][12]


[1] Malhi, H., et. al. (2016). Tea tree oil gel for mild to moderate acne; a 12 week uncontrolled, open-label phase II pilot study.

[2] Centers for Disease Control. Fungal Diseases: Ringworm.

[3] Hammer, K., Carson, C. & Riley, T. (2002). Treatment of interdigital tinea pedis with 25% and 50% tea tree oil solution: a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study.

[4] Satchell, A., et. al. (2002). Treatment of interdigital tinea pedis with 25% and 50% tea tree oil solution: a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study.

[5] Homeyer, D., et. al. (2015). In vitro activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil on filamentous fungi and toxicity to human cells.

[6] Reitz, V. (2006). Skin cleansing and sloughing solution.

[7] Millar, B. & Moore, J. (2008). Successful topical treatment of hand warts in a paediatric patient with tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia).

[8] Satchell, A., et. al. (2002). Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo.

[9] Gao, Y., et. al. (2012). Treatment of ocular itching associated with ocular
demodicosis by 5% tea tree oil ointment.

[10] Wallengren, J. (2011). Tea tree oil attenuates experimental contact dermatitis.

[11] Cuttle, L., et. al. (2008). The efficacy of Aloe vera, tea tree oil and saliva as first aid treatment for partial thickness burn injuries.

[12] The efficacy of Aloe vera, tea tree oil and saliva as first aid treatment for partial thickness burn injuries.;jsessionid=E39AEC44FA9C91D5A1CADAC32846B35D.f01t01

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