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Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has been scientifically investigated only relatively
recently. Some sources suggest beneficial medical properties when
applied topically, including antiviral, antibacterial,
antifungal, and antiseptic qualities. It also has beneficial
Tea tree oil is active against Staphylococcus aureus, including
MRSA.. Tea tree oil is less successful for application in the
nose. Also, there is clinical evidence that topical
dermatological preparations containing tea tree oil may be more
effective than conventional antibiotics in preventing transmission
Recent studies support a role for the topical application of tea
tree oil in skin care and for the treatment of various diseases and
conditions. Tea tree oil appears to be effective against bacteria,
viruses, fungal infections, mites such as scabies, and lice such as
head lice. A 2008 study of in vitro toxicity showed a tea tree oil
preparation was more effective against head lice than permethrin, a
popular pharmaceutical remedy.
In the treatment of moderate common acne, topical application of 5%
tea tree oil has shown an effect comparable to 5% benzoyl peroxide,
albeit with slower onset of action.
Tea tree oil is a known antifungal agent, effective in vitro
against multiple dermatophytes found on the skin. In vivo,
shampoo with 5% tea tree oil has been shown to be an effective
treatment for dandruff due to its ability to treat Malassezia
furfur, the most common cause of the condition.
One clinical study found that 100% tea tree oil administered
topically, combined with debridement, was comparable to
clotrimazole in effectiveness against onychomycosis, the most
frequent cause of nail disease.
The effectiveness of topical tea tree oil preparations for the
treatment of the yeast infection Candidiasis is supported by its
ability to kill Candida in vitro.
There is some very limited research that has shown that tea tree
oil may have topical antiviral activity, especially against the
herpes virus (cold sores), chicken pox, shingles blisters, etc.
One study has shown a 5% tea tree oil solution to be more effective
than commercial medications against the scabies mite in an in vitro
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