Side effects of Tea Tree Oil


The World Health Organization (WHO) received 159 reports of complaints associated with the use of  tea tree oil products. Skin complaints such as rash, hypersensitivity and redness are the most commonly reported. Six similar cases were also reported to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb.

The above mentioned skin reactions can indicate a contact allergy. Contact allergy is a difficult  predictable side effect. Skin disorders occur especially when the oil had been exposed to light or air. 

Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a traditional herbal medicinal product in the treatment of various ailments. It is used cutaneously to treat small superficial wounds, insect bites, acne, athlete's foot, lice and dandruff. Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence. 

Proper use
The use of tea tree oil should be confined to the skin. The oral intake may result in central nervous system depression and lung tissue damage. Use topical only small amount of tea tree oil. At higher doses absorption is likely to occur and may result in side effects. The use of tea tree oil is not necessarily without risk as quality of the products available on the market may vary.

Read the full article in Phytotherapy Research here.