July 21, 2021
The historical uses of tea tree oil demonstrate its wide range of applications as an antiseptic. Three of the more popular and documented uses are in the treatment of skin infections, vaginal infections, and common foot complaints.
Tea tree oil is useful in a broad range of dermal infections, not only because of its broad-spectrum antiseptic properties but also because of its capacity to mix with sebaceous secretions and penetrate the epidermis.
A clinical trial in patients with furuncles demonstrated that tea tree oil encouraged more rapid healing without scarring than was seen in matched control subjects. Presumably, the positive clinical effects were a result of the oil’s germicidal activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Tea tree oil efficiently kills S.aureus in the stationary growth phase and within biofilms, making it a promising tool for S.aureus eradication. Furthermore, other studies have shown that tea tree oil is antimicrobial against antibiotic-resistant strains of S.aureus. In the clinical trial, the method of application consisted of cleaning the site followed by painting the surface of the furuncle freely with tea tree oil two or three times a day.
For most skin infections, the most effective treatment appears to be direct application of full-strength, undiluted oil at the site of infection. If irritation occurs, diluted preparations may be tried.