Tea Tree Oil Side Effects

| Modified on Jul 08, 2024

Tea Tree Essential Oil is a popular home remedy for a variety of conditions, yet some people experience side effects when using it.  Commonly used for skin conditions, it make some skin conditions worse.  Earth Clinic readers have experienced redness, dermatitis, hair loss, and perioral dermatitis.

Avoiding Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil

To decrease the risks of side effects from the use of tea tree essential oil, use a high quality oil.  Tea tree essential oil is commonly used neat (without diluting in a carrier oil) but essential oils are highly concentrated.  Diluting tea tree essential oil in olive oil, coconut oil, or olive oil will make it less likely to cause a reaction.

Essential oils should always be diluted if used on children and pets. Cats can be particularly sensitive to essential oils and many recommned never using essential oils, including tea tree oil, on or around cats.  Because essential oils are a very concentrated form of an herb, they should be used with caution.  Essential oils have become very popular and consumers assume that because they are an herbal product, they do not pose a risk.  All herbs have risks of side effects and allergic reactions, especially in a concentrated form.

Because essential oils, including tea tree oil, have become so easily available, many consumers are using them daily without researching the long term effects.  Some essential oils, including tea tree oil, are believed to affect hormones.  Many Earth Clinic readers love tea tree oil and find it helps a variety of conditions, including athlete's foot, fungal infections, sinus polyps, and acne.  If you decide to use tea oil, please use it responsible and sparingly, as essential oils are intended to be used.  Do not assume that it is safe because it is popular and easily available.

If you experience side effects from tea tree essential oil, please be sure to send us feedback and share your story!

Additional Pages of Interest:

Tea Tree Oil Cures

1 User Review


Posted by Catherine (Leiden, Holland) on 03/04/2009

About a month ago, I changed from using Benzoyl Peroxide to Tea-Tree oil to treat spots and pimples. Maybe a week later, I developed a patch of Perioral Dermatis on my chin. I've been dabbing tea-tree oil on this patch since, thinking it might help but to no avail.
I've been looking into dermatitis and was interested to see if tea-tree was meant to be of any help so I googled it and the first few results were that tea-tree can CAUSE dermatitis! I've had patches of dermatitis before and thinking back, I'm pretty sure I was using tea-tree those times too... The thing is, is that I've been applying it to other parts of my face with no repercussions. Is it possible that using tea-tree could trigger perioral dermatitis when used around the mouth but NOT cause a reaction when used on other parts of the face? I'd be interested to hear peoples thoughts.

Anyway, I'm going to stop using tea-tree completely and try using ACV, for the dermatitis at least.