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Huile essentielle d'arbre à thé contre l'eczéma ?

How To Use Tea Tree Oil for Eczema.

Tea tree (also known as melaleuca) essential oil is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for treating eczema and its symptoms.

What Is Eczema?

Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that manifests itself as red, itchy patches on the skin.

There is not one, but several types of eczema. The most common one is atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis. It is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. This dermatosis is caused by a genetic background that favors atopy. Atopic eczema mainly affects young children and disappears around adolescence. However, it can persist into adulthood.

Note: Atopy refers to a person's tendency to develop an allergic reaction to normal environmental elements (animal hair, dust, pollen…), which do not cause problems for the rest of the population.

Affected people suffer from very dry skin (called Xerosis cutis) and intense itching. Chronic lesions can occur as a result of scratching. In addition, scratching can lead to bacterial infection by Staphylococcus aureus.

Tea Tree Oil and Eczema: How Does It Work?

Tea tree oil for eczema is considered one of the best essential oils. Its healing qualities have been studied over the years. According to the International Journal of Dermatology, it has antiviral and antibacterial properties as well as healing capabilities.

For example, in a 2004 animal study, researchers observed the effects of a cream containing 10% tea tree essential oil on dogs with eczema. Dogs treated with the tea tree oil cream for 10 days experienced significantly less itching than dogs treated with a commercial skin care cream without this ingredient. They also experienced faster relief.

In addition, a study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology in 2016 evaluated the effectiveness of tea tree essential oil in treating atopic eczema in adults. The results showed that the use of tea tree essential oil resulted in a significant improvement in skin condition and a reduction in eczema symptoms.

What is its mode of action?

The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree essential oil are attributed to the presence of terpinen-4-ol (between 30 and 48%) and terpinenes. These components reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Thus, when applied to eczema-affected skin, tea tree essential oil can help reduce inflammation and fight infection-causing microorganisms. This can relieve eczema symptoms.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil for Eczema?

You should never apply undiluted tea tree oil to the skin. Tea tree oil is always drying when used alone. Undiluted tea tree oil is potent and can make your eczema worse. So, always dilute this essential oil in a high quality vegetable oil. High-quality oils are less likely to be contaminated with other ingredients. Here are a few things you should keep in mind while searching:

  • If you can, opt for an organic oil.

  • Make sure the oil you buy is 100% pure.

  • Always conduct research on the brand to make sure it is reputable.

Some bottles of tea tree oil may list its terpinene concentration. Terpinene is the main antiseptic agent in tea tree oil. To get the most benefit, choose a product with a terpinene concentration between 10 and 40%.

Then mix the essential oil with the carrier oil (e.g., olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, avocado oil). Use the following ratio: 12 drops of carrier oil to 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil.

Always do a patch test. Apply a coin-sized amount of the diluted oil to your forearm. If you don't feel any irritation within 24 hours, it's safe to apply elsewhere.

This mixture can be applied topically to any part of the body prone to eczema, but avoid using it near the eyes.

Sources :

  • RILEY T. V. & al. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: A review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews (2006).

  • SHENEFELT P. D. Herbal treatment for dermatologic disorders. Herbal medicine: Biomolecular and clinical aspects, 2nd edition (2011).

  • WALLENGREN J. Tea tree oil attenuates experimental contact dermatitis. Archives of Dermatological Research (2011).

  • KAZEROUNI A. al. A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology. International Journal of Dermatology (2013).

  • BABY K. E. & al. Therapeutic potential of tea tree oil for scabies. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2016).

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