Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne

Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne Tea Tree Face Wash for Acne

Overview

According to TeensHealth, almost 80 percent of teenagers have acne. Acne is an infection of pores on the face and often the back. Whiteheads and blackheads are also acne. Whiteheads are closed pores clogged with sebum and blackheads are open pores that change color because of oxidation. There are many treatments available on the market, including herbal preparations made from tea tree oil.

Please consult a physician before attempting herbal acne remedies at home.

Theories/Speculation

Tea tree oil is the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, an Australian native plant, produced by steam distillation. It is a folk remedy for many different conditions, including acne, fungal infections of the feet and fingernails, dandruff and other scalp conditions, gum disease, sore throat and respiratory symptoms as well as abrasions and bruises. Tea tree oil manufacturers and their customers claim that the oil is antibacterial, viricidal and fungicidal.

Expert Insight

A study in the "Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology" reports that topical tea tree oil is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne vulgaris. An article in "Letters in Applied Microbiology" supports the use of tea tree oil for the treatment of acne. The "Adverse Drug Reactions and Toxicological Reviews" says that tea tree oil has antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and acaricidal activity against skin infections such as acne, herpes and scabies. In a study comparing tea tree oil against benzoyl peroxide, "The Medical Journal of Australia" stated that both 5 percent tea-tree oil and 5 percent benzoyl peroxide reduced the number of inflamed and non-inflamed acne lesions of patients in the study. Tea tree oil started working more slowly than benzoyl peroxide and fewer side effects were experienced with tea tree oil.

Considerations

Unless a tea tree oil acne face wash specifically states the amount of tea tree oil contained in the product, you can't really know how much has been used. The studies cited above used a 5 percent solution of tea tree oil. If necessary, you can make your own face wash with tea tree oil. Simply purchase a mild liquid face wash soap, remove 5 percent of the soap and replace it with pure tea tree oil. For instance, if you purchase a 10 oz. bottle of acne face wash, remove one tablespoonful from the bottle and replace it with 1 tbsp. of tea tree oil. Or you can combine 6 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of a mild liquid soap such as Castile soap with 1 tsp. of tea tree oil to make a 5 percent blend.

Allergies

Allergies to tea tree oil are commonly reported. Perform a patch test before using the product. Apply a dab of the 5 percent mixture of soap and tea tree oil to the inside of your arm. Cover with a bandage and wait 24 hours to see if there are any adverse reactions such as itching, rash, swelling or hives. If you have a reaction to the tea tree oil, don't use it on your skin.

Moisturize

A 5-percent blend of tea tree oil in an acne face wash product can be drying to your skin. Rinse well and always moisturize after using the face wash with a non-oily moisturizer that is non-comedogenic.

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