When the usual medication won’t give you the desired results, your natural reaction is to look somewhere else for a better alternative. If you are suffering from eczema, you will find a truckload of treatments, synthetic or natural, posted all over the web as an alternative. You will find a lot of them offering an effective and safe treatment, although the guarantee of success is not always assured. In this article, we consider whether tea tree oil can help clear up eczema.
What is Eczema?
Eczema is a type of skin disorder marked by dry skin accompanied by inflammation, flaking, blistering, and itching. It is non-contagious but can sometimes spread all over the body. Left untreated, breaks on the skin can occur usually accompanied by severe itching and pain. If you have eczema, it could mean that your immune system is weak. It could also indicate that your skin’s moisture content is low. In this condition, the skin loses moisture as the cells widen up. As a result, moisture goes out, microbes come in, and eczema happens. This condition can be aggravated by stress, allergies, and irritants in the environment. Eczema usually affects infants and toddlers. Though many instances of infantile eczema get less frequent with age, many individuals still get this condition even as adults.
Effective Natural Remedies Wanted
Many kinds of medications claiming to be eczema treatments are currently on the market. These treatments are sometimes used as an adjunct to doctor-prescribed medicines. Some can show some efficacy, while others merely cause a placebo effect if they even work at all. Unfortunately, some purported treatments show no improvements but actually worsen the condition. Now for the good news. Tea tree oil is one of the most popular natural remedies for eczema. This potent essential oil is derived primarily from the Australian tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia. Its popularity as a medicinal plant, effective as a cure for many disorders from eczema to respiratory tract infection, is widespread all over Australia for about a hundred years. For several decades, the tea tree oil’s capability for fighting various strains of fungi, viruses, and bacteria has been documented in many medical studies. While this powerfully scented oil has been around for a long time, it is only until recently that its skin-healing benefits have been known in countries outside Australia.
Will Tea Tree Oil Work as an Eczema Treatment?
The answer is yes, tea tree oil will be great for treating eczema. Australia’s native Aborigines, in fact, have been using it for thousands of years. As a cure for their skin ailments and other disorders, they usually bathe in water where the Melaleuca alternifolia tree leaves have fallen. Tea tree essential oil contains active components with fungicidal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. This means that it is capable of removing the redness, inflammation, and itching of the skin brought about by eczema. A major advantage of treating eczema with tea tree oil is that everything about it is natural. Most eczema lotions and creams sold over-the-counter today usually include synthetic ingredients that can do more harm than good to the user.
The Natural Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
If you want to reap the benefits of natural healing, then check out what tea tree oil has in store.
- Tea tree oil contains anti-inflammatory components that can bring down the swelling and redness of the skin.
- The antiseptic property of the oil provides skin protection against infection.
- The oil rapidly enters the skin to stop allergens that cause itching. Itchiness may bring on more skin infection due to excessive scratching of the affected area.
- Tea tree oil has the antibacterial component terpinene-4-ol that inhibits the spread of infection.
- Tea tree oil contains antioxidants that repel free radicals that attack the skin. It also restores skin damaged by aging and stress.
- Tea tree essential oil promotes softer and smoother skin.
Numerous Uses of Tea Tree Oil
As of latest count, tea tree oil has more than 327 scientific finding that backs it up as a powerful antimicrobial agent. Tea tree oil, however, has a wide range of other uses besides being an effective eczema treatment. To name a few:
- Home cleaning products
- Air spray to kill molds
- Foot deodorizer and athlete’s foot treatment
- The active ingredient in facial and skin care products
- Natural insect repellent
For an in depth look at other uses, head over to The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil. Many people today are steering away from expensive yet unproven synthetic eczema treatments. Instead, they are gravitating more and more towards natural essentials like tea tree oil and oregano oil because they are just as effective, less expensive and come with fewer side effects. A published article by the Journal of Phytomedicine compared different essential oils (tea tree oil included) and mentioned that none of them showed harmful side effects when used with various other antibiotics. They found that some essential oils actually worked synergistically with other oils which more than doubled their effectiveness.
Tips, Reminders, and Precautions
Tea tree oil has wonderful healing qualities and may be considered by some to be the best treatment for eczema. Results, however, will depend on each individual’s health condition and the severity of the infection. Be patient as you go through the treatment process. Do not expect the oil to heal your disorder overnight. Damaged skin can take a total of about 30 days to heal and regenerate. Eczema attacks can also occur during the treatment period. It will help if you can monitor and record your eczema flare-ups in a notebook to determine if the trigger is emotionally, environmentally, or allergy-based. Bear in mind that tea tree oil and similar oils are non– regulated so there is no way to know whether you are buying pure high-quality oil or not. Purchase your oil only from licensed medical practitioners or a trusted health store. Tea tree oil should never be taken orally. If you have mistakenly ingested it, you could experience rashes, headaches, and nausea. The proper use is inhaling it through the nose (aromatherapy) or applied topically on the skin in diluted form. If you experience any skin irritation, stop using the oil immediately. If there isn’t any improvement, or if the condition gets worse despite the natural treatment, visit your doctor. You may have a more severe skin disorder that require professional intervention. If it is your first time to use tea tree oil and not sure how your skin will react to it, it is best to first perform a skin patch test on your arm if there will be any allergic reactions afterwards. Naturally, it is good practice to consult a medical professional before trying a new skin care treatment. Many sufferers are now switching to tea tree oil to help alleviate the symptoms of eczema. When used as directed, tea tree oil can be an effective and safe alternative to conventional washes and creams. Also, read about the side effects of using tea tree oil.