If you’re anything at all like the millions of other people who suffer from cystic acne, you’re probably willing to do just about whatever it takes to get clearer skin. And if you’ve ever done a basic Google search, you’ve also probably read about using tea tree oil as a home remedy for cystic acne. But can tea tree oil actually help severe acne, or is it just an old wives’ tale that going to waste your time – or even worse, cause you to break out even more.
What Is Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, sometimes called melaleuca or melaleuca oil, originates from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a tall scrub that’s native to Australia. In eastern Australia, indigenous cultures have been using the “tea tree” for traditional medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The leaves of the tea tree plant are crushed in order to collect their by-product, which is then concentrated into commercially distributed tea tree oil.
What Else is Tea Tree Oil Good For?
The short answer is a ton! Most noticeably, research over the past couple of decades has proven that tea tree oil can be an effective cure for MRSA, the dangerous “resistant super-bacteria” that has plagued hospitals and health care professionals in recent years. It also has very strong anti-fungal properties, and is commonly used to treat fungal ailments like athlete’s foot and ringworm. Tea tree oil is even known to soothe insect bites and stings, and help keep fleas off of pets.
The Dangers of Tea Tree Oil
Used as directed, tea tree oil isn’t very dangerous. That being said, it should never be ingested as it is considered toxic by modern poison control standards. While there have been no reported deaths from tea tree oil ingestion, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and many other potentially serious medical conditions.
More importantly when it comes to cystic acne, tea tree oil can be harmful to your skin when applied in high concentrations. Some individuals have reported severe skin irritation and allergic dermatitis after applying too much tea tree oil, or applying the proper dose too frequently.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Cystic Acne
There are a number of popular ways to use tea tree oil in treating cystic acne. A few of the most effective include:
- Applying it directly to cystic pimples with a cotton ball or swab.
- Diluting it evenly with aloe vera or raw, organic honey and applying the mixture to cystic pimples with a cotton ball or swab.
- Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your normal homemade or commercial face mask mixture.
- Creating a homemade scrub that consists of 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 20 drops of tea tree oil.
- Mixing a couple of drops into your daily face cleanser or moisturizer regiment.
- Putting a few drops into your warm bath water to help treat cystic acne on your body.
Is Tea Tree Oil a Cystic Acne Cure?
If you’re using tea tree oil to treat your cystic acne as directed, you’re very likely to see positive results after just a couple of weeks of use. As always when using a new topical cystic acne home remedy, make sure to exercise caution when applying tea tree oil for the first few times, and be on the lookout for the symptoms of an allergic reaction which may indicate hypersensitivity.