Tea tree oil is the extract from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. This species is native to Australia and has been used for ages by the Aboriginals to treat wounds and skin-related problems. The commercial use of this oil began in the 1920s and today, plenty of modern medicines and skincare products contain tea tree oil.
Acne is a follicular skin problem that most of us have faced. Acne forms from deep within the skin and leaves behind scars that do not heal easily. Apart from hormonal reasons, acne is also affected by diet, genetics, and skin hygiene.
So does tea tree oil remove acne scars? Let us take a closer look at the subject in this article and find out the answers.
Most research has pointed out that the correct use of tea tree oil can effectively treat acne-related issues. This oil contains terpinen-4-ol and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing mild to moderate acne.
A research conducted in 2007 has shown that 5% tea tree oil is effective in treating acne. Another 2019 study established some evidence in confirming the role of tea tree oil for curing acne vulgaris. However, exact research related to the role of tea tree oil for treating acne scars that form below the skin is still lacking.
But we can safely say that tea tree oil can lessen acne’s impact and reduce scarring on the whole.
Where to Get the Original Tea Tree Oil From?
Since it is an essential oil, it isn’t easily available in pure and original form. There are various brands selling products containing the oil, and the concentrations vary. The best tea tree oil for acne is mostly combined with other active ingredients. Some are marked for daily use, while others need to be used a few times a week. Most of the top cosmetic brands sell products enriched with tea tree oil.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne Scars?
Even though it is safe for most people, it is best to do a patch test before using tea tree oil for acne marks for the first time. For that, apply a small amount of the product on the inside of your elbow and wait for 24 hours. If you do not sense any adverse reaction, then it can be used safely on the face.
Essential oils are never applied directly to the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin. They are highly concentrated and can have adverse effects on the skin if applied in undiluted form. In general, 1 ounce of carrier oil is mixed with every 12 drops of essential oil. Some of the common carrier oils used are coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and apricot kernel oil.
For applying, softly dab the product on the affected area with a soft pad or a cotton ball. After it dries up, a normal moisturizer can be applied. The step is to be repeated as directed.
Side Effects of Applying Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is mostly safe for topical applications. In some rare cases, the use of tea tree oil for acne scars can lead to skin irritation. Also, tea tree oil is not used for those with skin issues like eczema. Some of the other side effects may include the following.
Allergic skin rash (dermatitis)
Tea tree oil should not be ingested as it is toxic in nature. This can lead to loss of muscle control, unsteadiness, and mental confusion. Also, the application of a combination of tea tree oil and lavender oil is not suggested for young boys who have not reached puberty. This may lead to abnormal breast growth called gynecomastia.
How Many Times Do You Need to Apply Tea Tree Oil Per Day?
The suggested dosage for using tea tree oil for scars in adults contains 5% of the oil. This can be applied as advised by a certified skin specialist who will decide after considering the patient’s specific symptoms. Do keep in mind that using tea tree oil for acne scars will not work immediately. It can take up to 12 weeks for the skin to get used to the product and for the benefits to show up.
Additional Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Apart from being used to treat pimple marks and healing acne, this essential oil also has other benefits. Some of these are listed below.
For curing eyelid infections resulting from mites (ocular demodicosis).
To cure fungal toenail infection and improve the overall appearance of the nails.
For treating Athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis) and its symptoms like itching and burning.
Some research has suggested that a 5% tea tree oil shampoo can cure dandruff and reduce scalp lesions and itchiness.
It is also used to treat gum disease (gingivitis) and tooth plaque, even though its effectiveness is inconclusive.
A mixture of tea tree oil with peppermint and lemon oils can reduce bad breath and improve oral hygiene.
How Long Does Tea Tree Oil Take To Work On Acne Scars?
Tea tree oil is used for 6 to 8 weeks for removing acne scars. Tea tree oil, when used on hypertrophic acne scars has been found to reduce the appearance of these scars. The application of this oil twice daily, consistently for a few weeks, can give good results in reducing the appearance of ng the scarring caused by acne.
If you do not see any effect in 6-8 weeks of using tea tree oil on acne scars, know that you would require a stronger treatment. Tea tree oil is often used as a supportive treatment for acne scars, in addition to the treatment provided by dermatologists. So does tea tree oil get rid of acne scars? Yes. Your dermatologist would be able to give you a precise answer to ‘how long it takes for tea tree oil to work on acne, based on your skin condition, overall skin health, and the severity of acne scars.
Tea tree oil uses for acne scars include reduction in the appearance of scarring and improvement in the overall skin texture and tone. Remember that only an experienced dermatologist would be able to tell you the time taken for this oil to work on the scarring and whether this treatment alone would suffice for your skin condition or if additional treatment would be required for your skin condition based on the severity of your acne scars.
Consult a Doctor
So, can tea tree oil remove acne scars? Well, it can surely reduce the severity of the infections and the chances of scarring. But it is always best to consult a physician before using any new product or medication on the skin. In case you have already used a product and noticed some adverse reactions, consult the doctor immediately.
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