There is a lot of curiosity about the benefits of Tea tree oil for Psoriasis. A lot of natural/herbal skin care products- soap, shampoo, oil, cream, moisturizer- contain tea tree oil as an active ingredient. In this post, I have tried to present an honest evaluation of the effectiveness of tea tree oil in relieving psoriasis symptoms.
What is Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca tree. This plant is native to Australia and some parts of Asia. In earlier times, these leaves were used to make tea, giving it the name as tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Terpinen-4-ol, the major constituent of tea tree oil, is a terpene. It is a volatile oil which has the capability to kill harmful bacteria and fungi. Tea tree oil is used to treat a range of skin disorders such as acne, dandruff, athlete’s foot, eczema and psoriasis.
Its ability to neutralize harmful foreign matters- fungi, virus, bacteria- makes it a top choice to treat various skin infections.
According to a research study conducted at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, Australia- tea tree oil (5% concentration) shampoo resulted in 41% improvement in dandruff symptoms after the use of 4 weeks.
The same University conducted one more study to compare the efficacy of tea tree oil in comparison to Benzoyl Peroxide (a typical pharma drug) in treating acne. The study results summarize that- at 5% concentration, effectiveness of tea tree oil it not far behind than benzoyl peroxide with far less side effects.
Tea tree oil for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder. The furious immune system results in uncontrolled growth of skin cells to develop thick psoriasis patches on various parts of the body.
Why would you make the immune system angry?
Unfortunately, there is no one line answer to this million dollar question. There are numerous factors which can trigger an auto-immune disorder like psoriasis.
All these above mentioned issues leads to one common destination- increased level of toxins in your body. These body toxins would seep through the damaged intestinal walls to enter your bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. It is known as Leaky gut syndrome. To get rid of these alarmingly high body wastes (toxins), your liver overworks. Be informed that your liver is the chief eliminatory organ, responsible for smooth elimination of wastes from your body. With course of time, due to continuous overwork, your liver gets impaired and would almost give up. Then, your skin, the largest body organ, comes to rescue and provide an exit to these body toxins in the form of psoriasis patches on your skin.
Hence, psoriasis is not just a skin problem, but, it is an issue of your internal body metabolism. To reverse this situation, you need an inside-out approach where you work on your diet and lifestyle along with the use of natural herbs, dietary supplements and stress management techniques.
Read more: Importance of Body Detox for Psoriasis
Tea Tree oil for Psoriasis
As we have understood, effective psoriasis healing is achieved by sorting out the internal body matters. A topical solution like tea tree oil can’t provide long term results alone. But, it is also a hard fact that natural healing of psoriasis with the help of positive diet and lifestyle is a gradual process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Hence, an effective natural anti-inflammatory herb like tea tree oil can relieve the visible symptoms of psoriasis to make the things easy for us.
Psoriasis is not life threatening. But, the psoriasis lesions are quite visible in nature. Severe dryness and itching makes the things further worse. These factors can severely impact the personality of a person to disturb the personal and professional life. Psoriasis on highly exposed areas like the scalp, face and surrounding areas- behind the ears, inside of the ears, neck, forehead- can shatter the confidence level of a person. In extreme cases, it can cause social isolation also.
Regular use of tea tree oil on affected body parts can reduce the visibility as well as lower down the inflammation of the psoriasis lesions.
Unlike acne and dandruff, there are no research studies to confirm the effectiveness of tea tree oil in psoriasis treatment. But, there are numerous testimonials, where people experienced significant improvement in their psoriasis symptoms after using tea tree oil.
How to use
Tea tree oil is a topical agent. You can use it directly or mix with other oils such as coconut oil or almond oil. You can also mix it with your shampoo or face wash in small quantities.
Alternatively, you can use topical solutions such as soap, shampoo, hair oil, face wash and moisturizers which has tea tree oil as an active ingredient.
- You can use tea tree oil directly in the pure form on less sensitive parts of your body such as elbow, knee, arms, nails, fingers etc. Take a cotton ball, dip it in tea tree oil and put it on the affected area. Let it soak for sometime and then wash it off. If you feel comfortable, then keep it for overnight and wash off in the morning for better results.
- For sensitive skin such as face, neck, chest- dilute it with virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is non bleached, pure coconut oil which is extracted by the cold pressing of coconut kernels. It is far more effective than the cosmetic grade coconut oil. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which has proven anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Also, coconut oil is a powerful moisturizer. Hence, the combined effect of tea tree oil and coconut oil can bring wonderful results for you.
Read more: Virgin coconut oil for Psoriasis
- For scalp wash, mix 2 drops of tea tree oil in your shampoo in the palm of your hand. Alternatively, you can buy a natural shampoo containing tea tree oil in it.
Tea tree oil for Nail Psoriasis
Tea tree oil is quite effective in treating fungal infections on nails. When some people use it to treat their nail psoriasis, they get quite encouraging results. As I can read on various discussion forums– psoriasis on nails, in particular, has been more responsive to tea tree oil than on any other part of the body.
Apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected nail at night and wash it off in the morning. Keep your nails as short as possible to ensure maximum penetration of oil. Do it regularly for 15-20 days to see some significant improvement in your nail psoriasis.
Tea tree oil to diminish Psoriasis scars
A lot of times, people would inquire for an effective treatment to vanish the left over marks of psoriasis on their body. The above mentioned combo (15 drops of tea tree oil in 30 ml of coconut oil) can help you out in it. Apply this mixture on the scars at night and wash it off in the morning. It is a slow process. Continue it for a few weeks and you would see visible results thereafter.
If the scars are too stubborn and your skin allows, then increase the amount of tea tree oil up to 30 drops. If skin reacts with burning or irritation symptoms, add more of coconut oil.
Are you allergic to Tea tree oil
Before using tea tree oil on your psoriasis lesions, make sure that you are not allergic to it. Otherwise, it can make your situation worse.
Take 1-2 drops of tea tree oil and add it in half teaspoon of coconut oil or any other carrier oil. Put this oil mixture on your inner forearm and observe if it causes skin redness or inflammation.
Here it is important to note that a lot of times, this irritation would go away within a few minutes of the application, which is pretty normal. Hence, don’t hurry to draw any conclusion. If the irritation persists for a longer duration of time, only then you are allergic to tea tree oil. Otherwise, you can use it for sure.
The National Capital Poison Center states that tea tree oil is poisonous if ingested. Oral consumption of tea tree oil is not recommended. Some of the common negative effects of oral consumption are- vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset and dizziness.
As far as external application is concerned, it is quite safe.
But, tea tree oil can burn your skin if you apply pure (concentrated) tea tree oil directly on sensitive skin areas like face, neck or near the genitals. Even after diluting it with coconut oil, don’t overdo. Excessive use can hurt your skin as well.
It is highly recommended to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using to enjoy a safe and effective experience.
From where to buy
Always opt for 100% pure tea tree oil of a reputed brand. You can buy it from an herbal store near to you. Otherwise, you can buy it from Amazon.
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Tea tree oil can help you in managing the visible symptoms of psoriasis and reduce the inflammation. But, it should not be considered as an alternative to diet and lifestyle changes. Positive changes in diet and lifestyle along with the use of dietary supplements and natural herbs can provide you long term relief. Topical solutions like tea tree oil can definitely accelerate the healing process when used in the right manner.