Pregnancy Use

Insufficient reliable information is available to determine safety. PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• 100% tea tree oil is a safe and effective alternative to clotrimazole for the treatment of toenail onychomycosis.

• Extensive in vitro testing has found significant activity against a wide range of bacterial and fungal microorganisms, such as common skin pathogens.

• 5% tea tree oil gel has been shown to significantly improve acne vulgaris, with effects similar to 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion.

• Clinical evidence supports the use of tea tree oil preparations in Candida albicans or Trichomonas vaginalis vaginitis and cervicitis, cystitis and MRSA infection. It may also be useful in herpes simplex and head lice, but clinical data are unavailable.

• Tea tree oil should not be ingested other than in capsule form under professional supervision and a test patch is advised before widespread topical application.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will tea tree oil do for me?

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic substance that is effective against a wide range of common bacterial and fungal organisms. Scientific evidence shows that it is an effective treatment for acne, fungal infections of the toenails, Candida albicans or Trichomonas vaginalis vaginitis and cervicitis, cystitis and MRSA infection. It is also used to treat cold sores and head lice. When will it start to work?

This will depend on the indication it is being used to treat. In some cases, clinical tests are not available, so it is uncertain when, if any, effects are seen. Are there any safety issues?

Tea tree oil should not be ingested orally and used with caution on inflamed and sensitive skin.

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