severe allergic reaction to tea tree oil

by Janice

I had a fungus rash on the palm of my hands. A friend told me about tea tree oil and its healing properties.
I decided to test the oil on a healthy area of my skin as well as my hands. I put it on my neck and my hands, and within two days, my neck was an angry itchy mess, and my hands broke out in red itchy bumps on top of my fungus.
The bottle of tea tree oil was several years old, I must admit, but I was startled at the severe reaction that occurred. It has been a week, and the redness is just now starting to go away.
What is the story about this allergic reaction to tea tree oil?
I'm curious.Thanks, Jan

Editors Note:
Jan, Tea Tree Oil is known to irritate some folks, although it has been found that typically less than 1% of the population is allergic to tea tree oil.
For the full details and more links to information on tea tree oil allergies and allergic reactions, be sure to check out the page Allergic To Tea Tree Oil.

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Apr 14, 2016
Tea tree oil nightmare. I'm in the 5% who are allergic
by: Anonymous

Stupid me, I had a reaction to tea tree about ten years ago. I convinced myself it must have been due to purity. My nose piercing was slightly infected this week, so I did a test spot on my arm with tea tree oil. Nothing 12 hours later. Perfect! So I dabbed some on my nose. 24 hours later, my arm has itchy raised spots all over and my poor nose is covered in fluid filled welts. I have taken an antihistamine as I am feeling my eyes getting itchy. I am hoping hydrocortisone cream will help with the discomfort and spreading of symptoms. If I can make a suggestion, wait 24 hours after doing a patch test. What a nightmare.

Apr 02, 2016
Rash from old tea tree oil
by: Dawn

I've used tea tree oil in the past with no problems at all. Several days ago I put some on a bug bite and got a horrible, itchy, red rash everywhere that it touched. My guess is that the oil had gone bad since it had been in the medicine cabinet probably over five years....maybe longer than that. I didn't realize it could go bad and cause a reaction like this.

Jan 10, 2016
Tea Tree oil reaction in chickens
by: Anonymous

Was advised to treat my rooster with tea tree oil for mites/lice. He has had a reaction. He is weak, having trouble walking.. Can anyone tell me how long this will last? How I can help reduce symptoms?

Editors Note:
I'm not sure about chickens, but with cats and dogs the first thing is often to give the animal activated charcoal. Check with a local vet. Birds do not respond well to tea tree oil, and many other essential oils as well.
A far safer measure for chickens is to go to a feed store, or perhaps a local health food store, and purchase food grade diatomaceous earth to dust the chickens with. If you purchase at the feed store a 50 lb sack is around 25 or 30 dollars, and you can use it to set up a dust bath for your birds. This will minimize many mite infestations.
Keep their coop clean, and at least once a year, wash down the walls. We use Poultry Protector Concentrate from Care Free Enzymes company. It says it is Non-Toxic and All Natural. The label says the active ingredient is Potassium Sorbate in a 0.01% concentration by weight. Not sure how you would derive that concentration to mix it, but beer and wine brew shops carry small packages of it for 2 or 3 dollars an ounce. Maybe the Wolfram Alpha search engine could help with the formula.

Dec 20, 2015
Burn rash
by: Anonymous

I had allergies reaction on my face .. From tea tree oil i was having pimples on my face chemist suggest use tea tree oil but when i apply in my face after 5 min my face was very red but redness gone after 2-3 days but i notice there is a burn rash on my face near nose which is not heal yet

Nov 28, 2015
Tea Tree Oil Spray
by: David

My wife used tea tree oil spray (Bosisto's) to treat nits in my daughters hair. Within four hours had a red rash over her thighs and trunk. Within 24 hours bloated hands and lips. Within 48 hours spread to neck and ears. Within 72 hours spread to hands and feet. She has been treated with prednisone and an anti histamine after 24 hours. However it did not stop the spread of the reaction.

We're at a loss at the severity of the allergic reaction. Which was likely from simply ingesting some of the spray while using it.

Melbourne, Australia.

Aug 03, 2015
I used to use undiluted tea tea oil except now
by: Anonymous

Last summer, I thought I gained a rash on top of my eyebrow due to poison ivy which led to a secondary skin infection called impetigo. I initially treated the "bump/pimple" with undiluted tea tree oil. Coincidentally, I had a burn on my forearm, in which this secondary rash had spread. Treated with prednazone and antibiotics, it came back a week later, due to the fact I was still treating with undiluted tea tree oil.

Happened again later in summer two more times. At the time, not knowing tea tree oil; may be the culprit.

This summer, similar situation, treated with antibiotics and prednazone.

I finally realized on vacation when my lips were chapped, I treated accidentally with a melaleu
ca suave and then immediately removed, next day corner of my mouth was inflamed with dry rash. Finally figured it out. I am allergic to any tea tree oil, stay away!

Apr 24, 2015
Ease with Cold Sore Remedy
by: fe

I've used Tea Tree regularly over the past 10 years and had no adverse reaction until yesterday.

I used it neat (as before) for a very slight recurrent slight nail fungal infection. I applied neat drops to a plaster and then wrapped around my finger.

I awoke with terrific itching burning sensation in the finger. Removed the plaster and saw my finger was red and swollen and looked and felt as if it would burst.

Quickly found this site and saw Cortisone was advised. Didn't have any. All I could think of was to apply 'blisteze' (a preparation for quick relief of cold sores and chapped lips). This really did help and within ten minutes the unbearable heat/pain had gone.

Hope this helps someone, somewhere!

Feb 11, 2015
Severe reaction to tea tree oil
by: Anonymous

1% percent of the population is allergic.... I think it's higher!
My mother was very involved with Melaleuca. All of their products I had and was using, soaps, detergents, etc. I was 6 months pregnant with my first child. I had a massive hive, blister type rash all over my neck, back, chest and lower face. My doctor thought it was a pregnancy reaction. After when my child was born, I still had this rash. It was devastating emotionally, I didn't want to leave the house and only wore high turtle neck shirts.
It took a bit to figure it out! I eliminated all tea tree oil products. The rash cleared up in 2 months, but the itchiness was gone within a week, so I knew I had found the cause.
I read the labels of products I buy now. But every once and awhile I have that rash come back.
I found out today that the dish soap I bought a month ago has tea tree oil. I really wish all products had a full disclosure of their ingredients.

Oct 26, 2014
tea tree oil brakout
by: william

I went to a different barbershop and got my beard done and then the barber touched my hair with his clippers. Couple days later, I was told I had a white spot on the back of my hair. So , my co-workers told me to use tea tree oil on spot on my head and face. Next thing I know I had like a big plaster like look on the same spot I put it on. Flaking, burning, and peeling of skin and ears. I went to the emergency room and was told I had ringworm of scalp. Given meds that do not work and now went to dermatologist and said I have sebopsorasis of scalp. I need help with what to do. Now, I am taking benedryl.

Sep 11, 2014
Allergies to Tea Tree Oil
by: Anonymous

Has anyone who may be allergic to 'neat tea tree oil' tried cutting the oil to lessen the strength of it? Perhaps your bodies are reacting this way because the tea tree oil is too strong for you to use it 'neat' or full strength.

Feb 01, 2014
Yes, it happened to me
by: Anonymous

I am not allergic to really anything except cats and dogs. I had a blister (or thats what i thought) on the side of my toe where the nail and skin meet. So my husband suggested tea tree oil to put on it since it was bothering me so much. His mom swears by it and he said it heals anything. So he would put it on my toe for the next couple of days but then one day i came home from work and my toes started itching like crazy and thats when the blistering and redness started. It turned the two toes he was applying the oil on into a blistery, nasty looking mess. I thought it was athletes foot at first so i bought cream but it wasnt helping. i thought maybe it was a bacterial infection because i read that online somewhere. So then i told a co worker the other day about what was going on and as soon as i mentioned that i was using tea tree oil, she said "oh yes, your probably allergic to the oil because i am and had a terrible allergic reaction when i got a facial with tea tree oil" i never would have thought that this would happen and my mother in law is in shock that could happen since she swears by it. EVIL tea tree oil!!

Jan 31, 2014
tea tree oil in burn shield cream
by: Anonymous

While working I received a small burn and used medicare burn shield cream, I then applied a plaster over it. With in a few days I had a rash in the shape of the plaster and it just kept spreading so I thought I was allergic to the plaster but no steroid creams or anything worked. I started taking hay fever tablets which got rid of it after a week or two. Then I got burnt again three weeks ago and applied a large amount of cream all on my arm. The rash appeared after a few days and I realised it was the cream. I have the same stuff at home so I read the ingredients and all it says is active ingredient is tea tree oil. I've been taking the tablets and although its eased up it spread to my neck and is non stop itchy. My mother said I should put some on my leg to see if it reacts again just in case. Worst mistake ever. Full of scabs from scratching and cant sleep at night. Never been allergic to anything before. This sucked!

Nov 15, 2013
USED to be great for me! Now, a rash!
by: Anonymous

I used to use tea tree oil for adult acne breakouts (just a dab does the job, dries it out nicely, and the next morning it almost appears as though nothing was there before). Last night I put on a dab and -whoosh!- red splotches, itchy spots, and breakouts well over an inch around the place I put the oil (on a face, and inch is a big area). Can someone BECOME allergic to tea tree oil? Ours is fairly old, and I read that could be an issue. I am shocked, because I love this stuff, well, I have in the past. I am sad, because it truly was my natural "go-to" cure.

Aug 07, 2012
Severe Allergic Reaction To Tea Tree Oil Swelling Of Inside Of Ear, Ear Lobe Enlarged
by: Anonymous

Severe Allergic Reaction To Tea Tree Oil.

100% Tea Tress Oil Austria Brand. I used the tip of my baby finger to place a tiny rub into my ear. Oh my goodness, the next morning, my whole ear was blown up with pus ,tight, running. Had problems hearing . A full blown severe allergic reaction.

To the emergency I ran. Given Benadryl, and Prednisone cream. 6 days later itching worse, and now red pustules. I can't take a hot shower or bath. on cold anything works.

I can't believe this. Got some calamine lotion and then I went back to the emergency room, and was given a strong med for itching. When I take it, I just wake up, then sleep all day, and then the next day I'm still drowsy. I took 1 pill. Yes! Only 1 pill.

After returning from Emergency Room, no more will I fight this allergic reaction without any pills, oatmeal cold packs, and calamine lotions.

Jan 26, 2011
severe reaction to tee tree oil
by: Anonymous

My doctor had told me I had an allergy to dust mites, so this prompted me to go through the whole house and wash everything with a few drops of water solubile tee tree oil in my regular wash. Within afew days my arms and legs had broken out in nasty and severe itchy welts. I'ts now been a week and I've had to get a steroid to settle my skin as I'm at witts end with the itchiness and not getting sleep at night because of it. I've re-washed everything again, but there is obviously residue becuase as soon as I use the sheets or towels that was washed with tee tree oil I break out again.

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