Treatment of Interdigital Tinea Pedis With 25% and 50% Tea Tree Oil Solution: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blinded Study

Australas J Dermatol. 2002 Aug;43(3):175-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-0960.2002.00590.x.

Abstract

Tea tree oil has been shown to have activity against dermatophytes in vitro. We have conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blinded study to determine the efficacy and safety of 25% and 50% tea tree oil in the treatment of interdigital tinea pedis. One hundred and fifty-eight patients with tinea pedis clinically and microscopy suggestive of a dermatophyte infection were randomized to receive either placebo, 25% or 50% tea tree oil solution. Patients applied the solution twice daily to affected areas for 4 weeks and were reviewed after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment. There was a marked clinical response seen in 68% of the 50% tea tree oil group and 72% of the 25% tea tree oil group, compared to 39% in the placebo group. Mycological cure was assessed by culture of skin scrapings taken at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment. The mycological cure rate was 64% in the 50% tea tree oil group, compared to 31% in the placebo group. Four (3.8%) patients applying tea tree oil developed moderate to severe dermatitis that improved quickly on stopping the study medication.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Reference Values
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use*
  • Tinea Pedis / drug therapy*
  • Tinea Pedis / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Tea Tree Oil