Treatment of Dandruff With 5% Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Dec;47(6):852-5. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2002.122734.

Abstract

Background: Dandruff appears to be related to the yeast Pityrosporum ovale. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties with activity against P ovale and may be useful in the treatment of dandruff.

Objective: We conducted a randomized, single-blind, parallel-group study to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of 5% tea tree oil and placebo in patients with mild to moderate dandruff.

Methods: One hundred twenty-six male and female patients, aged 14 years and older, were randomly assigned to receive either 5% tea tree oil shampoo or placebo, which was used daily for 4 weeks. The dandruff was scored on a quadrant-area-severity scale and by patient self-assessment scores of scaliness, itchiness, and greasiness.

Results: The 5% tea tree oil shampoo group showed a 41% improvement in the quadrant-area-severity score compared with 11% in the placebo group (P <.001). Statistically significant improvements were also observed in the total area of involvement score, the total severity score, and the itchiness and greasiness components of the patients' self-assessments. The scaliness component of patient self-assessment improved but was not statistically significant. There were no adverse effects.

Conclusion: Five percent tea tree oil appears to effective and well tolerated in the treatment of dandruff.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hair Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Reference Values
  • Scalp Dermatoses / diagnosis
  • Scalp Dermatoses / drug therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Hair Preparations
  • Tea Tree Oil