The Efficacy of 5% Topical Tea Tree Oil Gel in Mild to Moderate Acne Vulgaris: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. Jan-Feb 2007;73(1):22-5. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.30646.

Abstract

Background: Finding an effective treatment for acne that is well tolerated by the patients is a challenge. One study has suggested the efficacy of tea tree oil in treatment of the acne vulgaris.

Aim: To determine the efficacy of tea tree oil in mild to moderate acne vulgaris.

Methods: This was a randomized double-blind clinical trial performed in 60 patients with mild to moderate acne vulgaris. They were randomly divided into two groups and were treated with tea tree oil gel (n=30) or placebo (n=30). They were followed every 15 days for a period of 45 days. Response to treatment was evaluated by the total acne lesions counting (TLC) and acne severity index (ASI). The data was analyzed statistically using t-test and by SPSS program.

Results: There were no significant differences regarding demographic characteristics between the two groups. There was a significant difference between tea tree oil gel and placebo in the improvement of the TLC and also regarding improvement of the ASI. In terms of TLC and ASI, tea tree oil gel was 3.55 times and 5.75 times more effective than placebo respectively. Side-effects with both groups were relatively similar and tolerable.

Conclusion: Topical 5% tea tree oil is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne vulgaris.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / adverse effects
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tea Tree Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Tea Tree Oil / adverse effects
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Gels
  • Tea Tree Oil