Research: RUTHERFORD and COLLEAGUES

Listed in Issue 154

Abstract

RUTHERFORD and COLLEAGUES The Skin and Cancer Foundation, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia reviewed [24 refs] reactions to tea tree oil available in commercial skin and hair products.

Background

Tea tree oil use is increasing, with considerable interest in it being a 'natural' antimicrobial. It is found in many commercially available skin and hair care products in Australia.

Methodology

We retrospectively reviewed our patch test data at the Skin and Cancer Foundation Victoria over a 4.5-year period and identified 41 cases of positive reactions to oxidized tea tree oil of 2320 people patch-tested, giving a prevalence of 1.8%. The tea tree oil reaction was deemed relevant to the presenting dermatitis in 17 of 41 (41%) patients. Of those with positive reactions, 27 of 41 (66%) recalled prior use of tea tree oil and eight of 41 (20%) specified prior application of neat (100%) tea tree oil.

Results

Conclusion

Tea tree oil allergic contact dermatitis is under-reported in the literature but is sufficiently common in Australia to warrant inclusion of tea tree oil, at a concentration of 10% in petrolatum, in standard patch-test series. Given tea tree oil from freshly opened tea tree oil products elicits no or weak reactions, oxidized tea tree oil should be used for patch testing.

References

Rutherford T, Nixon R, Tam M and Tate B. Allergy to tea tree oil: retrospective review of 41 cases with positive patch tests over 4.5 years. Australasian Journal of Dermatology. 48(2):83-7. May 2007.

Munro Hall Clinic 2019

IJCA 2018 New Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle India 2020

Walk on the Wide Side Trek Kenya 2020

Big Heart Bike Ride South Africa 2020

top of the page