Safety and side effects

Most people can use tea tree oil topically with no problems. However, tea tree oil can cause:

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic skin rash (dermatitis)
  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Scaling
  • Redness
  • Dryness

Don't use tea tree oil if you have eczema.

Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. Serious side effects can occur, including:

  • Confusion
  • A lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements (ataxia)
  • Decreasing levels of consciousness

One study suggests that repeated exposure to lavender oil and tea tree oil might have led to the swelling of the breast tissue (gynecomastia) in young boys.

Interactions

Although tea tree oil is often used in combination with other drugs when treating bacterial or fungal skin conditions, there's currently no evidence showing drug interactions.

Oct. 24, 2017