What is it?
Tea Tree Oil is a substance distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia trees.  It is a fragrance used in a variety of products such as personal care product, flavorings, and essential oils in perfumes.

How can I avoid it?
Skin contact with Tea Tree Oil is required for it to cause a rash. Discontinuation of exposure to products containing Tea Tree Oil  should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. By law, all products made in the US for topical use have the ingredients listed either on the product package or the box that contains it, so check the labeling of your skin care products for this ingredient. If there is no information ask your pharmacist or call the company directly. At work, request a material safety data sheet (MSDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.

The avoidance of fragrances agents such as Tea Tree Oil can be difficult, since so many everyday products contain these substances. One should use only fragrance-free cosmetic and household products. “Unscented” products may contain low levels of a fragrance to cover up an undesirable odor and also should be avoided. Products labeled as “hypoallergenic” do not assure that the product is truly free of fragrance.

Since fragrances are complex mixtures of many ingredients, an individual may tolerate one fragrance but not another. A trial-and-error method of avoiding a fragrance allergen in a product can be performed by applying the product to the forearm in the same small area twice a day for a week. If no dermatitis develops, the product may likely be used safely.

  • Perfumes / Colognes / After-shaves / Toilet water
  • Skin Care Products / Cosmetics
    • Antiperspirants / Deodorants
    • Hair sprays, gels, tonics and lotions
    • Hair Colorants / “Permanents-Relaxers”
    • Soaps / Cleansers
    • Shampoos / Conditioners
    • Moisturizers
    • Make-ups
    • Nail Polish / Nail Polish Remover
    • Powders / Sprays
    • Sunscreens
  • Medications, topical, prescription and over the counter such as:
    • Anesthetics
    • Antiseptics
    • Creams, Ointments, Solutions
    • Foot And Other Powders
    • Nasal Decongestants
    • Herbal remedies, including Traditional Chinese Medications
    • Wound Dressings
  • Aquarium treatment
  • Household products
    • Air Fresheners / Aromatherapy / Potpourri
    • Cleaning Products / Soaps / Detergents (A preferred household cleaner is dilute white vinegar.)
    • Furniture polish
    • Laundry care (detergent, softeners)
Allergens (chemicals that likely cause the allergic reaction): 
  • Aromadendrene
  • a-Terpinene
  • d-Limonene
Other names for Tea Tree Oil:
  • Melaleuce alternifolio lead oil 
  • Tea resinoid
  • Melaleuca oil
  • Camellia oleifera
Potential cross-reacting/co-reacting substances:
  • Other fragrances

How safe is it?

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