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 products, flavorings, perfumes, and essential oils.

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 U.S. 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 not enough information, ask your pharmacist or retailer or contact the company directly. At work, request a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to help identify potential sources of exposure.

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

  • Perfumes/Colognes/After-shaves/Toilet water
  • Essential oils
  • Skin care products/Cosmetics
    • Antiperspirants/Deodorants
    • Hair sprays, gels, tonics, and lotions
    • Hair colorants/“Permanents-relaxers”
    • Soaps/Cleansers/Sanitizers
    • Shampoos/Conditioners
    • Moisturizers
    • Make-ups
    • Nail polish/Nail polish remover
    • Powders/Sprays
    • Sunscreens
    • Mouthwash
  • Topical medications (prescription and over the counter)
    • Anesthetics
    • Antiseptics
    • Creams, ointments, solutions
    • Foot preparations and nail fungus treatment
    • Lice treatments
    • Dandruff treatments
    • Acne treatments
    • Nasal decongestants
    • Herbal remedies, including traditional Chinese medications
    • Wound dressings
  • Aquarium treatment
  • Insect repellent
  • Household products
    • Air fresheners/Aromatherapy/Potpourri
    • Cleaning products/Soaps/Detergents (A preferred household cleaner for fragrance allergic individuals 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?

Hang tight. We're thinking.