Will we see a Tea Tree Oil Rosacea Topical?



Given that the Ivermectin-based topical Soolantra has emerged as a viable topical treatment for the papules and pustules of rosacea, might rosacea sufferers expect to see a tea tree oil based topical in the future?

One of the claimed methods of action of Ivermectin is common to tea tree oil – namely the eradication of demodex mites. Therefore, should we expect to see the creation of a new topical cream that contains active ingredients from tea tree oil?

Tea Tree Oil is a demodex killer

It is well known that a solution of 100% Tea Tree Oil (TTO) will kill demodex in as little as 4 minutes. Unfortunately pure TTO is far too harsh to apply directly to the skin. Any suitable rosacea topical would therefore need to balance the toxicity to demodex with suitability to sensitive rosacea skin.

The makers of Cliradex Wipes claim that the important active ingredient found in TTO – terpinen-4-ol is less irritating than raw tea tree oil itself. So we have perhaps a small hint that it might be possible to create a tolerable TTO topical.

Patent Complications

The creation of a new rosacea treatment normally requires the accompanying protection of any related intellectual property. Typically this means any research and development efforts need to enjoy patent protection.

So if we are to imagine a future TTO-based Rosacea Topical, a search of patent owners might be interesting. One patent that Rosacea News has highlighted previously is Method for treating ocular demodex. There is also good body of evidence in the literature to consider as well – eg. In vitro and in vivo killing of ocular Demodex by tea tree oil.

Tissue Tech and Cliradex Wipes

We know from the Cliradex Wipes product that patents already exist for using tea tree oil to treat eyelash demodex mites and inflammation.

Sterilid and Theratears

We also know that thera tears from Sterilid is available as a foaming cleanser for eyelids and eyelashes and claims patent protection via Methods and compositions for the treatment of infection or infectious colonization of the eyelid, ocular surface, skin or ear.

Article Abstract

This article, speculating that a TTO topical might exist one day, was inspired by a paper in Parasitology that opens the door to the possibility of treating demodex mites with a topical skin treatment containing the active ingredient in TTO – terpinen-4-ol (T4O).

Can the tea tree oil (Australian native plant: Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel) be an alternative treatment for human demodicosis on skin?

Parasitology. 2018 Apr 18:1-11.

Australian tea tree oil (TTO) and its extract terpinen-4-ol (T4O) are found to be effective in moderating demodex-related diseases.

Their possible effects are lowering the mite counts, relieving the demodex-related symptoms and modulating the immune system especially the inflammatory response.

This review summarizes the topical treatments of TTO and T4O in human demodicosis, their possible mechanism of actions, side-effects and potential resistance in treating this condition.

Although current treatments other than TTO and T4O are relatively effective in controlling the demodex mite population and the related symptoms, more research on the efficacy and drug delivery technology is needed in order to assess its potential as an alternative treatment with minimal side-effect profile, low toxicity and low risk of demodex resistance.

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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4 Reader Comments

  1. From facebook thread from this post

    “Tea tree products work great for my Rosacea”

    “This medicine was a life saver for me! 3 weeks and completely clear skin! Any time I start to break out, I start using and it’s gone!”

    “Soolantra waste of time it doesnt get rid redness,it does help with greesey/shiny looking skin but nothing for redness,only thing helps me is camoflarge cream which ill add is very good.”

    “Um one can just buy tea tree oil at the grocery store.”

    “Jane, how are you using the tea tree oil for rosacea?”

    “you didn’t ask me but I put two drops in coconut oil. Helped the breakouts. But I’m also using anti fungal and retin-a.”

  2. comment via email.

    “My Rosacea has been cleared for 3 months, only slight redness in creases at nose, due to frequent blowing/allergies. Not sure, but switch to clean diet, faithful use of Rx. Metronidazole, sunscreen, and only use Clinique redness powder, keep makeup for special occasions. I enjoy your newsletter. Other assists: daily meditation & Yoga. I have found tea tree oil too strong for my facial area. A safe astringent is blotting with a used green tea bag, and letting the skin dry. Hope all the above helps someone, Everybody is different. So I encourage sufferers to find the best treatment for the individual. Nancy, Rosacea patient.”

  3. Rhea buck says:

    is soolantra no longer being sold? I asked my dr for it and they gave me a generic 1% Ivermectin that is drying out my skin and not good for my dry skin. The Soolantra worked great for me.

  4. Comment via email.

    “Following years and thousands plus thousands of dollars for treatment, I began using Tea Tree Oil my skin has responded amazingly. To the point, people are asking what I have done, did I have plastic surgery? I have used oil for maybe year breakouts have diminished greatly AND if I get a breakout it is gone quickly! This works for me and my skin!”

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