Tea Tree Oil vs. Tinactin for Athlete’s Foot

Are the consequences of tea tree oil anti-fungal or simply anti-inflammatory?

Our whole comprehension of the cause of dandruff shifted with a landmark posting released in 1984. In its place of relying on secondary sources, evaluations, editorials, and viewpoint pieces, the writer looked at the main literature, the primary experiments. He was “amazed to come across out how frustrating was the proof of aetiology,” the genuine bring about of dandruff, “and how it experienced been dismissed mainly because it was so well buried beneath the mountain of mistake since Malassez (1874)” set forth a bogus principle. We now know that dandruff is activated by a fungus that life and feeds on the human scalp. There are the two major implications: Very first, how “alarming” is it that a bogus principle can continue to be unchallenged in the health care literature for a century irrespective of proof to the contrary? Second, if it’s a fungus, what about trying tea tree oil, which includes parts that have anti-fungal activity against a selection of fungi.

As I focus on in my video clip Does Tea Tree Oil Function for Dandruff and Athlete’s Foot?, the latter was an concept based mostly on research that identified that tea tree oil in a petri dish can struggle off pathogenic pores and skin fungi, as you can see below and at 1:07 in my online video. You don’t know if it operates for dandruff, however, until finally you place it to the exam.


A person hundred 20-6 guys and females have been randomized either to every day use of a 5 per cent tea tree oil shampoo or a placebo for a month. As you can see down below and at 1:22 in my video, the placebo labored a very little little bit, decreasing dandruff severity by about 10 percent, but the tea tree oil shampoo labored much better, reducing dandruff severity by about 40 per cent. In the tea tree oil group, “only 1 patient truly realized a comprehensive response, as did just one patient in the placebo group. As a result, it appears that 5% tea tree shampoo would demand ongoing application for handle of dandruff.”

Speaking of fungus, what about tea tree oil in the treatment of athlete’s foot? That could essentially be our most popular fungal skin an infection, affecting up to a person in 10. About a hundred clients ended up randomized into one of a few groups: a 10 p.c tea tree oil cream, Tinactin (an antifungal drug), or a placebo cream. Soon after 1 thirty day period, the fungus was wiped out in 85 % of the drug team, but only about a quarter of the placebo and tea tree oil teams ended up fixed, as you can see below and at 2:31 in my movie. This is somewhat surprising, due to the fact tea tree oil can kill off the fungus in a petri dish, but evidently, not on toes.

This reminds me of some of the oral overall health data on tea tree oil. Research have revealed it can wipe out some oral pathogens in a petri dish, but what occurs if you have people today swish a tea tree oil solution all-around in their mouth, compared with placebo and swishing with a medicated chlorhexidine mouthwash? Just after four times without the need of brushing their enamel, as with the placebo, the tea tree oil experienced no result on dental plaque buildup, when swishing with the medicated mouthwash saved the plaque at bay a bit, as you can see beneath and at 2:56 in my video.

So, if tea tree oil doesn’t influence the quantity of plaque, it presumably would not assistance with gingivitis, the gum inflammation that is induced by plaque buildup. But, no, here’s the twist. Accurate, there is no reduction in plaque with a 2.5 % tea tree oil gel, yet there is a sizeable reduction in gingivitis scores. “Since reduced gingival [gum] swelling occurred…without a concomitant decrease in plaque scores, its system of exercise could have been anti-inflammatory relatively than antibacterial.”

Could the very same factor be occurring in that athlete’s foot examine I pointed out previously? From a mycological cure standpoint—that is, a fungal treatment standpoint—tea tree oil didn’t really do any superior than placebo. And, although the drug treatment method wiped out the fungus in 85 % of situations, some of these patients didn’t actually notice an enhancement in signs or symptoms or even felt worse soon after using the drug, “probably a reflection of the small irritant aspect effect” of Tinactin. If, instead of mycological remedy, you looked at symptom improvement, tea tree oil operates as properly as the drug, as you can see down below and at 4:14 in my online video. “This may perhaps be the basis for the common use of tea tree oil in the treatment of tinea pedis,” athlete’s foot. People today should realize, even though, that it is just symptomatic reduction, and they are not automatically eradicating the fundamental cause. Of program, it “is attainable that a larger concentration of tea tree oil would have improved antifungal attributes and even much better efficacy in the therapy of tinea pedis.”

And, certainly, as a substitute of applying a 10 percent tea tree oil product, if you use 1 that is 25 or 50 per cent tea tree oil solution, you can get mycological treatment prices over that of placebo, though still not as good as the drug. At those people large concentrations, having said that, some of the people “applying tea tree oil developed average to serious dermatitis,” breaking out in a rash. But, if you have a individual who does not want to use the medicated creams, then a 25 p.c tea tree oil application has a first rate opportunity of knocking out their athlete’s foot without the need of staying too risky, nevertheless the typical in excess of-the-counter antifungal creams may well function even improved.


  • Tea tree oil is made up of components with anti-fungal exercise against a array of various fungi.
  • Dandruff is induced by a fungus residing and feeding on the human scalp. Researchers found that a 5 p.c tea tree oil shampoo worked greater than placebo in reducing dandruff severity, 40 per cent as opposed with 10 per cent, respectively.
  • Athlete’s foot could be our most common fungal skin an infection, but a 10 % tea tree oil cream was not as successful a remedy as Tinactin (an antifungal drug). Tinactin wiped out the fungus in 85 per cent of the drug team, but only about a quarter of the placebo and tea tree oil teams have been fixed.
  • Swishing a tea tree oil option in the mouth does not feel to have an impact on dental plaque buildup without having toothbrushing, compared with medicated mouthwash, but it does look to end result in substantial reduction in gingivitis, the gum inflammation brought on by plaque. Tea tree oil’s system of action could be anti-inflammatory as an alternative of antibacterial.
  • In the athlete’s foot research, the 10 per cent tea tree oil cream worked as properly as the drug Tinactin for symptom enhancement. On the other hand, applying a 25 or 50 p.c tea tree oil answer obtained mycological remedy costs better than that of placebo (even though nonetheless not as good as the drug), but at these larger concentrations, some individuals broke out in a rash. A 25 percent tea tree oil software may well be able to heal athlete’s foot devoid of remaining much too risky, but normal antifungal lotions may possibly operate improved.

Cannot get plenty of about tea tree oil? Then observe:

For people interested in Flashback Friday: What is the Finest Mouthwash?, click the url to understand extra.

You may well also be fascinated in Purely natural Remedy for Zits and Fungal Bacterial infections. I’ve created movies on a further inflammatory pores and skin ailment, eczema (atopic dermatitis), way too. See Eczema Therapy with Coconut Oil, Mineral Oil vs. Vaseline and Finest Food items to Stay away from for Eczema.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

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