Is tea tree oil good for bites?
Tea tree oil is derived from the Australian “tea tree”. Its scientific name is melaleuca alterniolia. It is unrelated to the plants we commonly think of as the source of tea leaves. Tea tree oil can be used as insect repellent and treat fungal infections on the skin. It can be used as a local anesthetic, anti-bacterial and pain reliever. Is tea tree oil good for bites?
How does tea tree oil work?
Tea tree oil contains a number of compounds. They may kill bacteria and fungus. More importantly, the anti-inflammatories and pain-relievers in it literally take the sting out of bug bites. It also seems to reduce allergic skin reactions.
However, it isn’t going to prevent an infection in insect bites and stings, and it doesn’t prevent someone allergic to the insect sting from having a severe reaction. Note that you can mix a drop of tea tree oil with wound ointment cream and apply it to the affected area.
How do you use tea tree oil to treat insect bites and stings?
Tea tree oil is relatively safe, but that is only true if it has been diluted. For example, you shouldn’t just drop a few drops of it directly onto the skin.
Tea tree oil should be mixed with what is called a carrier oil. A carrier oil is an essential oil that can safely be mixed with the tea tree oil and dilutes it to an acceptable level.
For every twelve drops of a carrier oil, you can add one or two drops of tea tree oil. You can use almond oil, coconut oil or olive oil as the carrier oil when making a salve out of tea tree oil.
You could also mix tea tree oil into a skin moisturizer and apply it to the affected area.
If you have very sensitive skin, you could mix tea tree oil with equal parts water to get a powerful substance that won’t irritate your skin as much as pure tea tree oil dropped on the skin.
How do you apply tea tree oil to insect bites?
Simply dab a cotton ball or swab into the tea tree oil mixture and apply to the affected area. If the tea tree oil is significantly diluted, you could use your fingers. Make sure you wash your hands afterward so that you don’t accidentally get the residue in your eyes.
Cover the treated area with a bandage so that the essential oils aren’t rubbed off.
Another tactic is mixing tea tree oil with a carrier oil and mixing it with bentonite clay. Apply the mix to the bug bite. Let it dry. Then you can rinse it off. This is similar to the process of using calamine lotion on an affected area.
What should you do if you have hives?
Tea tree oil can be used to treat eczema and other forms of skin irritation. Scientific studies have found that five percent tea tree oil ointments eliminated itching in many patients. If you have swelling or irritation around the bug bites or stings, you can use such an ointment. However, tea tree oil will not treat an allergic reaction.
That can be addressed with anti-histamines or stronger medication if required. If you only have swelling and irritated skin after the bug bite, tea tree oil can be used to reduce swelling and the redness.
Who shouldn’t use tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil is very safe. However, it can cause swelling and skin irritation in some people. Test one or two drops of tea tree oil mixed in another essential oil somewhere to verify that you aren’t going to react to it before you apply it as a medicinal. If you have acne, it can cause redness, burning, itching and skin dryness on top of the acne. Never use tea tree oil around the eyes. It can irritate them even if diluted.
Never take tea tree oil by mouth. That can cause dangerous side effects like confusion, dizziness, a rash and coma. And note, this means not letting your dog lick the area, either.
Don’t use tea tree oil on children younger than two months. It hasn’t been proven safe in children that young. Nor should tea tree oil be mixed with lavender and given to boys.
While each ingredient is rather safe, the combination has on occasion caused abnormal breast growth in boys. Don’t mix tea tree oil with a lavender base, and if you’re using tea tree oil on insect bites or for skin irritation, find something other than lavender for your aromatherapy. This also means laying off the skin lotions and hair gel with lavender in it. How could this happen? It is because lavender and tea tree oil both contain phytoestrogens, plant derived compounds that mimic estrogen. This same substance is found in trace amounts in soy milk, and men who drank literally liters of soy milk a day have developed the same condition. It can occur in girls, but normal physical development can offset it when it happens.
Can you use tea tree oil as an insect repellent and skin treatment at the same time?
Yes. Tea tree oil is a good, natural mosquito repellent. Minor dabs of the diluted essential oil on the skin could keep mosquitoes away. Don’t forget to dab it on your boots and clothes, too. If you do get bit by an insect – mosquito or not – you could use a tea tree oil mixture to reduce the swelling, irritation and itching.
How do you make tea tree oil insect repellent?
You would mix one part water, one part witch hazel, several drops of tea tree oil, and one part mint mouthwash. Some recipes suggest using lavender oil, but we recommend against it due to the health concerns. Fortunately, mint can soothe the skin, too, as well as keeping insects away.
Mix the ingredients well, and then spray it onto exposed skin. Be careful to keep it out of everyone’s eyes. If someone does get a bug bite, you can apply a tea tree oil ointment to the affected area without causing problems. If you don’t have the necessary ingredients on hand, you can in a pinch spray the same mixture on the affected area to literally take the sting out of it.
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