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What Are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Abscesses?

by
author image Piper Li
Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.
What Are the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Abscesses?
Tea tree oil may have antibacterial properties. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

An abscess is a pocket of infection that occurs as your body tries to fight off bacteria or foreign substances. Swelling and inflammation usually occur around the collected area of pus. Tea tree oil is an herbal substance that may help in the treatment of skin infections, although more research is necessary to confirm its beneficial properties. Consult your doctor before trying to prevent, treat or cure any condition with tea tree oil.

Abscess

Abscesses may occur for a variety of reasons and can affect any area of your body. Skin abscesses are easy to see and often cause raised, painful bumps. Foreign substances, such as parasites and infectious organisms, are common factors that play an important role in the formation of an abscess. A cut or scrape in the skin can allow bacteria to enter your body, leading to the formation of an abscess. The pocket of pus within an abscess usually contains a blend of bacteria, fluid, white blood cells and dead tissue.

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Considerations

A fluid sample can help your doctor determine what organisms are responsible for the infection. Good hygiene can help minimize your risk of developing a skin abscess. Antibiotics are the most common type of medication for the treatment of abscesses.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. One of the traditional uses for this substance involves the treatment of infections. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and may help reduce the chances of infection due to cuts and scrapes. Although tea tree oil may help in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections, including conditions like acne vulgaris, athlete's foot, vaginal infections and eye infections, more research is necessary.

Precautions

Do not ingest tea tree oil. This herbal oil can cause abdominal pain, lethargy, diarrhea and a severe rash and may even lead to coma. Topical applications of tea tree oil may cause blistering, redness, irritation and itching. Due to the lack of scientific research regarding the safety of tea tree oil, avoid using tea tree oil during pregnancy. Abscesses can cause significant damage and usually require medical intervention. Avoid treating an abscess with an unproven herbal remedy, such as tea tree oil. These localized infections usually require a course of prescription antibiotics.

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