A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne.
Bassett IB1, Pannowitz DL, Barnetson RS.
Tea-tree oil (an essential oil of the Australian native tree Melaleuca alternifolia) has long been regarded as a useful topical antiseptic agent in Australia and has been shown to have a variety of antimicrobial activities; however, only anecdotal evidence exists for its efficacy in the treatment of various skin conditions. We have performed a single-blind, randomised clinical trial on 124 patients to evaluate the efficacy and skin tolerance of 5% tea-tree oil gel in the treatment of mild to moderate acne when compared with 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion. The results of this study showed that both 5% tea-tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide had a significant effect in ameliorating the patients' acne by reducing the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions (open and closed comedones), although the onset of action in the case of tea-tree oil was slower. Encouragingly, fewer side effects were experienced by patients treated with tea-tree oil.
IB Bassett, DL Pannowitz, RS Barnetson, “A Comparative Study of Tea-Tree Oil Versus Benzoylperoxid in the treatment of acne,” Med J. Aust 1990 Oct 15, 153(8): 455-8, Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince ALfred Hospital Camperdown, NSW. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2145499