Mouth Pimples and Tea Tree Oil: The Hidden Connection


Mother nature's way

Another rarely discussed natural product used to fight mouth pimples is tea tree oil. Native to Australia, this essential oil is steam-distilled from Melaleuca alternifolio leaves. Back in the day, its primary mode of consumption was through steeping the leaves into a tincture, which is why it is still called a tea to this day. Nowadays, the oil from the leaves is used directly for its medicinal purposes. It is works great as an antibacterial (perfect for pimples), antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic.

The tea tree oil itself is translucent, giving a slight pale golden amber color. It has a pleasant camphoraceous odor which is actually quite strong. The tree itself from which the leaves are picked is tall and sinewy, growing along the banks of New South Wales in nearby streams and swamp areas as it has for centuries. In ancient times, the indigenous aboriginal people would crush the leaves and apply the resultant moisture to the skin to help disinfect and heal cuts, bruises, infection and burns. Similar to menthol, tea leaf oil was also inhaled from the crushed leaves to sooth coughs, colds and sore throats.

The antimicrobial activity in tea tree oil is some eleven times the strength of common phenol. After Arthur Penfold first discovered this property and published his report, the scientific community backed his claims and the commercial tea tree oil industry was born. The popularity only increased as the move towards more natural remedies took hold in the late seventies and eighties.

The studies back each other

Eight years ago, a study involving 27 people found that tea tree oil reduced skin inflammation quite effectively. The test patients were injected in their forearms with histamine diphosphate causing flares and weals to form on the surface of the skin. The subjects were given a set period of time to remain still while measurements were taken. After 20 minutes, paraffin oil was administered to the affected area in half the patients and the other half received tea tree oil. The paraffin had no noticeable affect while those given the tea tree oil noticed decreased swelling.

A direct test of mouth acne efficacy was administered in 1990. Half of the 124 Australians who took place in this study received 5 percent tea tree oil gel while the other half received 5 percent benzyl peroxide lotion. Both cases proved effective. Although the benzoic cream was more effective, fewer subjects reported side effects in the tea tree oil sample population. This is one major selling point for tea tree oils in treating mouth pimples--it can be almost as effective as other alternatives with substantially fewer side effects.

Next steps

So how do you treat the pimples around your mouth area with this information? Simple! Like other effective products, tea tree oil comes as a topical solution. Apply the oil to your acne lesions and the bacteria on your skin responsible for acne will begin to die (propionibacterium acnes). Be sure to read the fine print. There are many different strengths of tea tree oil on the market so be sure to obtain the kind suitable for skin care.
Just another way for nature to provide!