As part of a growing interest in natural, plant-based remedies, the usefulness of tea tree oil in treating a wide range of microbial skin conditions has garnered a great amount of excitement in recent years. In particular, tea tree oil has been found to be an effective treatment for infestations of demodex mites, also known as “eyelash mites.” With this, some people have been attempting to self-treat with home-made creams and ointments made with tea tree essential oils, but this may not be a good idea.
For starters, it can be very difficult to obtain an accurate dosage when making their own mixtures. The essential oils available at natural health stores are typically not optimized in terms of their chemical compositions, and therefore the final concentration of ingredients in most homemade lotions cannot be known. Homemade mixes could have so little of the compounds as to be ineffective or, more likely, be too strong and cause adverse reactions.
Most commercially formulated tea tree oil-based medications contain between 5-10% tea tree oil. Even at those levels, patients sometimes experience side effects such as eye irritation or an allergic reaction. If a homemade mixture contains a higher concentration of tea tree components, you might end up causing damage to your eyes and skin, and likely will not completely eliminate the mite infestation. This is due to the life cycle of demodex mites; mites lay their eggs deep within eyelash follicles and oil glands in the skin, where they are unharmed by topical treatments. To effectively get rid of a mite infestation, treatment has to continue long enough that all the eggs hatch into adults and leave their burrows to get killed by the chemicals. If someone starts having a reaction to their homemade tea tree oil mixture, they are probably going to stop using it before all the eggs are gone.
Another problem with homemade recipes has to do with the mites’ diet. One common species of demodex mites, Demodex brevis, lives off of oil produced from your skin’s sebaceous glands. Many natural recipes involve diluting tea tree essential oil in other natural oils or creams – these may actually provide food for the mites!
If you suspect your eyes are suffering from a demodex infestation, it would be best to consult with your ophthalmologist or optometrist and, under their guidance, use a professionally-manufactured product. For instance, Cliradex wipes and cleansers are formulated to optimize the mite-killing properties of tea tree oil while minimizing irritation to your skin and eyes. It contains 4-terpineol, the primary component of tea tree oil responsible for killing mites, without the other compounds in tea tree oil, to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction or other adverse effects. This enables you to use the product as directed for the length of time required to kill off all the mites while still being gentle to your skin and eyes. Your face will thank you.
Article Submitted By Community Writer