Does Tea Tree Oil Help Treat Keloids?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD
by Ramona Sinha

Keloids are primarily a cosmetic concern and not much of a health concern. They appear when there is an overgrowth of scar tissues. The appearance of keloids on the face or chest may make the individual over-conscious about their appearance. While there are surgical options to minimize their appearance, tea tree oil is touted to be an effective non-surgical way to treat keloids.

There are no studies to support that tea tree oil can treat existing keloids. However, there are ways you can use tea tree oil to reduce the chances of developing keloids. Scroll down for more information.

What Are Keloids?

Keloids are raised scar tissues that occur on the site of injury. They can occur when your skin receives an injury due to surgery, trauma, piercings, blisters, vaccinations, and acne. Keloids are different from normal scars.

A keloid is much larger and raised than the original wound. Usually, your skin heals itself when it is injured. The wound closes, and a scar forms in that place. However, unlike normal scars, keloid scar tissues will continue to grow (like a raised bump) even after the wound is closed. They become much larger and keep growing until they reach a final size.

The scar may look like a lump of flesh, and it is often itchy. Usually, keloid scars are not harmful and are not a major health concern. However, they may cause minor discomforts, such as irritation, itching, and tenderness.

Your genes may also be responsible for keloids. As per researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital, those who have an altered gene called AHNAK, are prone to develop keloids (1). However, more studies are required to conclude the role of genetics in keloid development.

Treating keloids can be tricky. There are surgical options, but the scar tissue can reappear while your skin is trying to repair itself. Hence, people often resort to home remedies to manage keloids. Tea tree oil is a widely used at-home treatment option for keloids. But is it helpful? Let’s find out.

Can Tea Tree Oil Treat Keloids?

If it is an existing keloid, no, tea tree oil cannot treat it.

You will find plenty of articles on the internet that claim that tea tree oil can treat keloid scars. However, there is no scientific proof to back the claim. Scars, be it keloids or any other type of scars, are tough to remove, even after professional treatment. You can only minimize their appearance.

However, tea tree oil can help reduce the risk of developing keloid scars. Any wound needs proper healing. If it doesn’t heal properly, it may leave a scar. Tea tree oil can promote proper healing of your wound and help minimize the chances of developing a keloid scar.

This is primarily because:

  • Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (2). This means it can prevent infections and reduce inflammation, aiding proper wound healing.
  • Tea tree oil also has antiseptic properties (3). Fresh cuts and wounds are prone to infection, which can delay the healing process and increase your risk of scarring. Tea tree oil can prevent the growth of microbes and heal the wound faster.

Whether you have got a piercing (on nose, chest, earlobes, etc.) or acne, cuts, and wounds, these properties of tea tree oil can help:

  • Prevent fungal infection
  • Reduce inflammation, including redness and irritation
  • Minimize the pus-filled bumps and pustules that you might have developed

If you have any cuts, wounds, or injury, you may take preventive measures by using tea tree oil. However, none of the studies are conclusive, so be careful while using the oil. Scroll down to find ways to use tea tree oil to prevent keloid scars.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Preventing Keloids

Note: Undiluted tea tree oil is very potent. Dilute it with any carrier oil (jojoba, almond, olive, or virgin coconut oils) before using it.

For all the following recipes, mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of any carrier oil and then use the blend. Follow the same proportion for all essential oils.

Also, do not apply any of these concoctions on an open wound. Once the wound starts healing, use the recipes to speed up healing and prevent keloids.

1. Tea Tree Oil And Sea Salt

Sea salt has antimicrobial properties (4). It helps keep the infection at bay. Aloe vera has antibacterial properties (5). Together with tea tree oil, it helps to contain inflammation and infection and promote proper healing.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Diluted tea tree oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon aloe vera gel
  • Cotton pad

Method

  1. Heat the water and stir the sea salt into it until it dissolves.
  2. Dip a cotton pad in this solution and tape it on the affected area.
  3. Let the keloid soak for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the cotton pad and apply the diluted tea tree oil.
  5. Wait for 5 minutes until the tea tree oil is absorbed and then apply the aloe vera gel.

How Often

Once-daily.

2. Aspirin And Tea Tree Oil

Aspirin is said to have an analgesic effect (6). This combination of aspirin and tea tree oil may help in easing pain and speeding up healing. 

You Will Need

  • 4 aspirin tablets
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon water
  • Diluted tea tree oil

Method

  1. Crush the aspirin tablets and add a few drops of water. Mix until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Apply this paste to the wound and leave it on for 15-30 minutes until it dries.
  3. Wash the paste off with water and follow this up by dabbing diluted tea tree oil on the area.

How Often?

Once a day.

3. Lavender And Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil helps eliminate the infection, while lavender essential oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation in the affected area (7).

You Will Need

  • Diluted tea tree oil
  • Diluted lavender essential oil

Method

  1. Mix equal parts of lavender and tea tree oil.
  2. Apply this blend to the keloid until it is completely covered.
  3. Leave the oil on as you would a topical ointment.

How Often?

Every day.

4. Tea Tree Oil And Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the richest sources of antioxidants and helps keep the skin moisturized (8). This is very important for proper healing and preventing scarring. 

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon diluted tea tree oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Method

  1. Mix equal parts of tea tree oil and vitamin E.
  2. Apply this oil mixture onto the affected areas.
  3. Leave the mixture on as you would a topical ointment.

How Often?

Every day.

5. Tea Tree Oil And Petroleum Jelly

Applying petroleum jelly on the wound site increases the moisture levels of the area, which is crucial for proper wound healing. Massaging the area gently may help in proper healing (9). It may also help prevent scarring or keloid development.

You Will Need

  • ½ teaspoon diluted tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon petroleum jelly

Method

  1. Mix both the ingredients.
  2. Massage the mixture on the affected area.
  3. You may wash it off after an hour or leave it on.

How Often

Once every day.

6. Tea Tree Oil And Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil moisturizes and protects the skin and reduces inflammation (10). Together with tea tree oil, it can help heal the skin and prevent scarring.

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

Method

  1. Mix both the oils.
  2. Massage the blend on the wound site.
  3. Leave it on as an overnight treatment.

How Often

Once every day. 

These remedies may help in better scar or keloid management. However, using tea tree oil comes with a few risk factors that you should be aware of.

Risks Or Side Effects Of Using Tea Tree Oil For Keloids

Although tea tree oil is harmless, it may cause an allergic reaction due to which you may develop:

  • Redness
  • Itchy skin
  • Rashes
  • Hives

Hence, it is recommended that you do a patch test before using tea tree oil or any other essential oil on your skin. If you develop an allergic reaction, visit a doctor without any delay and avail treatment.

If you want to use tea tree oil for keloids, you may try these products.

Best Tea Tree Oil Products For Keloids

  1. DeLa Cruz Tea Tree Oil – Buy it here!
  2. 2 Keloda Tea Tree Oil – Buy it here!

Accepting and flaunting your scars is the ultimate act of self-love. However, if your keloid is bothering you, try any of the natural remedies discussed above to minimize its appearance. You may opt for surgical removal or laser treatment. Discuss the pros and cons of the methods with your doctor and be aware of your eligibility for the treatment options.

Better wound management can help prevent scarring and keloid formation. If you ignore the wound, it may get infected and take longer to heal, which increases your chances of developing a permanent scar. Try to take care of the wound or injury when it occurs and take preventive measures to avoid scarring and keloids.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the fastest way to get rid of a keloid?

Surgical removal and laser treatment are the fastest ways to get rid of keloids.

How do you use tea tree oil on piercing bumps?

Dilute 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with any carrier oil and then apply o the bump.

Can tea tree oil make keloids worse?

No. However, if you are allergic to it, it may cause skin reactions.

10 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona has a Master's degree in English Literature. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps readers select products and ingredients specific to their skin type and gives out tips to keep their skin healthy in a natural way. When Ramona is not working or experimenting with a new skin care product or ingredient, her books and a passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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