Known for its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is a botanical extract that can effectively be used to treat skin infections like acne and athletes foot. However is it safe for use during pregnancy when you are used keep all medicines at a distance apart? It is particularly true for tee tree oil since it is botanical. Although commonly assumed to be safe since, not all herbal products should be taken for granted.


Although most clinical evidences point towards the safety of tea tree oil when pregnant or lactating, studies show a few special cases where there were forced contractions, increased soreness and low child weight at birth. It might be a coincidence, but when you are willing to do everything to keep your child safe, it would be wise to deal with the situation with caution especially since tea tree oil isn’t safe for consumption and might cause side effects that are as serious as it gets.

Adverse Reactions:

Tea tree oil while pregnant as mentioned can lead to toxicity in case it is ingested. From confusion to disorientation and skin inflammation, symptoms vary for different pregnant woman, but there are certain cases that even take the range of danger high up to a coma. Skin reactions are rather common and irritation, soreness, redness are most common effects and issues of the consumption of tea tree oil. So, what is the proper way to use tea tree oil you are wondering right?

Proper Use:

The right way to use tea tree oil would be to apply the oil in drops to the area where you want to treat either an infection or an acne. In most cases, about 50% coverage of the affected area should do the trick and only 5% of tea tree oil supplement creams should be good enough for treating acne.

Can I use topical tea tree oil instead of antibiotics when pregnant?

No of course. Tea tree oil in its tropical essence does have antimicrobial properties, but they work only on superficial skin levels. When the trouble is within the body, tea tree oil cannot be prescribed as an oral drug and hence isn’t a safe replacement for antibiotics, especially when it is proved that the oil isn’t safe to consume while pregnant, it is only to be applied on the skin surface.

Pregnancy is a difficult time and your body and its hormones react differently for every other drug type. Bacteria in your body undergo certain changes to adapt themselves as well. Some times it so happens that the oil isn’t quite effective even when applied correctly since the microbe has grown a resistance towards  the oil. In such times, not only do you put yourself in risk, but also don’t know if it was the right idea to use the oil without knowing if it will be an effective solution.

Tea tree oil volunteers are available around the world who check for the effectual issues of the oil. When you see an oil being sold by a company that guarantees it will work on a pregnant woman, empty your wallet only then. If you happen to make a wise purchase though, your oil should have you set since it can treat so many disorders all at once especially where bacteria and fungi are involved. These include issues like acne, sores, nail infections caused by fungi, dandruff and the likes.

Now talking of if the oil should be swallowed when you are pregnant is no. As said, it might be toxic if taken in high quantities. Made for tropical use mostly, it should work as an hygiene product and not for long term use over the same area of the skin. It can however be used in supplements like a toothpaste or a mouthwash since these aren’t directly involved with anything inside the body and thus have no effect on the child.

See More: coconut oil benefits for pregnancy

You need to keep in mind the importance of the situation you are in and act accordingly. Play it safe as there is no in between for tea tree oil in pregnancy. It is either safe or isn’t. However, since there is conclusive proof about the unsafe nature, you can go on at your own risk. But it is not mostly recommended and is much like other medicines that are not prescribed during pregnancy.  That is, there is no guarantee that it is unsafe or allergic to your skin type.

Always remember that the doctor is your friend and you need to consult him before every move you make. This might include adding more tea tree oil percentage in the solution to see quicker results or maybe ingesting some of it routinely because you have a strange craving. As long as you feel like you should be safe and you get an okay from your directing physician, go ahead and allow the oil to bestow its benefits on you.

Tea tree oil is one of those rare botanical product whose effect is  different for different people. How it acts on you depends on a lot of factors like how much of the solution concentration is the oil and so on. There isn’t a rule on how much to use it or how much to avoid. But when you see after repeated application there has been no result or if it breaks out the skin even more, it is better to check for your skin type if you are allergy prone.

If you are, then you should refrain from further applications. Else, you are good to go. The use of the oil has drastically reduced but if your mom swore by the oil to treat breakouts when she was pregnant with you, chances are you will do just fine.

See More: essential oils to prevent pregnancy