Sign in

Tea Tree Oil and Silver Mix to Heal Skin Wounds

Offering more effective options in the treatment of skin wounds, researchers have found a combination of tea tree oil and silver to be a promising healing agent.

In the fight against infected skin wounds, mixing tea tree oil and silver or putting them in liposomes—small spheres made from natural lipids—greatly increases their antimicrobial activity and may minimize any side effects.

Wan Li Low and colleagues from the University of Wolverhampton presented research at the Society for General Microbiology meeting in Harrogate March 30 that showed that although both tea tree oil and silver in the form of silver nitrate were effective against a range of micro-organisms, when low concentrations of the two agents were combined, their antimicrobial activity increased. They carried out laboratory tests on pathogens that are involved in skin infections. Bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is a common cause of skin infections and abscesses, and the yeast Candida albicans, which causes thrush, were killed.

These positive findings led the researchers to use microscopic spherical bodies called liposomes, made of phospholipids, the naturally occurring lipids or fats in the cell wall's membranes, to deliver the silver and tea tree oil mix to infected wounds the pathogens. This technique allows controlled release and therefore has the potential to use lower, less toxic, concentrations of the antimicrobial agents to treat infected wounds. This may also be of value to treat antibiotic resistant strains such as MRSA.

Used alone, both silver and tea tree oil can cause side effects in patients. Overexposure to silver can cause a bluish-grey discoloration of the skin and applying unregulated amounts of tea tree oil externally can cause skin irritation. With increasing life expectancy, age-related conditions such as chronic leg ulcers or bedsores are likely to become more common. Current treatments using traditional silver-based creams and dressings use relatively high metal concentrations. Creams containing lower amounts of the agents could provide safer and readily available over-the-counter antiseptic compounds for effective treatment without damaging the surrounding skin.

Adapted from materials provided by Society for General Microbiology, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

ScienceDaily, March 29, 2009

Related Content

 

Skip

Welcome to the new SkinInc.com!

Delivering the best information on the spa, skin care and wellness industry is our passion, and we’ve worked hard to design a powerful new website that incorporates cutting-edge technology to bring you:

  • Mobile-friendly Design
  • Integrated Sample Request
  • Refreshed Look and Feel
  • Dynamic Content
  • Free Registration

Mobile-friendly Design

Providing a unified experience from mobile to desktop, responsive design allows you to access Skin Inc. content from any device, whether you’re in the treatment room, at home or on the go!

Integrated Sample Request

Visit Featured Product pages to quickly and easily identify new suppliers and request product samples and information.

Dynamic Content

Articles are now linked with relevant products so you can find the products and treatments you need to provide the best results for your clients.

Free Registration

Create your user account to gain unlimited access to Skin Inc.’s unparalleled content.

Enjoy the New SkinInc.com!

Thank you for joining the Skin Inc. community of passionate skin care professionals. We look forward to providing you the best information to enhance your career!