Remedy: Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil, melaleuca alternifolia essential oil, properties, traditional healing uses, recipes, warnings.
Comment posted by Gail of San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA on 10 February 2013 at 10:11 950
To Lucy of Rochester: Thanks for sharing your story! Like you I've found the standard medical industry to be entirely unhelpful for anything that requires thinking outside the box. I didn't realize folliculitis and keratosis pilaris are caused by demodex mites! That makes total sense based on my experimentation with tea tree oil treatments. I've decided that in addition to treating my eyes with 50% tea tree oil/castor oil I need to start using exclusively a tea tree oil lotion on my body. I've found that a very soothing, pleasant, healing lotion is 25% tea tree, 25% castor oil and 50% coconut oil. I've been using this on my face and now I believe I should be using it everywhere. Maybe that would help you too. Another thing I've found helpful for folliculitis and keratosis pilaris is showers alternating very hot and cold water (gets your circulation going really powerfully), and gentle exfoliation with one of those soft mesh scrubbers along with a good lather of mild soap. Then follow the shower with a good tee tree oil moisturizer like I described. And never let these areas of skin become dried out and scaly! I apply lotion morning and night at least. I'm seeing very encouraging improvement. The hot water will aggravate the folliculitis and keratosis pilaris at first, but in the long run will improve it because the pores become unclogged.
Comment posted by Lucy of Rochester, NY, USA on 1 February 2013 at 19:22 932
I have had skin irritations for about three years now. It started in my groin, and I was tested for every STD, including Herpes Simplex I and II. All tests came back negative. All symptoms were cyclic in nature and seemed to be worse during times of stress or before menstruation. It was maddening. I would also feel intense itching and a prickly sensation throughout my body, almost as though something was biting me. In April 2012, I had a raised bump on my left hip, it spiraled out of the main pustule and was hot to the touch as well as itchy. I didn't seek medical attention until I continued to experience pimple-like obstructions in and around my genitalia, buttocks and inner thighs. I tested positive for Staph, but negative for MRSA. I was prescribed oral medication, to be taken once a day for seven days. My symptoms came back after this period ended and I returned to the medical center. I was then prescribed Mupirocin Ointment, to be applied twice daily inside my nose, as I was told by my doctor that Staph lives and thrives within the nose. I found temporary relief, although my symptoms continued. I was then told to seek help through a dermatologist. I visited my primary doctor and he acted as though my symptoms were nothing to be concerned with. It seemed as though because I wasn't dying, despite the physical and psychological disturbances I was tormented by, he wasn't concerned with what I was coming to him with. I was told I might be dealing with folliculitis or keratosis pilaris, both of which are caused by demodex mites. Demodex mites are also known to be carriers of staph. I was also experiencing skin irritations on my arms, legs and chest. Random red bumps would appear in groups in these areas and they continue to appear, as though something is irritating my skin. I continue to feel itchy, as though something is biting at my skin, in random spots all over my body, specifically in areas where demodex mites are prone to: groin, chest, ears, face (t-zone, nose, eyebrows, eyelashes). Apparently these are all areas where sebaceous glands reside, and where demodex mites are prone to feed, as they are all oily and perfect breeding grounds for these disgusting and tenacious parasites. Since April 2012, I suffered from broken blood vessels on my left arm, left leg and face. Random raised bumps and pustules would form in and around these vessels. Some would come to a head, some would appear as reddish spots and would eventually fade, leaving a flaky patch. I decided to keep a diary of the symptoms I was experiencing. These symptoms would seem to appear from nowhere, developing overnight, and in numbers. Frustrated and desperate, I visited a dermatologist in December 2012, who told me I have a classic case of rosacea. While I expressed my concern about Staph rapidly raging throughout my body, as I was diagnosed with it, and found areas other than my face affected by whatever skin condition I might have, I was told there was no way such an affliction would cause havoc throughout my body. I wasn't convinced. I was prescribed Azelaic Acid, to apply to my face for five months. The derm was quite certain this was the quick fix to my problem, but I wasn't so sure. First of all, the medication was super pricey without insurance, costing $200+ for a small tube. Secondly, after researching the prescribed med, I wasn't convinced it was a miracle answer to my problems, especially considering my face wasn't the only location on my body which was affected by whatever is taking over my body. Sure, I have a genetic history of rosacea in my family, I'm fair-skinned and I've sun tanned, but haven't abused the sun. My use of cosmetics may have caused me to be predisposed to such a skin condition as rosacea, but I've never abused or over used make up, have never had to use foundation to mask skin issues. My consistent skincare regimens haven't included harsh ingredients which may have led to rosacea. For the most part, I've had fresh, dewy skin. I've had my bouts of pimples, but nothing that was devastating. Therefore, this sudden onset of skin issues and symptoms (itching and random pin-prick type sensations) leads me to believe an overpopulation of demodex mites are the cause of my chronic problems. Instead of using harsh, medically-prescribed ointments which are known to only be temporary relievers, I've been using a regimen of Tea Tree Oil and Almond Oil at night, after cleansing my face with Tisserand Anti-Bacterial Pure Vegetable Soap. While at first this soap was drying to my face,adding the Tea Tree Oil/Almond Oil seemed to improve the dryness. As Tea Tree Oil is known for its anti-bacterial properties, I've also found relief in the itching and inflammation demodex mites are known to cause. I've especially found it soothing to apply the Tea Tree Oil/Almond mix to my eyelids and eyelashes. I wake up with red, itchy, blood-shot, inflamed eyes. After applying the mixture, within minutes, my eyes are soothed and improved, Yet another reason to believe these mites are to blame for my symptoms. I've also experienced raised, red pimple-like bumps in my ears that turn into dry, flaky patches right around the time of the onset of symptoms on my face. I've been applying the Tea Tree Oil/Almond Oil solution to my ears and have found relief as well. I find it odd that while my dermatologist diagnosed me with rosacea, I've found that simply applying the Tea Tree Oil regimen to affected areas has improved my symptoms, and that rosacea may not be the root cause to my problems, but that demodex mites are to blame. Since the onset of my skin problems in 2009, I've also experienced severe razor burn in the groin, in my armpits and on my legs after I shave. I resorted to using bikini-line Nair and while it seemed as though that was the answer, I still continue to experience severe irritation. I've spot-treated my folliculitis-type irritations with Mupirocin, and it does put my symptoms at bay, but isn't a true cure to my problems. It's literally and figuratively irritating most dermatologists/doctors do NOT recognize other reasons for such afflictions as rosacea, folliculitis, keratosis pilaris, such as demodex mites. I'm not one to invest in the expense and future side effects modern medicinal ointments and prescriptions offer. I've found temporary relief in the above mentioned regimens, but am hoping for a true answer to my dermatological problems. Any feedback would be much appreciated.