Eucalyptus oil is a popular essential oil. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and some people find that it helps clear their skin. However, there is limited research on the use of eucalyptus oil for seborrheic dermatitis. In fact, a study found eucalyptus oil did not have any activity against Malassezia, the yeast that aggravates seborrheic dermatitis. In fact, some people also find that eucalyptus oil makes their skin dry and irritated.
Let’s take a deep dive:
What is eucalyptus oil?
Eucalyptus oil is a natural oil that is distilled from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The eucalyptus tree is native to Australia, where over 600 species of these trees grow.
This potent oil has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for many ailments. It is known to relieve respiratory problems and as an antiseptic. This essential oil can also be used as a natural treatment for headaches, muscle pain, and joint pain.
Eucalyptus oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin, as it could irritate if not applied properly.
Is eucalyptus oil antifungal?
Eucalyptus oil has been found to have fungicidal activity against Fusarium species, a type of fungus commonly associated with maize. In fact, a study published in 2015 concluded that topical eucalyptus oil is more effective than commercial antifungal treatment for superficial fungal nail infection.
Unfortunately, eucalyptus oil has no activity against Malassezia furfur, the yeast implicated in seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff.
What are the benefits of eucalyptus oil for seborrheic dermatitis?
Eucalyptus oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. This means that it can help to reduce inflammation on the skin and ease any associated discomfort or itching.
The oil has also been shown to have calming effects on the mind and body. This can be helpful in cases of severe seborrheic dermatitis where anxiety or stress may be exacerbating the condition.
Eucalyptus oil was traditionally used to treat wounds and prevent infections. Today, the diluted oil can be used to treat minor wounds like the ones you get when you scratch your SD lesions too hard.
Side effects of topical eucalyptus oil
When used topically, eucalyptus oil can cause skin irritation and rashes especially if you have sensitive skin. A patch test should be performed before using eucalyptus oil. Check for any redness, swelling, or other reactions after application.
What is the best way to use eucalyptus oil for seborrheic dermatitis?
Eucalyptus oil should not be used for direct application on the skin. It can irritate your skin, so it is important to dilute Eucalyptus with a carrier oil or any other means before using it topically.
There is really only one way I recommend you use eucalyptus oil in the setting of seborrheic dermatitis – as a spot treatment for those minor wounds you get from excessive scratching. Even then, keep a close eye on your skin. If it gets dry or even more irritated, discontinue use.
There are three ways essential oils work to treat seborrheic dermatitis – attacking the yeast, calming inflammation, and maintaining long-term health for skin. Eucalyptus oil doesn’t do any of those well and there are many other essential oils like tea tree oil and oregano oil that do a better job.
To wrap up
Eucalyptus oil has many benefits, especially for respiratory issues. However, I see no role for eucalyptus in my arsenal against seborrheic dermatitis. Instead, use these essential oils that have antifungal activity.