My 10 m.o. burned his hand and now infection in a small spot on his finger. I put tee tree oil on it last night, and this morning it's swollen, red, and painful. Did I use too much tea tree oil? I know I soaked the gauze pretty well?

It is true that tea tree oil can be used to prevent or treat infections as it is a strong natural antiseptic. However, tee tree oil is not recommended for babies and children and should only be used under certified supervision. In addition to this, essential oils are concentrated and should not be applied directly to the skin. This is why essential oils are diluted in carrier oils. Tea tree oil is very strong and cannot be applied undiluted to the skin and will have even more severe effects on raw or bruised skin.

A baby's skin is extremely sensitive and so it is very possible that your son has had an allergic reaction to the oil. An allergic reaction often results in extreme skin irritation, blistering, inflammation and redness. Tea tree oil is extremely potent and even a topical application can cause poor coordination and digestive problems. It is important to discontinue this treatment immediately. It would also be advisable to bathe the area with plenty of warm water to wash off as much of the tea-tree oil as possible. Under normal circumstances, you would have to apply a pack made out of fuller's earth or clay to absorb the excess oil. However, since your son is only 10 months old, it is not advisable to use home remedies to treat his finger. Visit a doctor or his pediatrician so that your son gets the medical treatment he requires.

It is also important to note that only a few essential oils are safe for ingestion. Tea-tree oil is not one of these oils and even a small amount can have serious effects. This oil should never be consumed by either adults or children as it can cause serious medical problems such as impaired immune function and diarrhea or even fatal central nervous system depression and coma. Essential oils should not be ingested unless they have been specifically prescribed by a certified aroma-therapist. When using aromatherapy essential oils, make sure that you consult a specialist. There are several blends that you can use for treating cuts and bruises. These blends should be mixed with a carrier oil such as grapeseed, almond, olive, sunflower and sesame oil. It is generally recommended that 1-3 drops of an essential oil or an essential oil blend is added to a teaspoon of a carrier oil. Mineral oil should not be used as a base and neither should thick viscous oils.

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