Can neem oil cause skin reactions?

Can neem oil cause any sort of reaction to eczema skin? I used it on my son but it seems all his past eczema spots have come back again after using the oil. Is this normal, should I carry on applying it?

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Neem oil and eczema skin
by: Birgit

Hi, I'm afraid that is not enough information for me to be able to really help you. Unfortunately you left no name and email address, so I could not follow up with you to find out more. I'll have to make some guesses and general observations instead.

You say you applied neem oil. Straight neem oil?

Neem oil is a wonderful skin care ingredient with near magical properties. But "ingredient" is the important word. You do not use it straight. Just like you do not apply tea tree oil straight, or any other concentrated oil with medicinal properties.

(See my page Neem oil and eczema, and scroll down to the heading "How To Use Neem Oil As An Eczema Remedy". That point is covered there.)

It is not recommended to use undiluted neem oil on healthy skin, though usually there is no problem with this, only when people have some kind of sensitivity to any of neem's components.

But I certainly would not suggest to put it on hypersensitive eczema skin. I would not at all be surprised if that causes a reaction. If you have indeed been putting straight, undiluted neem oil on your son stop using it.

Now, let's assume you didn't use neem oil, but you used a product containing neem oil. Without knowing what you used nobody can say what caused the reaction.

Many products are advertised as wonder cures because they contain some neem, but once you look at the ingredients there are all sorts of other synthetic nasties in the bottle.

Continued from above
by: Birgit

My niece suffers from eczema real bad. Even a warm bath (warm, not hot,) as recommended for eczema, with no additives at all, makes her whole body react and go bright red. My sister tried everything just to find a moisturising solution that would not cause a massive flare up. Even the most gentle and hypo-allergenic medical products that the dermatologist recommended caused vicious reactions.

And then, finally she found something. And it was a pretty cheap, all purpose cream that had very few ingredients at all. She is now experimenting with adding neem oil and neem leaf extract to that lotion, but we don't know more yet. (My sister lives in Germany so it's winter, and my niece's skin has settled down anyway. Warm weather is what gives her the most trouble.)

I'm telling you this story so you understand that eczema skin is very fickle, and needs to be cared for accordingly. Just smearing on pure oil, or any product that has a bit of neem in it, will rarely give successful results.

Neem is not some wonder cure that will make eczema go away as soon as somebody comes in contact with neem in any form. But neem is probably the best treatment to relief eczema symptoms that we know of today.

Every case is different, and for some it takes a bit of experimenting to find the right product. There are neem products that have been especially developed for eczema skin. They would make a good starting point. (Not knowing which part of the world you live in I can't make recommendations). Adding a bit of neem oil to the bath water has worked wonders for some people (but keep my niece in mind, too). If you do have a preferred product already you can try adding a bit of neem oil or neem leaf extract to that.

I hope you will find a solution for your son for now, and that he will grow out of it soon, like many children do.

General info:

by: Anonymous

Email me at
I have a natural lotion for eczema that will surely cure it.

Neem or Cocunut oil
by: Taz

Hi there,

I have severe atopic eczema and was wondering what will be best when it comes to moisturising benefits, soothing and healing properties in comparison to the usual creams you get from doctor.

I have heard both are really good but also that neem smells bad. However, I would like your suggestions on this please; should one use
neem oil or cocunut oil?


allergic reaction
by: Anonymous

My partner used some neem oil on his finger a couple of days ago. He must have rubbed his eye and his face in the night. His eye and his face are very badly swollen. What can he do to takes down the swelling please.

Warning how not to use neem oil
by: Susan

Do not put 100% neem oil on your skin ! I did not know this information and did just that. But first I scrubbed my face with a soft bristle brush, did I mention that I also have sensitive skin.
It took about 15 hours for me to start itching and the hive like swelling to start. At first I thought it was just stress. I washed my face and left it dry.
20 hours after I used it ALL over my face ... the reaction was in full swing. Red swollen face that felt hot to the touch. Later small bumps appeared. I am now on the 3rd day and on the mend.
I used some cortisone ointment and Benadryl to start the healing process.
Then I read the directions on the bottle that it should be used in a carrier oil.

aspirin allergy
by: jenny

Hi is it safe to use neem products if allergic to aspirin? Products like soap, shampoo and oil?

by: Birgit

Jenny, I would be careful in that case. If your allergy is not bad then you could carefully try some diluted products on just a small patch of skin and see what happens. My guess is that soap and shampoo will be ok for you, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. I certainly wouldn't go all out and use undiluted oil (which is never recommended anyway) and I would not use neem internally.

If you do get a serious systemic reaction with aspirin then you should stay away from neem products altogether.

Face swells after 3 weeks of using neem oil
by: Anonymous

The first two weeks of using neem oil with cotton buds on face (a thickened skin-tag) seems ok. On 3rd week, my skin swells, lymph node around ear lobe also swells and was painful.

Lump & rashes appears on face/neck and eyes were swollen. I am very puzzled? I bought a new bottle of cotton buds. Were cotton buds reacting with neem oil to create a disaster? Does genetically modified cotton reacting with neem oil become a toxin?

I have auto-immune thyroiditis, maybe neem oil is too potent to use on face. However, on my big toe, neem didn't cause any reaction except to reduce the thickening of dead skins.

Allergic reaction
by: Anonymous

I first used neem oil last year to help cure my acne scaring, it lead to the worst allergic reaction of my life. My whole face was swollen and covered in bumps and looked burnt, it also affected my ears and neck even though I did not apply it there. My face and ears were all hot and radiating intense heat. Naturally I scratched my face a bit which lead to an intense case of cellulitis which made my face swell up to the size of a basketball. At the time I didn't know it was the neem, I thought it was my makeup, therefore I tried the oil again yesterday for my acne and I've had the same reaction. However it is not as bad as before as I have resisted scratching, but my eyes are swollen and my ears and neck have all been affected, too. Any suggestions of what to do, I intend to go to the doctors tomorrow but I fear they'll just prescribe piriton which I feel is not enough. Has anyone else has a similar reaction?

Allergic reaction
by: Anonymous

I just bought neem and was super excited to use it. I first used it in my hair along with almond oil. I couldn't stand the smell of it so I washed it out within the hour of applying, I was hoping to keep it on all night. I later applied it to my face, big mistake. I woke up with a big rash on my neck and shoulder and in random places. I assume it's where I touched with the neem on my hands. My ears were also burning hot and itchy. My hair felt great, but my head was a little itchy. My rash it bright red, spotty and so itchy and it burns. I was scared to put anything else on my rash to dull the itch/burn but couldn't stand it anymore. I sliced cucumber up and gently applied that to the irritated spots. It seemed to take the edge off. Also used Benadryl to help. It says it's a carrier oil, but I guess that you still need to use another carrier oil with it.
I'm not sure if I will try neem again. I'm truly scared. Good thing it's not expensive.

Reaction to neem oil
by: Anonymous

Think of your skin as a canvas that has been painted over several times, layer upon layer, of skin cells, capillaries, bio-films, pores, follicles etc.

What you have done to your body (cortizones, retinol, random cheap destructive over the counter chemicals in soaps) effects the skins ability to function. Extreme assaults upon the skin using harsh soaps (like neem or tea tree oil) can make your problems worse. One of the most important layers of your skin, is the layer of biofilm (sweat, moisture, germs, bacteria, etc), an external layer where war is waged continuously on the level of bacteria. When this layer is compromised by bacteria the skin can't tolerate, bacteria/chemicals your body attempts to fight off, or bacteria created by nano-mites waste/bacteria, your skin becomes blotchy, even rosacea like, or ecxema like.

It's better to slowly change the factors determining your skins health. There are alternatives to these harsh treatments.

1. Try a 5 to 10 percent sulfur based cream compounded specifically for your skin. Sulfur can address nanomites, controlling their population, dropping their droppings count, dropping the bacterial load in your skin/pores slowly.
2. Addition of Ivermectin to a sulfur based cream in proper amount to kill mite population within skin pores.
3. Discontinuing any and all cortizones, steroids, unknown "fast" cures claiming to instantly turn your skin perfect. Including skin peels, chemical peels, and other drastic and ineffective treatments.
4. Avoid soaps/cleansers with parabens.
5. Install a water system that removes chlorine, lead, flouride, and any other harmful chemicals. You have to remember that your skin absorbs these harmful chemicals into the bloodstream directly from the skin. These chemicals are hard on your skin and you need everything in your favor.
6. Avoid drinks with fructose and other corn syrups/sweeteners. These are hard on your system as well. Now that GMO's are ever present, eating right and drinking well are harder and more expensive, but it's your life and skin and organs.
7. Drink several glasses of water a day.
8. Exercise and rest well.

Expecting cleansers, pills, anti-biotics, etc to be a magic bullet to make you look "healthier" are snake oil. You have to consider what you need to do, what your are able to do/afford, create the goals that will maintain these changes, and make adjustments along the way that suit your bodies unique needs.

I spent several years randomly dealing with skin issues with whatever. Some treatments ended up weakening my skin which allowed for even more distress and anxiety and skin damage. It is too easy for a doctor to just say a vague "excema, or rosacea, or whatever", the truth is they really don't know the underlying causes. The skin industry is a billion dollar industry because of this. Expensive goops, make up, etc, all snake oil, most of the time digging your hole deeper and your pockets empty. Skin is something that needs daily management. Your skin is only as clean as your pores and most pores are filthy sewers of sebum, mites, mite larvae, mite poop, a cavalcade of bacteria, various debris, not to mention viruses, dead cells, and other bodily excretions. The skin somehow survives in this muck. If you can manage the muck in your skins favor, then you will see vast improvement in the way your skin appears.

Neem oil directly
by: Anonymous

I used need oil directly unknowingly on my daughters skin at night for almost 2 weeks. Horrible! I’m so upset with myself I have given her Benadryl and returned to using Dove unscented sensitive and I used Shea butter because it dried her skin and left dark spots.

Scabies and back rash
by: Anonymous

I had some sort of rash on my arm and decided maybe it was a bout of scabies. I tried Neem (mixed about 1:20 coconut oil and a few drops of lavendar). That seemed to help with the scabies or whatever it was on my arm. But now I've developed a strange itchy splotchy back, red bumps and of course where I can't reach. My question is: Can you have an allegic reaction to Neem and it manifests somewhere OTHER than where you came in contact with it? Or, is the back rash totally coincidental? I am ready to try the same Neem/coconut oil solution on my back, but wanted to ask first.

Allergic reaction to neem
by: Anonymous

I mixed neem oil & coconut oil, because they said it was good for a natural insect repellant. Things were good for the first few weeks of using, then noticed a slight rash on legs and arms. At first did not connect that it was the neem & coconut causing the reaction. I suffer with chronic uterica, hence the search for a natural bug repellent. I thought it was the change of soap powder causing the rash and itching, so changed back to my normal powder, eventually by eliminating other options I had, and continuing to use the neem & coconut oil. I finally realised that it was the neem oil causing the reaction. Since stopping the usage over the last few days, rash is beginning to dry out, itching has stopped. Neem is going in the bin.

Face reddens after using Neem on plants
by: Anonymous

After the second spray application of neem oil on my garden, later in the day, I felt flushed and my daughter commented my face was red.
The red color was across my nose and cheeks and the front of my neck. I have been smelling the neem oil all day. The redness subsided a few hours later.
I assume my skin had a reaction.

Dry, itchy, flaky skin
by: Caron

I have been using Neem oil for several months with great success. However, in the last 2-3 weeks my forehead and nose has become inflamed, itchy and flaky skin. Could it be the oil? I assume I should discontinue use.

It could be a sign that you have developed a sensitivity to the oil. (If you used pure oil rather than a dilution in a carrier oil that is even more likely.) Yes, you should discontinue its use. B.

Neem oil reaction
by: Anonymous

I had a little rash on my hip. I used undiluted neem oil all over my hip to rid myself of that little rash and now, I have deep regret. My entire hip is inflamed and itchy as heck!!! I don't know what to do. I am currently using florasone cream and icing it, but it does not seem to be helping. I wrote the company for advice and have yet to hear from them. I am thinking of using bentonite clay to help draw out the oil. Does anyone have solutions that have worked for them?

Neem oil is Dangerous!!
by: Anonymous

I used neem oil behind my ear for a lymph node that seem inflamed. My ear is so swollen to the point doctors do not know what to do. I also used it for a small wart. All my skin around developed a rash. DO NOT USE.

neem oil cure
by: Anonymous

Use diatomaceous earth as a paste to draw out the oil. Then bin the neem oil, use soap instead.

Allergic genital reaction
by: Anonymous

I used neat neem oil inside my vagina as a contraceptive nearly 2 weeks ago and the day after I’d used it my vulva swelled to 2/3 times it’s size accompanied by the worst burning and itching feeling ever!! It had nearly gone down after nearly two weeks of pain by using anti histamines and salt water baths but then I wore tight leggings yesterday and it is now even more inflamed and painful than before!! It is Easter and the doctors are all shut for 4 days so I’m stuck with the baths and piriton until I can get something stronger! Has anyone else experienced this? I am never using neem oil ever again!!!!!

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