The essential oil extracted from tea tree leaves is valued for its effectiveness against a host of skin infections and allergies. A commonly used home remedy with strong antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties, the essential oil, is believed to work for toenail fungus, a fungal infection affecting the nails of the toes.
How does Tea Tree Oil Work for Toenail Fungus
Pure tea tree oil has been shown to help in stopping fungal infections, making it a promising cure for fighting the growth of toenail fungus as well. However, it could be a bit harsh on sensitive skin, and therefore should be combined in equal amounts with any other essential oil such as olive oil, lavender oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil before use.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus Treatment
It has been speculated that applying 100% tea tree oil two times a day on the affected nails might help in eliminating the fungal infection within 6 months in about 18% of the people while improving the symptoms in nearly 60% of the people after 3 to 6 months of use.
How to apply
- Trim and file the infected nails.
- Clean them with a mild lotion or soap.
- Dab them with few drops of tea tree oil using a cotton ball.
- Use a toothbrush or nail brush to rub the nails making sure the oil properly seeps into the nail bed.
- Allow it to dry, repeating the process for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: As an alternative, you can add 4 to 5 drops of the oil in a water-filled tub and immerse your feet for a while.
Safety of Using Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus
Although the essential oil is additionally good for several skin conditions, in some cases it may lead to inflammation, irritation, and itching as some of its active ingredients could trigger an allergic reaction. So, while applying the oil on the nails you should avoid touching the surrounding skin.
According to some clinical trials, use of 100% tea tree oil twice a day on toenails infected with fungus is safe for pregnant women as well as nursing mothers, though prior consultation with a physician would be required.