Tea tree oil how to use for nail fungus

How-to, Does It Work, and Is It Safe

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Tea tree oil is an essential oil with many therapeutic benefits. Among its healing benefits, tea tree oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties and may be an effective treatment for nail fungus.

Nail fungus can be challenging to treat because it may not resolve right away. If you use tea tree oil consistently, you should see results over time. Just keep in mind that the results won’t be immediate.

Read on to learn more about treating nail fungus with tea tree oil.

Results from scientific studies supporting the use of tea tree oil to treat nail fungus are mixed. Some of the research points to tea tree oil’s potential as an antifungal, but more studies are needed.

According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections. T. rubrum is a fungus that can cause infections such as athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Improvements were seen after 14 days.

This study used an in vitro model, which is sometimes called a test-tube experiment. In in vitro studies, the experiment is done in a test tube instead of on an animal or human. Larger human studies are needed to expand on these findings.

Combining tea tree oil with standard medicated creams is also an option. A small 1999 study found that participants were able to successfully manage toenail fungus by using a cream that contained butenafine hydrochloride and tea tree oil.

After 16 weeks of treatment, 80 percent of participants who used this cream cured their toenail fungus with no relapses. No one in the placebo group cured their nail fungus. Further studies are needed to determine which of these ingredients is most useful in treating nail fungus.

Results of a 1994 study found pure tea tree oil was equally as effective as the antifungal clotrimazole (Desenex) in treating fungal toenail infections. Clotrimazole is available both over the counter (OTC) and by prescription.

After six months of twice-daily treatment, results of both groups were similar. While both groups had positive results, recurrence was common. Further studies are needed to determine how to treat nail fungus with no recurrence.

It’s generally safe to use tea tree oil topically, but no more than 3 drops directly to the skin.

If you have sensitive skin you may experience dryness, itching, stinging, redness or burning. It’s always best to do a skin test prior to use by testing with one drop of tea tree oil.

  • For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of a carrier oil.
  • Apply a dime-sized amount of the diluted oil to your forearm.
  • If you don’t experience any irritation within 24 hours, it should be safe to apply elsewhere.

Never take tea tree oil internally. Avoid using tea tree oil on children without consulting a doctor.

Tea tree essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.

It’s possible for tea tree oil to cause an allergic reaction. It can cause skin irritation such as redness, itchiness, and inflammation in some people.

Talk to your doctor before using tea tree oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tea tree oil is easy to use. If you are using the tea tree oil undiluted, or “neat”, do a patch test first. Then use up to 3 drops of undiluted tea tree essential oil directly on the fungus.

If you are diluting the tea tree oil, add it to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. You can either use a cotton swab to apply it and allow it to dry or place a cotton ball soaked in the diluted tea tree oil on the affected area for a few minutes.

You can also do a foot soak a few times per week. Add five drops of tea tree oil to a half-ounce of carrier oil, mix them, stir into a bucket of warm water, and soak your feet for 20 minutes.

Keep your nails neat and nicely trimmed during the healing process. Use clean nail clippers, scissors, or a nail file to remove any dead nails.

Also, keep your affected nails as clean and dry as possible. Always wash your hands thoroughly after treating your nails to avoid spreading the infection.

You need to be consistent with the treatment in order to see results. It usually takes a few months for the nail to heal completely. Healing time depends on how severe the infection is and how quickly your body responds to the treatment.

The fungal infection is cured when you’ve grown an entirely new nail that’s free from infection.

You can continue the tea tree oil treatment after the nail has healed to ensure that the nail fungus doesn’t return.

It’s important that you use a high-quality tea tree oil for best results. Here are some things to look for when buying tea tree oil:

  • The oil needs to be 100 percent pure.
  • Buy an organic oil, if possible.
  • Look for a tea tree oil that has a 10 to 40 percent concentration of terpinen. This is one of the main antiseptic and antifungal components of tea tree oil.

You can buy tea tree oil online or at a local health store. Always buy from a brand that you trust. The supplier should be able to answer any questions you have about their product.

Research your brands and manufacturers. Essential oils can have issues with purity, contamination, and strength. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate essential oils, so it’s important to purchase from a supplier you trust.

How to store essential oils

Store your essential oils away from direct sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures. They should be okay at room temperature. If you live in a very warm or humid climate, you can store them in the refrigerator.

If you’ve taken steps to treat your nail fungus but it isn’t improving or starts to get worse, it’s important that you see a doctor. Nail fungus has the potential to cause other complications, especially for people who have diabetes or a weakened immune system.

Using tea tree oil should be a safe and effective method for treating nail fungus, but it’s still important that you use it with care. Keep an eye on the effect it’s having on your nail fungus and possibly on the skin around it. Discontinue use immediately if you experience any adverse effects.

Also keep in mind that it may take some time to completely heal nail fungus.

Effectiveness, how to use, and side effects

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Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, can affect the nails on the hands or feet. Toenail fungus is particularly common.

Most treatments for nail fungus do not clear the fungus entirely but can help prevent it from spreading. However, these conventional medications can cause skin irritation and other symptoms, such as ingrown nails.

As a result, some people have turned to natural products, such as tea tree oil, to treat nail fungus.

While tea tree oil does appear to have antifungal properties, its efficacy in treating nail fungus is unclear. As with conventional treatments, tea tree oil can also cause some unpleasant side effects.

This article outlines research on the antifungal properties of tea tree oil. We discuss whether tea tree oil is effective against nail fungus, how to use it, and its potential side effects.

There are very few studies investigating tea tree oil as a specific treatment for nail fungus. We outline the available research below.

Findings from lab studies

Share on PinterestCurrent reseach into tea tree oil as a treatment for nail fungus is sometimes conflicting.

A 2013 laboratory study found that tea tree oil is effective in treating the fungus Trichophyton rubrum (T. rubrum). This particular fungus commonly affects the toenails and can cause athlete’s foot.

The study showed that tea tree oil was significantly more effective at inhibiting the growth of T. rubrum than a placebo.

However, the researchers experimented using lab-grown T. rubrum cultures and human nail clippings. It is not clear whether tea tree oil would have the same effects on infected nail tissue in humans.

The researchers also administered the tea tree oil in a nanosuspension. A nanosuspension contains small particles of a drug suspended in water, which makes the drug easier to absorb. It is not clear whether widely available forms of tea tree oil would have the same effects on nail fungus.

Findings from studies involving humans

Two earlier studies investigated the effects of tea tree oil on nail fungus in humans.

A 1994 study found that tea tree oil applied directly to toenail fungus is as effective as clotrimazole cream. Clotrimazole is an antifungal cream available on prescription or from a pharmacy.

A study published in 1999 investigated whether an antifungal cream containing tea tree oil could help manage toenail fungus. The researchers used tea tree oil alone as a placebo. Participants applied either the combination cream or the placebo for 16 weeks.

The combination cream completely cured the nail fungus in 80% of the participants. However, none of the people who used the tea tree alone saw any improvement. This suggests that tea tree oil alone may not be an effective treatment for nail fungus.

Contradictory results

The three studies provide varied results regarding tea tree oil’s efficacy as an antifungal nail treatment.

Further research is necessary to determine the effects of tea tree oil in humans. Scientists believe that any future research should examine the effects of widely available forms of tea tree oil.

Share on PinterestA person can apply tea tree oil to a nail using a cotton ball.

Although the research on tea tree oil and nail fungus is unclear, the oil does appear to have some antifungal properties. Some people may, therefore, wish to try it alongside conventional treatments for nail fungus.

Tea tree oil is relatively easy to use. As with conventional medications, a person would likely need to use it daily for several weeks, months, or longer before noticing results.

Always mix essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them to the skin. Doing so helps to dilute the essential oil, reducing the risk of side effects when it contacts the skin. Carrier oils also help to deliver or “carry” essential oils into the skin. Two potential carrier oils include olive oil and coconut oil.

Methods for applying the tea tree oil mixture to the skin include:

  • soaking a cotton ball in the oil and holding it against the affected nail for several minutes
  • using a cotton swab to apply a layer of oil to the affected nail and allowing it to dry
  • adding the oil to a tub of warm water and soaking the affected hands or feet

During treatment, a person should keep their toenails as clean and dry as possible. This includes keeping the nails trimmed.

Tea tree oil can cause several unwanted side effects.

Never take tea tree oil internally. Swallowing tea tree oil can lead to the following serious side effects:

  • confusion
  • decreased muscular control
  • loss of consciousness

Tea tree oil can also cause side effects when a person uses it topically. The following side effects usually affect the area of skin where the individual applied the oil:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • itchiness
  • stinging
  • dryness
  • scaling skin

Parents and caregivers should not use tea tree oil on a child’s skin, unless under the direction of a pediatrician.

Tea tree oil is available to purchase from pharmacies and online.

Share on PinterestThere are a number of nail fungus treatments available in pharmacies and online.

There are several over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription treatments for nail fungus.

Most treatments require several months to take effect. In some cases, the treatment may only help stop the fungus from spreading or getting worse.

Some potential treatment options include:

  • the medicated nail lacquer amorolfine
  • other OTC medicated topical solutions (e.g., ciclopirox, efinaconazole, and tavaborole)

oral antifungal medications (e.g., terbinafine and itraconazole)

People may also wish to try additional home remedies for nail fungus. Some people claim that the following home remedies might help, although there is little scientific evidence to support these claims:

  • applying Vicks vapor rub
  • using oregano oil
  • applying vinegar or doing vinegar soaks
  • placing chopped or crushed garlic on the nails
  • soaking feet in a Listerine foot soak

So far, research investigating the use of tea tree oil for nail fungus has provided conflicting results. Further research involving human participants is necessary to determine whether, and to what extent, tea tree oil is effective.

However, tea tree oil does appear to have some antifungal properties. People may, therefore, wish to use it alongside conventional treatments for nail fungus.

People who use tea tree oil should be aware of the potential side effects it may cause. If a person experiences any side effects, they should stop using the oil and consult their pharmacist for advice on alternative treatments.

People who are concerned about nail fungus might consider seeing a doctor who can provide stronger medications to treat the infection. People should be aware that the treatment may take a long time to begin working.


Perhaps one of the most common fungal diseases is fungal infection of the nails. There are a huge number of specialized drugs designed to solve this problem, but few people know that essential oils from nail fungus relieve no worse. Moreover, they are affordable and have an additional healing and cosmetic effect.

The peculiarity of this disease is that this disease does not go away on its own, it is transmitted imperceptibly, and the carrier may not even be aware of its existence. For example, the unpleasant smell of the feet, which many simply get used to, indicates the presence of a fungus.

We will talk in more detail about how essential oils work and which ones are best used in the fight against nail fungus.


A significant advantage of treating nail fungus with essential oils is their complex effect. Oils help:

• healing of wounds and microcracks,

• prevention of re-infection,

• prevention of infection of healthy tissues,

• elimination of unpleasant odors,

• removal of inflammation and swelling,

• Getting rid of pain, itching and burning.

Essential oils for nail fungus act quickly and noticeably cool the nail plate after application. Their impact allows you to effectively cure the disease and, moreover, for the duration of therapy to minimize its unpleasant manifestations.

It takes several months for a complete recovery from the fungus. Treatment should be continued until a healthy nail grows back. At the end of the course, it is best to do preventive procedures to avoid relapse.

Almost all essential oils from nail fungus have a pronounced antiseptic effect. They are active both in the outer and deep layers.

However, it should be remembered that it is difficult to completely get rid of the fungus only with the help of essential oils. Fungal lesions are best treated in combination with topical pharmaceutical medicines.


Tea tree oil

This essential oil has gained its popularity due to its antibacterial, antimycotic (antifungal), anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. It is a good immunomodulatory substance, which is important, since nail fungus often occurs against a background of weakened immunity.

Tea tree essential oil for nail fungus can be used:

• For preliminary steaming and prevention, adding to the bath;

• In the form of applications, either pure or diluted with base oils.

Lavender oil

This essential oil is a natural antiseptic, it starts regeneration processes well and anesthetizes.

Lavender essential oil is well suited for treating not only the affected areas, but also able to protect healthy nails and skin from the spread of a fungal infection. The agent can be applied in its pure form. Great for applications in conjunction with tea tree oil.

Clove oil

Good pain reliever and disinfectant essential oil. We use only in diluted form. Combines well with essential oils of lavender and tea tree.

Oregano oil

It has a pronounced antibacterial and antifungal effect. The use of oregano essential oil can prevent the addition of a fungal infection. It is used only in diluted form. Especially effective in combination with olive and coconut oil.

This essential oil from nail fungus should also be used to treat shoes and hosiery. To do this, just mix a few drops of oil with water and wipe things with a cloth soaked in this solution.

Cinnamon oil

This essential oil has antibacterial, astringent and tonic properties. It enhances blood circulation and improves immunity.

Cinnamon essential oil can be added to baths for preliminary steaming of affected nails, as well as applications. It is used exclusively in diluted form.

Celandine oil

This essential oil has a pronounced antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect. It speeds up healing and relieves itching.

Fir oil

The range of application of fir essential oil is very wide. It not only disinfects, relieves pain and inflammation, but also resists the addition of a bacterial infection. In addition, fir oil perfectly tones, has a tonic and soothing property.

Fir essential oil from nail fungus can be used as:

• Applications, spreading over the affected nail plates with cotton swabs;

• Baths for steaming affected nails;

• Lotions, using cotton pads for this, apply to the affected nails and fix with a plaster.

Rosemary oil

Rosemary essential oil relieves inflammation and pain well, activates the body's immune defenses, enhances blood circulation, and prevents the spread of infection in healthy areas. It can be added to creams or used for baths and applications.

Lemon oil

Lemon essential oil well restores blood supply to the affected areas. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and healing effects.


After choosing the right essential oil, the first step is to test for the absence of an allergic reaction. To do this, you need to apply a few drops of essential oil on the wrist or the inner surface of the elbow and follow the reaction of the body. If after some time itching and redness are absent, then the oil can be safely used.

Using essential oils for nail fungus, you should follow a number of rules:

1. Before applying essential oil to the affected area, it should be diluted with base oil. The mixture must be rubbed not only into the nail plate, but also into the skin around;

2. When using essential oils in the form of applications, in order to achieve the best effect, you can make a mixture of different esters in the same proportions. A swab or cotton pad soaked in the finished mixture is applied to the affected area and fixed with a bandage or adhesive plaster;

3. To increase the effectiveness of treatment, it is first necessary to steam the nails in a bath using tar soap or soda. Adding a few drops of essential oil to the bath will also have a beneficial effect on the health of the nails.


Although essential oils for toenail fungus are primarily used topically, one of the most common side effects is an allergic reaction. The reason may be either individual intolerance to the component, or its overdose.

In addition, if you do not follow the rules for using essential oils, you may experience:

⁃ dyspnea,

⁃ suffocation,

⁃ Increased heart rate and arrhythmia,

⁃ Dizziness and headache,

⁃ noise in ears.

It is also important to consider that some essential oils are phototoxic, which means that there is a risk of burns if the treated area of ​​the skin comes into contact with sunlight. This feature is most often possessed by citrus oils.

In any case, when using certain essential oils for nail fungus, it is important to study possible contraindications and correlate the risk of side effects with the benefits received. And the benefits are undoubtedly great, because in addition to treating a fungal infection, you nourish and restore the affected areas, make your skin and nails beautiful.

Be healthy!

Tea tree oil for nails: use for fungus and other problems - Lisa.ru

Nail fungus is one of the reasons why even in summer you can't wear sandals and you have to wear sneakers to hide your toes. You can get rid of the fungus in many ways: for example, using tea tree oil.

Source here and below: ShutterStock/Fotodom.ru

When to use the oil
Symptoms of the fungus
How to use tea tree oil for nails
Duration of treatment
Diet influence on the development of fungus
Tea tree oil for prevention

Did you know that tea tree oil for nails is no less useful than, like olive oil? Although it is usually mentioned more often in connection with the treatment of the skin of the face, and not the nails. In fact, the scope of tea tree oil is much wider: it can disinfect rooms, treat bronchitis and rhinitis, use it against caries, stomatitis, cystitis, making baths, lotions, nose drops, mouth rinses.

Now it is most often prescribed by dermatologists, podologists. Dermatologists recommend including it in the regimens for the treatment of rashes - this is due to the high antibacterial activity of the product. It can be applied pointwise with a cotton swab to the area of ​​​​inflammation or added drop by drop to a lotion for problem skin. On its basis, you can prepare cosmetic ice, wipe your face with it as a tonic. To do this, add a drop of essential oil, a teaspoon of liquid honey to a glass of water. Mix thoroughly, freeze in ice cube trays.

The use of tea tree oil for nail fungus on the hands and feet is gaining popularity . This is also due primarily to its antiseptic and immunomodulatory effects. The main cause of infection on the nails is the reproduction of dermatomycete fungi, which first affect the skin between the fingers and feet, and then the nail plate. That is why, when it comes to prevention, first of all, it is advised to dry the skin between the fingers, and then not to walk barefoot, not to use someone else's shoes.

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Onychomycosis is often confused by some with another term - onycholysis . In fact, they are related: onycholysis - that is, detachment of the nail plate from the skin - always accompanies onychomycosis. But at the same time, onycholysis can be caused by other reasons and, unlike a fungus, is not contagious! For example, in 80% of cases, the plate can move away due to mechanical damage to the nail with tight shoes, or due to a bruise, or even due to injury during a hardware manicure. It does not look very aesthetic: where the nail has moved away from the skin, a brown or white spot appears. At the same time, the plate itself does not crumble, does not thicken.

  • A change in color is always accompanied by deformation of the plate: it delaminates, crumbles, thickens, and in severely neglected cases it can completely fall off.
  • Onychomycosis almost always affects not only the nails, but also the skin between the fingers, the fingertips.
  • Skin between toes, soles of feet itchy. Itching may be aggravated by wearing dark, non-breathable shoes (such as running shoes).
  • The fungus almost always progresses. If onycholysis may not change its appearance for a long time, the spot will not grow, then with onychomycosis, the situation almost always slowly but surely worsens. That is, at first, about ¼ of the nail is affected, then the spot increases in size, the detachments intensify, then the appearance will only get worse, with one but - if you do not do the treatment.

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If the infection is at the initial stage, then special ointments, medical varnish are usually prescribed, in addition to them - baths with tea tree essential oil. Ointments are applied twice a day, morning and evening, on previously cleansed skin and nails. Since the fungus is highly contagious, you need to use an individual towel, foot files, and nail scissors.

Lacquer is applied maximum twice a week, sometimes once is sufficient. Before this, the problematic area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe nail is cut off as much as possible so that the varnish has the opportunity to work deeper. The varnish looks like a regular colorless and is suitable as a base for a colored coating. In addition to such treatment, baths can be taken (5-7 drops of essential oil can be diluted in hot water), or the oil can be applied with a cotton swab to the cuticle area daily.

Duration of treatment

What if the efforts made do not bring results? First, be mentally prepared for the fact that treating a fungus with tea tree oil, like any other remedy, is a very long time. This is mainly due to the naturally slow growth of the nail plate. On average, the nail grows 3-4 mm per month, so it takes a long time for it to completely change, especially the nails on the big toes. Secondly, if the treatment does not give a result for months, then you need to go to the doctor and look for the internal cause of the reproduction of the fungus.

Very often, immunity failure, hormonal changes, problems of internal organs undermine the body's defenses and provoke the growth of the fungus. This condition resembles herpes, which all people have, only in healthy people it does not manifest itself in any way, and in those who have health problems it manifests itself in all its glory.

The effect of diet on the development of fungus

An important step in treatment, in addition to the use of tea tree oil , for nails, is following the principles of proper nutrition. One of the pathogens, in addition to dermatomycetes, are fungi of the genus "Candida" - exactly those that cause candidiasis, better known as thrush. It has been scientifically proven that such infections multiply with great speed "on sugar" like on yeast, that is, when a lot of simple carbohydrates enter the body, and you abuse foods with sugar. And it doesn’t matter if it is white or brown, in this case, anyone will be harmful.

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If you can give up pasta, sweets, sausages, sauces that contain hidden sugars, then you will 100% see that the treatment is going faster. Giving up sugar is just as beneficial in treating acne! It is recommended to give up sugar, milk, cereals, except for buckwheat, so that the skin calms down as soon as possible, inflammation decreases.


You can make your own hand sanitizer by using rubbing alcohol or 50 ml alcoholic calendula tincture, add a tablespoon of aloe vera gel, 5-7 drops of tea tree oil. Aloe vera, due to the gel texture, will give the antiseptic a viscous consistency, it will not spread over the hands, but will gently envelop the skin. In addition, aloe vera has a phenomenal ability to retain water in the skin, therefore preventing it from drying out due to the action of alcohol.

Manicure and pedicure use

The product can be added to the gel polish remover as an additional disinfectant. In addition, you can add it to foot baths: for example, in combination with lavender. Tea tree will disinfect the skin, and lavender will have a calming effect.

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Based on tea tree oil, you can prepare a product for the care of problematic cuticles by mixing a few drops of essential oils of olive, thyme, tea tree. Rub the product with the pad of your finger into the cuticles, and also walk along the edges of the nails. If you know what ingrown toenails are or if you are periodically worried about nail pain after tight shoes, then such a tool will help prevent skin irritation and infection from penetrating under the plate.

Against itchy feet

If you are worried about itching, sweating feet, you can lubricate the soles of your feet with a thin layer of oil at night and put on socks on top. Keep in mind that they may not be washed off later, so it is better to use the old ones. And do not replace them with plastic bags, as some recipes like to advise. Because it’s uncomfortable, and you need to spend the whole night like that, and secondly, polyethylene does not allow the skin to breathe and makes it sweat, which is not good at all and can even cause fungus. Cotton does not interfere with skin respiration and creates additional conditions for a more effective effect of the oil.

And by the way, if you're feeling nervous or anxious, or it's time for bed and you don't sleep at all, try opening the cap of the oil and breathing it in a little. In Ayurveda, it is believed that a slightly bitter, fir-like smell is able to soothe, restore harmony.


Tatyana Kravchenko

Editor of the "Beauty" section of the "Liza" magazine.

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