Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus: Is it good?

Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus

Nail fungus can be uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with, but thankfully, there are a number of different options that can help you recover quickly. Here’s how you can use tea tree oil for treating nail fungus.

You can apply 1-2 drops of tea tree oil blended with 12 drops of carrier oil topically on the affected area using a cotton pad. You can alternatively use 5 drops of tea tree oil with ½ ounce of carrier oil in a warm water basin, soaking your feet in the stirred mixture for 20 minutes.

Now that you understand the gist of it, we’ll discuss why this treatment works and the additional steps you can take towards recovery.

Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Fungus?


Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has a number of proven benefits, but does tea tree oil kill toenail fungus? Considering killing toenail fungus is not its main benefit, it is understandable many people ask themselves: Is tea tree oil good for nail fungus?

Tea tree oil has antifungal and antiseptic properties that make it a suitable treatment for nail fungus. Just remember that no one treatment will get rid of nail fungus instantly.

You may have to go through treatment over the course of several weeks with tea tree oil for nail fungus, sometimes even months, before the fungus goes away. Even after that, you may want to keep up with treatments to make sure the damaged nail has time to recover.

The research on tea tree oil for toenail fungus is unsubstantiated, with some studies showing a marked improvement, while others did not show any improvement.

Specifically, the studies point to its effectiveness in reducing the growth of fungus Trichophyton rubrum. T. rubrum is a fungus generally associated with athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

Using Tea Tree Oil for Fungus on Toenails Alongside Other Treatment


One older study from 1999 demonstrated that some patients were able to effectively manage toenail fungus using butenafine hydrochloride cream in conjunction with tea tree oil.

Of course, it’s hard to say how much either component contributed to patient recovery, but what is conclusive is that after 16 weeks of treatment, 80% of the participants in the control group saw their toenail fungus cured without relapse.

None in the placebo group cured their toenail fungus. The bottom line is that tea tree oil may have some merit used alongside other treatments. Vicks Vaporub for toenail fungus is one such complementary treatment to consider.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Nail Fungus

Most of us don’t know exactly how to use tea tree oil for toenail fungus, but it’s usually considered to be safe using tea tree oil on your skin, so you might want to perform a test beforehand to see if your skin reacts negatively to it.

If you get excessive dryness, stinging, or redness after applying one drop of tea tree oil, consider a different treatment.

Tea tree oil can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some people, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, then it’s best to consult your doctor before using this treatment.

If you don’t experience any adverse effects, then you can use up to 3 drops of tea tree oil applied topically to the skin.

How to Dilute Tea Tree for Toenail Fungus?


For every 1-2 drops of tea tree oil you apply, add 12 drops of a carrier oil. These help to dilute the concentration of the essential oil.

Use a cotton swab to apply it directly to the area for a couple of minutes. If you prefer, you can also do a foot soak a couple of times per week. The same principles apply; if you experience irritation or stinging, dilute the concentration further or seek different treatment.

To put tea tree oil into a foot soak, add 5 drops of tea tree oil with a ½ ounce of carrier oil, mix, and stir in a basin of warm water.

Soak for about 20 minutes. Again, you will likely need to repeat this treatment several times per week over the course of several weeks before you see any results. You could also alternate foot soaks, using hydrogen peroxide for nail fungus during one session and tea tree oil in the next.

When you’re done with your foot soak, pat your feet down carefully. Fungus thrives in damp environments, so if you don’t dry off your feet afterwards, then you could be worsening the spread rather than making it better.

What to Do During Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus Treatment


During your course of treatment, you’ll want to make sure you stick to proper foot hygiene practices. Doing so will not only aid the recovery process, but it will also prevent reinfection and help you avoid foot fungus in the future.

Start by making sure you keep the affected area, including your nails, as clean and dry as possible. Wash your hands carefully after each session to avoid spreading the fungus.

It’s also wise to keep your nails nice and tidy while you heal. Afflicted nails can become thick and crumbly, making them uncomfortable. While it may cause some discomfort to trim them, doing so helps the nail breathe and removes dead nail cells that may be contributing to the growth of the fungus.

The most important thing you can do to prevent reinfection is to be careful where you walk. Walking barefoot in damp public areas is the most common cause of toenail fungus. That includes places like swimming pools, locker rooms, and gyms.

Your shoes may also be to blame. Any shoe that doesn’t breathe well and collects sweat is encouraging the onset of fungus. Fungi breed and gather in damp, moist environments, so if your feet tend to sweat a lot, consider investing in some breathable shoes during the recovery process.

Preventative Tips and Tricks

Future prevention is helpful not only to avoid toenail fungus in the future, but also to aid the recovery process.

A good antifungal moisturizer or cream can work wonders, both in the recovery process and as a day-to-day practice to prevent toenail fungus.

Keep your skin clean and dry. Take additional precautions if you have any cracking or sores on your feet, as these can be potential entry points for bacteria and fungi.

Final Thoughts


Tea tree oil is an effective treatment for toenail fungus in some cases, although it’s best used as a supplement alongside other courses of treatment. As with any home remedy, if you see no improvement after a short while, it’s best to consult your podiatrist for further instruction.

With that being said, the majority of Americans who get toenail fungus can cure it using only at-home remedies. If you have tea tree oil on hand, it’s well worth try to apply it topically or in a foot soak to see if there’s any improvement. You might just find the tea tree oil toenail fungus before and after is a big difference!

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