Some prefer a natural approach in treating certain ailments instead of using commercial remedies that have unnatural chemicals, which can cause undesirable side effects. Tea tree oil for nail fungus is one of the famous natural. It has been used for thousands of years because of its many useful properties.
Tea tree oil is extracted from Melaleuca Alternifolia tree. It is conveniently available and is much cheaper than other essential oils. It is widely used to treat fungal infections including nail fungus.
What is Nail Fungus and Where Does It Come From?
Nail fungus is a kind of fungal infection which is usually caused by Trychphyton Rubrum that targets the nails and the skin surrounding it. It is also known as Onychomycosis, which is one of the most common fungal infections that cause the nails to thicken and change its color. Fungus usually thrives in a moist and warm environment that is why toenails are prone to having this kind of infection. If you are diabetic, there is an increased chance of acquiring this disease. An open wound also adds the risk of getting one.
If it remains untreated it may cause the nail bed to separate from the skin which can cause pain and foul smelling odor as well.
How Does Tea Tree Oil Work for the Treatment of Nail Fungus?
Tea tree oil is popular for its antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. As an antifungal, it is believed to alter the permeability of the cell membrane and inhibits the respiration of the fungus leading to its death. It has similar effect as clotrimazole, an antifungal medication also used for treating nail fungus. The advantages of using tea tree oil for nail fungus are lesser side effects and cheaper than antifungal creams. There have also been studies that show tea tree oil with a higher cure rate than clotrimazole.
Ways on How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Nail Fungus
Here are some ways to use tea tree oil for nail fungus:
- Tea tree oil hand/foot soak. Mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 6 drops of tea tree oil and 1-2 drops of your choice of secondary essential oil to a basin with water. Soak your hand or foot for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Fungal nail lotion. Mix 20 ml of apple cider vinegar, 30 ml of distilled water, 10 drops of lavender oil and 6 drops of tea tree oil. Shake the mixture well. You can swab the affected area with cotton thrice a day. You can also apply it directly to the affected area, but make sure that it is diluted because it may sting.
Remember to clean and dry the affected area first before applying any medication. It is also recommended to trim your nails to increase the absorption of tea tree oil. Be reminded also that tea tree oil is only used topically and should not be swallowed. Some people are allergic to tea tree oil so be cautious in using it. Do a skin test first to determine if you are allergic to it or not.