The use of tea tree oil for ringworm is largely considered to be a safe and effective way to rid the body of this type of fungal infection, although a medical professional should always be consulted for an accurate diagnosis before beginning self-treatment. Pure tea tree oil may cause skin irritation, so many medical practitioners suggest diluting the oil before use. The diluted solution is usually applied directly to the lesion several times per day until the infection is gone. Those with multiple ringworm lesions may benefit from adding a few drops of oil to the bath water. Any specific questions or concerns about this treatment should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
In spite of the potential for skin irritation, some people believe that tea tree oil is the most effective for treating fungal infection such as ringworm when used full-strength. Before attempting this, a small amount of the oil should be applied to a healthy area of skin with a cotton swab to test for sensitivity. If redness, burning, or other forms of skin irritation occur, the oil should be diluted before it is applied to the affected area or not used at all.
Diluted tea tree oil may be equally as effective as the pure oil and contains less of a risk of causing skin irritation. A few drops can be added to bath water a couple of times per day to help kill the fungus. After the skin has been blotted dry, a diluted mixture may be applied directly to the lesions between two and three times per day.
There are several ways to dilute oil that will be used for ringworm infections. The oil can be mixed with water before using a cotton swab to apply the solution to the lesions. As dry, flaking skin is a common symptom of fungal infections, a carrier, such as almond oil or olive oil, may be used instead. Aloe vera gel or vitamin E oil are also good choices, as these products are known for their skin-healing properties.
As fungal infections are contagious, it is important to carefully wash all towels, sheets, and clothing during the treatment process. Several drops of the tea tree oil can be added to the washing machine in order to kill any fungus that remains on these items. This oil may also be used to wipe off counter tops or other surfaces that may have come into direct contact with the ringworm lesion.