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How do I Use Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus?

By Lisa Mohr
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Using tea tree oil for toenail fungus is a common home remedy. Many people prefer using the oil over prescription medicines to avoid potential side effects. Tea tree oil can be purchased from alternative medicine stores and homeopathic suppliers. Before using tea tree oil for toenail fungus, put a drop of the oil on your inner arm and wait a bit to see if signs of any potential allergies appear.

Tea tree oil, which is for topical use only, should be applied up to three times daily, until the fungus has completely disappeared. The infected area should first be washed and dried, and using tea tree soap during this cleansing step may help to speed the healing process. Tea tree oil can dry out the skin, though, so use of the soap should be discontinued if dry skin becomes an issue. It is still acceptable to continue using the tea tree oil for toenail fungus, even if you don’t use the soap.

Once the area has been cleaned, place several drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball or cotton swab. Rub the oil on top of and underneath the nail, as well as on the area surrounding the infected nail. The entire area should be saturated with the oil and then allowed to air dry.

It should be noted that using tea tree oil for toenail fungus is not a quick process, and daily use of the oil may need to continue for several months to completely do the job. You are likely to see results, including improved comfort in the infected area, within a few days. Using 100 percent tea tree oil, as opposed to a mixture of several oils, is recommended for best results, though there are some oil blends on the market that are designed specifically to treat toenail fungus. These blends, which include both tea tree oil and other essential oils thought to treat nail fungus, are also be available at alternative medicine stores and homeopathic suppliers.

Using tea tree oil for toenail fungus is not a remedy backed by a wealth of scientific or medical study results, though it is a remedy often recommended by doctors. One thing to keep in mind before beginning to use tea tree oil is that there are several causes other than toenail fungus that can lead to discolored or deformed toenails. Tea tree oil may not combat those problems, so it is best if you have the infected nail examined by a healthcare provider prior to starting any treatment.

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Discussion Comments
By burcidi — On Jun 05, 2013

@MikeMason-- You might want to dilute the tea tree oil with another oil. That's what I'm doing but I don't know if it works. This is supposedly the best toenail fungus remedy but it's been three weeks and there is no change in my nail.

By serenesurface — On Jun 04, 2013

@MikeMason-- Unless you're allergic (which is a possibility), pure tea tree oil doesn't cause any irritation. But you don't need more than a few drops at a time and you can apply it and keep it on your nail for as long as you want. I used to bandage my toe with a cotton that has tea tree oil on it overnight.

Just do an allergy test on your arm first to make sure it won't cause problems. And be patient. Tea tree oil works for toenail fungus, but it takes time. It took mine almost a month to completely heal.

By stoneMason — On Jun 04, 2013

I know that some natural oils can cause irritation if they're kept on the skin for too long. Is tea tree oil one of them?

I want to use organic tea tree oil on my toenail fungus, but how long should I keep it on my nail at a time?

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