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Does Tea Tree Oil Work for Toenail Fungus?



Tea tree oil DOES work for toenail fungus.

More Info: As a strong fungicide, tea tree oil is an inexpensive, natural remedy for nail fungal infections that doesn’t require a prescription.

Cause of Fungal Nail Infections

Usually fungal nail infections are caused by fungi in the dermatophyte class. Yeasts and molds can also be the culprits that cause the infection. While poor hygiene is not at fault in these infections, fungal infections are contagious. You can contract an infection from a damp gym or shower floor, for instance. The fungus thrives on darkness and dampness.

Tea Tree Oil to Treat Infections

While there are drugs (both internal and external) to treat fungal nail infections, they are strong medications that can have side effects. An alternative to treating these pesky infections is to use tea tree oil, a natural antibiotic. This amazing oil comes from the Melaleuca tree grown in Australia, and it has natural antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. An article in “Letters of Applied Microbiology” states that an Italian study concluded that tea tree oil is a strong fungicide. There are plenty of advantages to using tea tree oil, including that you do not have to get a prescription, there are no harmful side effects, and it is inexpensive.

Getting Started with Tea Tree Oil

First visit your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. Fungal nail infections are notoriously hard to diagnose. Your doctor may take a nail sample and send it to a laboratory for an answer. Once you verify that this is your diagnosis, if you choose to try a natural treatment, tea tree oil is an excellent choice. Start by making sure you buy a pure product. You should purchase 100% tea tree oil. Next, set up a schedule to apply the oil-two to three times a day. Start by washing and towel drying your feet, and then apply the tea tree oil with a q-tip or cotton ball to the infected area.


You must be persistent in using the tea tree oil. Keep applying the tea tree oil several times a day until the nail has grown out completely. Generally, this will happen in four to six months.


Raman A, Weir Bloomfeld S F 1995 “Antimicrobial Effects of Tea Tree Oil and Its Major Components on Staphyloccocus Aureus, Staph, Epidermis, and Propionibacterium Acnes.” Letters of Applied Microbiology. 21 (4): 242-245

“Nail fungus: Causes –” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2011.

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