Dosage And Toxicity Levels:
Topical tea tree oil is not recommended for oral use however, in rat models, a 50% lethal dose occurred within a range of 1.9 2.6 ml/kg. Tea tree oil lethal toxicity levels have not been tested in humans, of course, but human poisoning has occurred with full recovery.
For lowering the risk of dermal toxicity, it is widely recommended to use tea tree oil at a diluted dosage of 10% or less. During a patch-test study involving human participants, the results revealed dermal irritation at a mean score of 0.25, indicating that tea tree oil should never constitute 25% of a dilution formulation. Allergic reactions occur mostly due to oxidated oil from either natural age factors or a lack of proper storage precautions.
How Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Bacteria
TTO contains 5 essential compounds, namely Cineole, Pinene, Terpinen4-ol, Cymene, and Terpinene. The presence of these compounds, especially Terpinen4-ol, has been proven to be effective in eliminating bacterias, fungal and viruses by manipulating the body system towards producing more white blood cells.
What Are The Effects Of Tea Tree Oil On Nail Fungus
Visible results are obtained only when tea tree oil is used consistently for a couple of months at least. Topical application of natural diluted tea tree oil for 6 months, twice a day can cure the fungal infection and stop a recurrence, leaving your nails healthy and clean.
Apart from treating nail infections, tea tree oil is helpful for a variety of other skin and hair benefits. If tea tree oil is your favourite too, you must know about these several benefits and popular recipes that use tea tree oil.
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Tea Tree Oil For Toenail Fungus
Tea tree oil is unlikely to fully cure a well-established toenail fungus infection, since the infection tends to be based in the nail matrix, or root, underneath the nail fold , Krant says. But prescription drugs for toenail fungus are not always effective. Topical prescription creams and liquids work about 10 to 15 percent of the time when used over many months on true toenail fungus, says Krant.
Tea tree oil may have a similar rate of effectiveness: A study published in the Journal of Family Practice in 1994 comparing tea tree oil with clotrimazole, a common antifungal medication, found that the two treatments were almost equally successful in treating the condition.
How To Use Tea Tree Oil To Cure Your Toenail Fungus
NB: Tea Tree Oil is for topical use only and is not to be swallowed. A small percentage of people also seem to be allergic to topical application of the oil.
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What Is Nail Fungus
A fungal infection in the nails can begin as a small spot white or yellow-colored under the tip of your nail. As the infection spreads, the entire nail may become discolored and thicken, often beginning to crack and crumble.
Nail fungal infection or onychomycosis can affect the nails on your hands or feet. Toenails are more commonly affected by it. It can affect several nails or only a single nail. Mild infections are often painless and do not require treatment. But if the nail infection is widespread, you will need immediate and aggressive treatment.
The only problem is that not all cases of nail fungus are treatable. Even if they are, there is always a risk of the infection recurring. Opting for natural remedies such as tea tree oil can be a wiser option in such a case. Heres why you should consider treating your toenail fungus with tea tree oil.
What The Experts Say
The most common presentation of toenail fungus is a white/yellow discoloration of the nail that is thick and filled with yellow/white keratin debris. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies.” Orit Markowitz, MD, founder and CEO of OptiSkin treatment center in New York City.
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As A Quick Remedy To Soothe Sore
Aside from its antifungal properties, tea tree oil also contain antiseptic properties capable of healing sores.
Heres how to use tea tree oil to soothe sore
Pro Tips: Please avoid dropping this oil in sensitive areas like your mouth or eyes.
How Do You Get Toenail Fungus
The fungi that causes this uncomfortable medical condition thrives in damp, moist environments. Swimming pools, saunas and showers are all common places where this smelly toe condition can be contracted. When using public facilites, its very important not to go barefoot, as the bacteria behind toenail fungus can gain entry into your toenails through any minor lesions or abrasions on the skins surface.
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Tea Tree Oil For Athlete’s Foot
Tea tree oil may be effective for milder cases of athlete’s foot, says Jessica J. Krant, M.D., M.P.H., clinical assistant professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a member of Consumer Reports medical advisory board. Thats because it is known to be antiseptic, mildly antifungal, and mildly antibacterial, she says.
In fact, a study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology in 2002 found that twice-daily use of a 25 or 50 percent tea tree solution for four weeks cleared up athletes foot for more than half the people who used italthough nearly four percent of study participants who used the tea tree oil solution also developed an itchy rash.
While these results seem encouraging, theres no guarantee that consumers will get the same results from the tea tree oil products they buy. Thats because study researchers use ingredients that are purified and analyzed to ensure that they contain exact concentrations of high-quality tea tree oil. But tea tree oil products arent regulated in the way that medications are, so theres no way to be sure that a product from the drugstore contains the ingredients that will have the desired effect, says Krant.
Its also important to note that other studies have found tea tree oil to be less effective at treating athletes foot than over-the-counter antifungal medications such as tolnaftate .
Why Tea Tree Oil Can Be Used For Toe Fungus
Thanks to its antiseptic properties, the oil is quite effective against skin ailments like burns and infections. Tea tree oil is as effective as a type of fungal medication named clotrimazole. The oil contains terpenoids which contribute to its antifungal and antiseptic properties. Terpenoids are extremely effective for treating the toenail fungus caused by dermatophytes. Moreover, it not only cures fungal infections but also improves health and appearance of nails.
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How To Prevent Toenail Fungus
Preventing toenail fungus may not be at the top of your to-do list, but perhaps it should be. A healthy foot depends on good hygiene, so it is crucial to keep the toes clean and dry. Follow these six tips to prevent nail fungal infections.
- Short and Clean Nails You can make use of a manicure kit to brush up your nails. Keeping nails short and clean will prevent the bacteria from getting clogged under the nails.
- Use Preventive Gloves Wearing gloves while washing dishes or cleaning clothes will not only prevent you from getting in contact with the bacteria but also keeps your hand dry.
- Wear Ventilating Socks If you plan to sweat while wearing socks, it is better to avoid both cotton and woolen socks. This is where synthetic socks have an advantage, as they wont allow moisture to buildup and get clogged inside the socks.
- Wear Shoes in Public Places Make sure you always wear shoes or sandals at places shared by others like gym, stations, malls, etc.
- Personal Hygiene Last but not least, try to practice good hygiene. Allow maximum air to reach your nails. It can be achieved to a great extent by avoiding tight shoes that may create a sweat environment for your nails. It is always better to opt for open-toed shoes.
Does Tea Tree Oil Treat Fungal Nails
Last week I saw two patients who booked a podiatry assessment because they thought they had uncontrolled athletes foot. They both presented with a red, overly itchy rash which hadnt responded to over the counter athletes foot creams. One patient only had the skin around the toe affected, one both feet were red raw, with open skin which bled in parts. Both had tried Lamisil creams to no avail over a number of months. Both had also tried homeopathic treatments including tea tree oil, to no avail.
My diagnosis? These patients werent suffering from athletes foot at all, no it was something far more simple. Both patients had actually been applying something highly toxic to their skin which had caused all of these symptoms. What was that product?
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How Can You Maximize The Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil
Apart from the oil application, you can follow a few tips that can help improve the condition of your toenails and resolve the fungal infection faster.
- Trim your nails regularly. It will prevent the underlying healthy nail from getting infected and allow the oil to penetrate the nail bed better.
- Always wash your nails clean with soap and water. Remember to pat your nails and the skin around them dry to prevent any moisture from entering the nail bed.
- Use footwear in public places such as washrooms, locker rooms, and pools to prevent spreading it to others.
- Opt for footwear that has ample space for your toes. A narrow toebox will cramp your toes together and apply pressure on your toenails. The repetitive trauma can make them susceptible to fungal growth. Choose sandals instead. Alternately, you can apply an antifungal spray to the inside of your shoes to prevent fungal growth.
- If you must wear socks, invest in ones made of natural fibers as they absorb moisture and sweat, unlike their synthetic counterparts. Change and wash your socks regularly.
- Always sterilize your nail tools such as nail clippers, nail file, etc. Avoid sharing them with others as they can spread toenail fungus.
- Lastly, check your nails regularly for any change in color, pain, or irritation. If you notice any such changes, get treatment immediately to prevent the fungal infection from spreading further.
Findings From Lab Studies
The study showed that tea tree oil was significantly more effective at inhibiting the growth of T. rubrum than a placebo.
However, the researchers experimented using lab-grown T. rubrum cultures and human nail clippings. It is not clear whether tea tree oil would have the same effects on infected nail tissue in humans.
The researchers also administered the tea tree oil in a nanosuspension. A contains small particles of a drug suspended in water, which makes the drug easier to absorb. It is not clear whether widely available forms of tea tree oil would have the same effects on nail fungus.
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What Are The Risks Of Taking Tea Tree Oil
- Risks. Topical tea tree oil has been reported to cause allergic reactions that can be severe. Tea tree oil may also cause redness, itching, and blistering. It may aggravate burns and skin conditions like eczema. Using large quantities of tea tree oil on the skin could cause severe side effects.
- For topical use only. Tea tree oil must never be used in the eyes or swallowed. Even in small amounts, swallowing tea tree oil could potentially cause severe reactions, including severe rash, nausea, confusion, and coma.
Given the lack of evidence about its safety, tea tree oil is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Why Trust Verywell Health
As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.
Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied
For over 10 years, Jennifer Nied has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.
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Precautions To Take For Preventing Or Treating Nail Fungus
- Maintain short and clean nails as it helps to prevent bacteria getting clogged up under the nails. Use a manicure kit to maintain clean nails.
- Make sure to wear shoes or sandals in public places like swimming pool, gym, and others. As nail fungus is contagious, it can easily spread in these places.
- Prefer wearing sandals instead of shoes if it is not necessary. Shoes create a warm and dark environment which can lead to fungal growth.
- Make sure to wear ventilated socks which restrict moisture buildup and promote air circulation.
- Wear preventive gloves while cleaning clothes or washing dishes. It helps to avoid any further complications and also keeps your hands dry.
- If nail fungus persists even after trying home remedies for more than 8 weeks then consults a podiatrist.
- Instead of normal nail polishes, it is better to use medicated ones.
How To Prepare Your Nails
Nail treatments for fungus work to target the fungus on and around the toenail. Preparing your nails for an application is the best way to ensure fast results and a speedy recovery. The goal is to allow the oil to coat and penetrate the entire nail, so the fungal nail must be clean and free of any dead nail tissue or nail polish. Carefully follow these steps to prepare for your nail fungus treatment :
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What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus infections are the most common disease of the nails, occuring in approx. 14% of the adult population. Also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium, the infection will usually appear as a discoloration and thickening of the toenail, causing the nail to become brittle and crumble.
Distortion of the toenails shape can also occur, and with such a high percentage of people contracting this ugly, painful condition, its important to understand the causes behind toenail fungus.
Nail Fungus Story Of My Granny
If there is something I love most about my life, it will definitely be the part of me that loves telling stories no matter how I suck at it. I know you might think that this story isnt necessary, but it contains a bit of a lesson to be learned.
When I was small, my granny has always had this issue with her toe. It has always been there even before I was born so I was told.
According to my mum, she had had this issue with her toe for like 5 years
During those times, science has not really evolved, so there was hardly any hospital back that carter for issues pertaining to diseases that had to do with the body. What they had then were untrained personnel whose jobs revolves around child delivery. Soit got so worst that her nail bed was almost completely gone.
Not until one medicine man from the neighbouring village came to our town in search of a particular herb. Remember, at that point there was no visible hospital around that we could take my granny to.
We were doing try and luck as Africans would call it, with every medicine men that came our way.
Unfortunately, little did we know that the cure to my grannys toenail fungus problem lies within us a few steps from our home to say.
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Benefits Of Antifungal Essential Oils
Essential oils have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and fungicidal properties. Some can even stimulate new cell growth. These properties work together to form a potent treatment for fungal infections on your skin. These conditions include:
- Ringworm. This is a contagious, itchy skin condition that can be caused by several kinds of fungus. Sometimes ringworm can be found on the scalp.
- Athletes foot. This is a type of ringworm that is found on the feet. Athletes foot earns its name because its common in people who spend a lot of time in damp, warm socks after athletic activity.
- Tinea versicolor. This fungal infection causes small discolored patches to show up on your skin. The fungus can be found on anyones skin, and discoloration only happens when the fungus overgrows. Oily skin or hormonal changes can be risk factors for tinea versicolor.
- Toenail fungus. Also known as onychomycosis, toenail fungus affects up to 20 percent of the population. This type of fungi can be stubborn and hard to get rid of. Toenail fungus causes nails to become yellowed or otherwise discolored, with streaks or spots appearing in the nail.
- Jock itch. This is caused by fungus that can be spread from person to person. The fungus grows in warm areas of your body where sweat collects under your clothes, like your genitals and buttocks.
Dont apply powerful essential oils directly to your skin without diluting with a carrier oil.