Tea tree oil against nail fungus – application, advantages and disadvantages


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Besides vinegar, baking soda, or garlic, tea tree oil is the most popular home remedy for nail fungus infection. It is said to have many favorable properties.

But is the oil of the Australian tea tree solid enough to get rid of nail fungus?

Or is it even harmful?

You can find out everything about this topic here!

A visit to the swimming pool or sauna can be enough to become infected with the highly contagious pathogen nail fungus. Typical symptoms are loss of shine and discoloration of the affected nails.

Those who want to do something quickly prefer to use home remedies, as they are easy to obtain.

What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil comes from the Australian tea tree, which is also called Melaleuca alternifolia in Latin. This tree is a myrtle plant and can grow up to seven meters high.

The bark of the tree is white and papery, which makes it easy to recognize.

In the past, the Aboriginies (indigenous people) in Australia used the plant to treat various diseases.

Among other things, they prepared tea from the leaves, hence the name “tea tree.”

The oil is obtained by steam distillation from the branches and leaves of the tree.

The terpenes in the oil obtained in this process, especially terpineols, are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and inhibit fungal growth in nail fungus.

The main ingredients are terpinene-4-ol, 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, and limonene.

The ingredients of tea tree oil are also said to be effective against acne, pimples, warts, herpes, and other skin infections, in addition to nail fungus.

The problem with an application with undiluted essential oil is that it can very quickly trigger allergies and skin irritations on contact with the skin.

In addition, the terpinene-4-ol it contains has a dehydrating and drying effect, which is not suitable for the nail in the long term.

Tea tree oil: advantages and disadvantages


  • Antibacterial (kills bacteria)
  • Antifungal (fungicidal)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Disinfectant


  • No medical studies and evidence of an effect
  • Skin irritant
  • May cause allergic reactions
  • It has a dehydrating effect

How to use tea tree oil against nail fungus?

If you still decide to treat nail fungus, you can apply the oil as follows:

Tea tree oil should be applied to the affected nail areas with a cotton swab several times a day when treating nail fungus infection.

There are also application instructions that say simply put diluted oil on a gauze binge and bandage the affected toe with it.

You can also make a foot bath with the home remedy tea tree oil to prevent nail fungus.

Who daily bathes his feet in a hot bath with diluted tea tree oil, thereby stimulating the metabolism, and the footbath has a disinfecting effect.

For a foot bath or hand bath, already 8 – 10 drops of oil in 1L water help.

Furthermore, the feet can also be rubbed daily with diluted oil.

The concentration of tea tree oil in the cosmetic product should not exceed 1%!

Tea tree oil is not suitable for consumption! The oil has been classified by IFRA (International Fragrance Association) as harmful to health!

Side effects of home remedy tea tree oil

Since tea tree oil is not approved as a medicine in Germany, no checks are made for possible side effects and risks.

However, there are known adverse effects of essential oils.

Undiluted, a highly concentrated essential oil can cause allergic reactions on the skin!

In addition, the risk of allergy is increased if the oil has not been stored properly (protected from light), as this can cause the ingredients to change due to sunshine and high temperatures!

If you want to treat your nail infected with nail fungus with tea tree oil, you should consult a doctor.

This can decide whether the nail can be treated with oil.

Conclusion about tea tree oil against nail fungus

The oil has many favorable properties, but a nail fungus is very stubborn.

The fungicidal effect of tea tree oil is too weak, and the oil cannot penetrate deep enough into the nail to achieve sufficient potency.

In addition, tea tree oil can irritate the skin and should only be used with caution.

Those who do not want to do without the natural remedy for nail fungus can carry out the treatment in combination with a fungicidal drug.

The choice is, for example, combination therapy of urea-containing ointment to remove the infected nail tissue and then antifungal nail polish.

Tea tree oil against nail fungus – application, advantages and disadvantages
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