Nail fungus is genuinely a difficult situation to deal with. Also known as Onychomycosis, nail fungus is a widespread problem among many people and is often caused by the trapping of moisture in warm conditions where the fungus thrives in. Some people are more prone to attracting fungus as habitual actions like swimming, followed by sweating, may often lead to the growth of fungus.
A nail fungal infection will most probably begin as a white or yellow-colored spot beneath the tip of your finger or toenail. It is said to occur when fungi infect one or more of your nails. This may lead to the decolorization and thickening of nails, which can be a painful problem. In extreme cases, this may even affect a person’s ability to use his feet or hands.
Leaving them untreated may lead to cracking, splitting, and even complete loss of the toenail. But it is curable and can be treated easily at home without spending a lot of money. Many natural home remedies are capable of curing this, and tea tree oil is one among them.
Why Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is yellowish and is extracted from the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree. They are a native of Australia but are also found in other regions. Tea tree oil is well known for its antiseptic properties that aid in fighting against ailments like skin infections, burns, and much more. They are found to be useful as clotrimazole, a type of fungal medication used for the treatment of nail fungus. Applying tea tree oil regularly to your nails can cure fungal infections. They can also improve the appearance and health of nails at a rapid pace.
Prepare Your Nails Before Applying Tea Tree Oil
Before applying tea tree oil, one must have to make specific preparations on nails to get the best out of tea tree oil.
Step 1: Remove all dead nails using a nail clipper. Make sure you get rid of all the dead nails even if it may consume more time. But in the process, try to avoid cutting off your skin.
Step 2: File down all the infected nails with a coarse nail filer. File away as many dead nails as possible. It is more beneficial to file each nail with medium-grade or fine-grade filers.
Step 3: Clean your fingernails or toenails with soap or lotion along with water to get rid of dust and dirt.
Once this is done, you can apply the oil to your nails, and this is how it is done!
How to Apply Tea Tree Oil on Nails?
Before using them, make sure the oil is thoroughly diluted.
- Pour in a few drops of oil directly onto the site or soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it to affected nails. Press them gently but firmly so that the liquid comes out.
- Gently scrub the affected nails with the help of a toothbrush to make sure the oil reaches deep into the nails.
- Let it dry out naturally. Meanwhile, you can also soak your feet in a solution containing 4-5 drops of tea tree oil and water.
- Continue this process for about 15-20 minutes. Both these treatments are best when done in the morning or evening.
It is essential to repeat the application of tea tree oil to nails at least twice a day. Repeat the filing procedure once or twice a week for the best results.
Sometimes even following the steps mentioned above on a routine basis will not guarantee the complete removal of infections.
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 won’t allow moisture to build up 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 gyms, 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 sweaty environment for your nails. It is always better to opt for open-toed shoes.
Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil
Due to its numerous medicinal values, tea tree oil has found itself an active ingredient in many cosmetic products ranging from soaps, and lotions to skin or foot care products. But still, it is essential to be aware of the possible risks that come along with the over usage of tea tree oil.
One of the most common side effects that are associated with tea tree oil is skin irritation. It may lead to redness, itchiness, or inflammation in some extreme cases. So it is always better to test the oil before applying. Some people are allergic to the components present in tea tree oil. Hence their body will react. For pregnant ladies, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before using any oils.
As a matter of advice, we would like to make this clear that no matter how powerful an oil might seem to be, before applying them, always make sure you perform an allergy test with that oil. Nail fungal infection is a severe problem that needs to be dealt with care and patience.
Meanwhile, we would love to hear your experiences, if you had ever used tea tree oil for fungal infections. Or if you have any other possible remedial treatment method for fungal infections, please feel free to share it with us.