Does tea tree oil really work against fungal nails? Research shows that it certainly can. Provided you use it correctly. But what exactly is a fungal nail? And a fungal nail? How do both arise? Why is nail fungus difficult to treat? Is Tea Tree oil effective enough for nail fungus and how do you use it? Can you prevent nail fungus? Read this blog and you will win every fungal nail quiz ;-).
How does nail fungus occur?
A fungal nail can be caused by different types of fungi. Contamination often occurs in humid areas such as swimming pools, saunas or changing rooms of sports facilities. If your nail is damaged, you are more likely to get a fungal nail, because the skin there lacks the protection of the nail and is moist faster.
No less than 25% of people in the Netherlands suffer from a fungal nail. Basically, a fungal nail is harmless, but does not look very nice. And is contagious. If your fungal nail starts to inflame
Fungal nail versus fungal nail
A fungal nail does not always have to be a fungal nail. For example, due to pressure (from shoes), a nail can harden and thicken - a fungal nail - without there being a fungus.
With a fungal nail, the fungal infection causes your nail to harden and become thick, as with a fungal nail. Your nail thickens, crumbles and discolors.
Why difficult to treat?
Chronic fungal nails are difficult to treat because the fungus has 'nestled' in the hard nail. This thickened nail plate (the part called 'nail') holds back a treatment oil like tea tree.
It is therefore important to have your fungal nail ground down every four to six weeks by the pedicurist or to keep it thin yourself with a file or pumice stone, so that tea tree oil can penetrate the hard part of your nail.
It takes about a year for a toenail to be completely replaced. To have an effect, three to six months of daily use of tea tree oil is usually necessary.
Tea tree oil effective against a fungal nail?
Clinical research has shown that a treatment with tea tree oil for six months was successful in 27% of people treated and an improvement in nail fungus occurred in an additional 65% (1)
Treatment with Tea Tree - how do you do it?
- Apply immediately. Drop 1 to 2 drops of pure tea tree on the nail + cuticle at least twice a day and rub it in (possibly with a cotton swab - to prevent the spread of the infection. Otherwise, wash your hands well after applying)
- Foot bath. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil (or Chi Hydrophilic oil ) + 5 drops of pure tea tree oil to a warm water bath. Stir well to spread the oil and soak your feet in it for 20 minutes. You can do this foot bath in addition to daily direct application of tea tree oil.
- Tip: you can also alternate your tea tree foot bath with a vinegar foot bath. The acidity of vinegar is deadly to mold. This usually only works with a starting fungal nail. To do this, mix a quarter liter of warm water with a quarter liter of vinegar. Touching the fungal nail can also be done with pure apple cider vinegar. Tea tree oil, however, has a stronger effect.
- Tip: Cut your nail as short as possible before a foot bath. The fungus is under the nail plate. This makes vinegar or tea tree easier to reach. Disinfect your nail clippers well after use. A fungal nail is very contagious.
- Pure tea tree can dry out your skin if you apply it to the same spot for a long time. In that case, dilute the tea tree oil with a fatty plant oil such as coconut (also has an anti-inflammatory effect), jojoba (skin's own consistency) or almond oil.
- The ingredients in tea tree oil are quite unstable. That is, if they come into contact with oxygen and light, they can change. That change can cause an allergic reaction. It is therefore important to store tea tree oil in a cool place, to buy it in a dark glass bottle and to pay attention to the expiration date.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil comes from the Melaleuca Alternifolia . A small tree or shrub. Tea tree oil is extracted from the needles of this tree. An oil with antibacterial, fungicidal and parasite-killing properties.
Prevention is better than cure
Of course you prefer not to have fungal nails at all. Especially since getting rid of it takes a long time. What can you do to prevent them?
- Do not walk barefoot in damp areas such as a swimming pool or sauna.
- Take a preventive tea tree or vinegar foot bath after swimming pool or sauna visit.
- Avoid using soap with a PH value from 9-10 (alkaline soap). This affects the natural protective layer of the skin, making it thinner and making it easier for fungi and bacteria to penetrate your skin. Soap from Werfzeep is safe to use. These are slightly alkaline and contain natural residual oils and glycerin from the ingredients used, which care for your skin.
- Always keep your nail clippers and file clean.
- Always keep your feet dry. Consider using Dr Hauschka's deodorizing foot cream or body powder if you quickly suffer from sweaty feet.
- Wear cotton socks. Synthetic socks make your feet sweat quickly.
- Do not wear closed shoes that make your feet sweat easily.
- Avoid tight shoes. And change your shoes regularly.
- Walk barefoot regularly to 'air' them.
- Be careful with artificial nails. No oxygen gets under these nails, so you trap any fungus that may be present. Then it can go on its way.
- Make sure your immune system is up to par. So that molds have less chance to develop.
- Be moderate with sugars. One of the common athlete's foot is the candida fungus. Candida yeast lives in everyone's gut and skin. And can turn yeast into a fungus. This conversion takes place with, for example, excessive use of yeast or sugars, certain medications such as antibiotics and a reduced resistance.
- Do you suffer from Candida (quickly)? Taking probiotics to strengthen your intestinal flora can't hurt!
- Use fish oil to strengthen your skin's protective layer. So that unwanted intruders stay outside.
Tea tree oil in our range
- We have a tea tree oil from Dr Baumann ** in our range. This has already been diluted, so that the oil can be used directly on the skin.
- If you want a 100% pure unadulterated tea tree oil, order at chi.nl
- Dr Baumann's Foot Cream Tea Tree Oil ** is perfect as a preventive cream against fungal nails and helps to reduce fungal nails.
**Note: Dr Baumann may only be sold after a login, after advice from us or if you are already a user. Mail to email@example.com or call 06 26 012 815 for more information.
Sources: Pharma current issue September 09; people-and-health-info-now; lime nail treatment.nl; mycosan.com; pazzox.nl