What exactly is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a common disease caused by an infection in and around the toenail. The most common toenail fungus is called “onychomycosis”. The presence of toenail fungus is usually known due to the symptoms since they are quite noticeable if the fungus has not yet been treated.
This affliction causes the appearance of discoloration, yellowing, white spots, hardening of the nails, nails becoming brittle, cracked nails, or dark greenish color under the nails. The change in color, texture, and overall health of the nail changes over time and appears different than normal.
Toenail fungus can be very burdensome. It spreads easily, can sometimes be painful, and can get in the way of your day to day activities. Having toenail fungus can prevent you from wearing your favorite shoes, being able to use jacuzzis or pools, and being able to try on shoes in a shoe store while shopping. These are just a few of the ways that having toenail fungus can become a nuisance in your life.
The toenail fungus might not appear visible at first, but you will eventually start to see signs that it may be present. Another potential symptom of toenail fungus is foul odor. The fungus feeds on the bacteria and the nail keratin. The nail becomes deficient and loses strength after some time which is what causes the visible deformity.
The reason why should treat toenail fungus as soon as you realize you have it, is to prevent it from spreading to others you share a space with, and to also prevent it from becoming a chronic issue. It is commonly known that those who suffer from toenail fungus are prone to recurring infection. But with the proper measures in place, this won’t be a problem.
Places where you could contract toenail fungus include but are not limited to: nail salons, spa, stores, gyms, home showers, and more.
Things that can cause toenail fungus include: sweaty socks, closed shoes, wearing shoes for long hours without airing the feet, public showers that have been exposed to untreated toenail fungus (ex. at the gym), and the outdoors.
Table of Contents What exactly is toenail fungus?What are essential oils?Benefit of treating toenail fungus with essential oilsSpecific essential oils for treating toenail fungusTea Tree Essential OilClove Essential OilThyme Essential OilCinnamon Essential OilOregano Essential OilLemon Essential OilHonorable MentionsHow to choose an essential oilBasic steps for applying the essential oilEssential oils for toenail fungus chartFoot baths8 Best Essential Oils for Chapped Lips6 Amazing Essential Oils for Lichen Sclerosus and How to Use Them8 Best Essential Oils for Bed Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them10 Amazing Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil and How to Use It
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated oils derived from plants by extraction or dilution of the volatile molecules found in the source of the plants. Essential oils can be found and collected from the bark, roots, stem, seeds, leaves, flowers, peel and certain fruit. When you hear the words essential oils you may think of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is commonly associated with essential oils because it is the most commonly known field of practice today incorporating essential oils as the main tool for healing and enhancing well-being.
There are many reasons why one would want to consider using essential oils to remedy toenail fungus instead of traditional treatments. Modern over-the-counter products can be highly effective and beneficial, however, the number of unknown chemicals involved can be off-putting to those seeking a more natural path.
Essential oils, like everything else in nature are made up of chemicals, but if we compare them to the ones found in modern toenail fungus treatments, essential oils pose less risk. Essential oils are generally recognized as safe with a few precautions that must be followed:
- Always dilute.
- Do not consume.
- In the event of an accidental spill of pure essential oil directly onto skin, apply a carrier oil to dilute and then rinse the affected area for 15-20 minutes
You do not need a physician’s guidance to employ essential oils, nor do you need to visit a pharmacy. Purchasing essential oils for treating toenail fungus is as simple as a trip to your local Whole Foods or grocery store. They are often found in the natural cosmetics aisles of health food stores and can be purchased online.
When using essential oils on infants, small children, elderly or pregnant women it is important to research the safety of each oil and follow the recommended dilution percentage suggested by a professional aromatherapist.
If you look at the products around you, you will find essential oils in soaps, lotions, creams, perfumes, balms, salves, cosmetics, natural fragrances, detergents and more. Alternative medicine practitioners frequently use and recommend essential oil to their clients for a variety of different things.
Essential oils are safe (when properly diluted) for use on the skin, therefore, you should have no worries about using them on toenails to treat or prevent any fungus from growing. Be sure to check the botanical name of any essential oils before purchasing as this will tell you where it is from and ensure that you are buying the accurate species for the chemical composition that will meet your needs.
Some of the essential oils that are useful for treating toenail fungus are tea tree oil, thyme oil, cinnamon oil, and eucalyptus oil. Tea tree oil is revered for its antibacterial properties which can act as a natural fungicide.
Benefit of treating toenail fungus with essential oils
Treating toenail fungus with essential oils is an easy way to avoid a trip to the dermatologists office. Many people suffer from toenail fungus. The root cause of the fungus can depend on many factors. Bacteria that have become trapped in or around the nail can grow to become fungal.
Heat, darkness, and moisture are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria, yeast, mold, and fungus. Before applying essential oils to treat toenail fungus, be sure to keep the affected area as dry as possible for best results.
Don’t forget to consult your physician for any personal contraindications or see a qualified certified aromatherapist. Remember to clean the affected area. Make sure to apply the oil on all of your toes to help prevent transmission from the original infection site to other toes and parts of the body.
Specific essential oils for treating toenail fungus
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Although the name may suggest otherwise, tea tree oil does not come from tea leaves. Tea tree is an oil which has its origin in Australia. It is a known natural antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antiviral oil.
This oil is so revered for its many cleansing and bacteria-fighting properties that it’s no surprise you find it in natural sanitizers and cleansers. Tea tree oil has been scientifically tested and proven useful against e. Coli, Candida, and many more.
Tea Tree essential oil is extremely effective for fighting bacteria-related dermatologic disorders and is excellent for combating toenail fungus. Tea tree oil is often used for treating a multitude of skin issues so if you use it in a blend to treat toenail fungus, you will also reap the benefits it brings to the surrounding skin. If the oil is used on unaffected toes, it will also help prevent spread of the infection to those areas.
You can use the tea tree essential oil “neat” (that means undiluted) on the area up to three times a day for up to a month. We recommend to continue for only a short amount of time after you see results just to avoid causing dryness, irritation, or sensitization to your skin. Tea tree oil also blends well with the other essential oils for the purpose of treating toenail fungus.
Clove Essential Oil
Clove essential oil is found in clove trees. It contains eugenol as the main component, which is really good for numbing pain. If you have ever had a really painful wisdom tooth, you may have chewed on a clove to help numb the pain. Besides being analgesic, clove essential oil is actually antiseptic.
This makes it another excellent essential oil for toenail fungus because it is great at killing yeast and mold. Clove essential oil is primarily found in South America and Southeast Asia. Clove essential oil will combat the yeast in your toenail infection and fight the bacteria. This will allow your toenail to heal and for the fungus to gradually disappear altogether.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil is extracted from the leaf and has many healing properties. I am sure you have cooked using thyme or tasted soups and stews which contain this aromatic herb. Thyme essential oil is another one to add to your list of must-haves for healing toenail fungus.
Thyme essential oil is very good at helping the body get rid of toxins, in general. Since fungus is unwanted and could be considered a “toxin”, this increases the benefit of the oil. It is also antiseptic which means it has the capability to assist the body in fighting infections.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
One thing that can happen when the body is exposed to many antibiotics and antifungals is that over time they become less effective against the infection. Cinnamon essential oil is known for being able to fight against stubborn harmful bacteria, fungus, as well as Candida.
Cinnamon essential oil comes from cinnamon trees. Cinnamon oil is great for evacuating any sort of parasites. Not only does cinnamon oil smell great, it is the sidekick to tea tree oil and a very powerful oil.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil is another oil that is beneficial for fighting toenail fungus because it is antibacterial. If you like Italian cuisine, then you have surely encountered oregano. You can purchase the essential oil directly or infuse the actual herb in an oil of your choice to make a potent solution. Oregano-infused oil would serve as a great base for adding essential oils as well. Be sure to test on skin for any possible reactions beforehand.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon may not be the first thing that comes to mind for the treatment of toenail fungus, however, lemon essential oil is antiseptic and is also a natural antifungal.
A few other oils that aren’t highlighted but should be considered:
● Palmarosa essential oil – (Botanical name: Cymbopogon martinii)
● Clary sage essential oil – (Botanical name: Salvia sclarea)
● Jasmine essential oil – (Botanical name: Jasminum grandiflorum)
● Ylang ylang essential oil – (Botanical name: Cananga odorata var genuina)
● Eucalyptus essential oil – (Botanical name: Eucalyptus globulus)
● Lemongrass essential oil – (Botanical name: Cymbopogon citratus / Cymbopogon flexuosus)
● Thieves essential oil blend – Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus & Rosemary
● Lavender essential oil – (Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia / Lavandula officinalis)
● Rose geranium – (Botanical name: Pelargonium roseum)
How to choose an essential oil
If you have never chosen an essential oil to treat toenail fungus before, the process of deciding which to purchase can be a bit intimidating at first. That is why we have written this guide to help you make an informed decision about which oils to include in your blend.
If you were to only purchase three oils, we would recommend: tea tree, cinnamon, and oregano or any oil from the mint family. If you are really anxious about using an essential oil to treat toenail fungus for the first time then feel free to start using only tea tree oil on its own until you’re ready to incorporate other oils.
Basic steps for applying the essential oil
To apply your essential oil blend specifically for toenail fungus, use a cotton ball or Q-tip to apply the oil to the affected area. Alternatively you could use an empty new nail polish dispenser.
After applying the essential oil make sure to wear sandals instead of boots or closed shoes to allow your toes to breathe and to help combat the toenail fungus.
Be sure to keep your homemade essential oil blend inside a glass amber or blue bottle for shelf stability and to help prevent oxidation. You can also store your toenail fungus essential oil blend in the fridge to help prolong the lifespan of your homemade product.
Essential oils for toenail fungus chart
Here is a simple reference guide showing you the properties of each of the essential oils we have listed so far. We are mainly focusing on the benefits of each essential oil as it pertains to helping you get rid of toenail fungus.
This is so that you do not feel overwhelmed when examining the properties of each oil. Every essential oil has a great many positive attributes, so whichever you choose will certainly produce more than one healing effect.
TEA TREE ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antibacterial ■ Antifungal ■ Disinfectant ■ Helps fight Athlete’s Foot
OREGANO ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antibacterial ■ Anti-inflammatory ■ Pain Reliever ■ Cleanser ■ Sedative ■ Anti-fungal
■ Anti-parasitic ■ Helps treat ring worm and Athlete’s Foot ■ Antiparasitic
CINNAMON ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antifungal ■ Antibacterial ■ Helps fight against and prevent yeast infections
■ Good for treating skin infections ■ Anti-inflammatory Pain reliever ■ Helps purify the
THYME ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antimicrobial ■ Antiseptic ■ Helps disinfect wounds
CLOVE ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antiparasitic ■ Antifungal ■ Kills yeast ■ Fights germs and viruses ■ Fights skin conditions
■ Good for treating Athlete’s Foot ■ Heals wounds ■ Purifies blood
CLARY SAGE ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antiseptic ■ Fights bacteria ■ Anti-inflammatory
GINGER ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Anti-inflammatory ■ Antiseptic
EUCALYPTUS ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Pain relieving ■ Antiseptic ■ Cleansing ■ Prevents the growth of mold and bacteria
■ Helps protect wounds from infection and speed up healing time
LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Good for treating Athlete’s Foot
LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Helps to improve blood circulation ■ soothes the skin from pain or discomfort
■ Helps prevent scars ■ Antimicrobial ■ Helps heal wounds ■ Contains some antibacterial
CINNAMON ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antifungal ■ Good for circulation ■ Stress-relieving
ROSE GERANIUM ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Helps hydrate the skin ■ Helps with skin healing ■ Anti-inflammatory ■ antibacterial
■ Makes the skin appear more youthful ■ Astringent
JASMINE ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Antiseptic ■ Antispasmodic ■ Prevents infections ■ relaxes skin ■ Antiviral
YLANG YLANG ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Helps to prevent septic infections ■ Clears the skin ■ Kills bacteria and fungi
LEMONGRASS ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Helps with pain ■ Kills bacteria ■ Reduces inflammation ■ Promotes healthy skin
PALMAROSA ESSENTIAL OIL
■ Helps fight fungus and infections ■ Relaxing ■ Antiviral ■ Heals cracked skin and other
ailments caused by Athlete’s Foot ■ Antibacterial Helps the skin retain moisture
To help you prevent toenail fungus from occurring again in the future, we also suggest you treat yourself to the occasional foot bath now and then. Here are some ideas of how you could incorporate essential oils into a soothing foot bath to prevent and resist incoming toenail fungus growth:
■ Add 4 Tbsp Baking Soda to at least 4 cups of distilled warm water and add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. (For your safety, please dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil before adding in your bath, or restrict usage to a single drop.)
■ Add sea salt to at least 4 cups of warm water and incorporate your essential oils for toenail fungus removal. Do this as often as needed, but keep in mind that salt tends to dry out the skin. Be sure to moisturize thoroughly after doing a foot soak, and follow the appropriate essential oil safety guidelines for any oils used.
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