Fungal nail infections are highly contagious and need to be treated promptly. Many people are turning to natural treatments, but what are the best essential oils for getting rid of toenail fungus?
Using essential oils for healthy toenails is nothing new. Some oils have been used for centuries to clear up health conditions, including hair and skin problems. More recently, people also want to know how to get rid of toenail fungus fast using the healing powers of essential oils.
Using the best essential oils for toenail fungus is vital. It’s also vital to understand how individual oils work and why they’re so effective in the battle against nail fungus. The more you know, the better you can put them to work to eliminate fungal spores quickly and take care of your toenail health.
Table of Contents:
- 1 What Essential Oils Work for Toenail Fungus?
- 2 Are Essential Oils Safe for Treating Toenail Fungus?
- 3 How to Use Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
- 4 Do Essential Oils Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Quickly?
What Essential Oils Work for Toenail Fungus?
This guide will focus on the best essential oils for severe toenail fungus. Each of these oils has specific healing properties that can help to kill a fungal infection and remove its symptoms. We’ll explain how and why each works. Then, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide.
The top essential oils for healthier toenails can be used even after your infection has cleared up. When you use essential oils the right way on your toes, they can help to give you healthy feet and nails for a lifetime. So, which ones will help with removing toenail fungus at home?
1) Australian Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is the most popular essential oil to use for treating toenail fungus. It has antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It’s been used for years as a treatment solution for many types of skin conditions, infections and more. Many over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments contain it as an active ingredient because it works so well.
Using Apothecary tea tree oil on its own, though, is just as effective and you don’t have to worry about any unpleasant side effects from other ingredients.
It will penetrate through the nail and surrounding skin and stop the fungal infection from spreading. Its antifungal properties will help to kill it quickly, so it doesn’t go to other nails or other areas of the body.
Tea tree oil is potent and powerful. You can apply a drop to your skin to ‘test’ it if you’d like. Some people don’t experience any side effects when using this oil.
But people with sensitive skin may experience irritation and itching. For most, it’s a good idea to mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil. This will dilute it slightly but won’t cause the oil to lose its potency.
After mixing the tea tree oil, follow these steps to use it correctly:
- Apply it directly to the affected nail(s).
- Gently scrub with a nail brush or clean toothbrush. This will help the oil to penetrate the nail and get underneath it where the fungus is growing.
- Allow it dry in before you put on your socks or shoes.
- Repeat up to two times each day for best results.
If you use a nail brush of any kind, make sure this is the only use for it, and be sure to wash it after every use to help prevent the spread of a fungal infection.
There are also ready-made treatments that you can use, such as the Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System. This is a 3-part plan for safely removing fungus from your nails.
2) Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil for toenail fungus is a popular solution. It helps to rid your nails of the fungus while protecting the nail and the surrounding area. It also helps to prevent a fungal infection from spreading and returning with regular use.
Lemongrass oil works in two different ways. First, it contains antifungal properties that will kill the fungus where it starts. When applied directly to the nail or underneath it, those antifungal properties will not only kill off a fungus but prevent it from growing.
It also uses its natural moisture to repel away unwanted moisture under the nail. Toenail fungus thrives in warm, dark, moist environments. Lemongrass oil works to wick away unwanted moisture that can make it easy for a fungus to grow.
It will keep your nails moisturized more healthily while protecting them. This oil will protect the healthy part of your nail that will continue to grow out as the unhealthy infected part grows out.
Many people choose to use it because it’s safe, has a pleasant smell, and it’s inexpensive.
If you want to use lemongrass oil for toenail fungus, follow these steps:
- Because of lemongrass oil’s potency, it’s important to dilute it with a carrier oil. To do this, add six drops of lemongrass oil into one ounce of a carrier oil, such as olive oil. Stir or shake to combine.
- Massage the oil mixture directly onto your affected nails. Make sure to get underneath the nail where the fungus is growing. Do this twice daily.
- Wash your hands following the application of the treatment.
- You should notice signs of your fungus clearing up in just a few weeks. In some cases, the fungus may turn dark brown or black before it goes away completely. This is due to the infection dying.
3) Lemon Oil
Not to be confused with lemongrass oil, lemon essential oil for toenail fungus is another popular treatment solution that works well. Citrus oils, in general, have potent antifungal properties. Lemon oil contains antiseptic properties as well and has been known to penetrate through the skin and nails better than other types of citrus.
There are other benefits as well. First, it’s slightly thicker than many different types of oils. This allows it more time to penetrate the nail and underneath it so it can cling to the fungus and kill it.
It will soak into the nail bed for an extended period of time to get to the root of the fungus. Because lemon is a natural nail whitener, it can also help to clear up some of the unsightly side effects that go along with a fungal infection.
This essential oil is easy to use because, in most cases, you can apply it directly to your nails without diluting it. Massage it into your toes and nails or use a Q-Tip to get underneath the nail. If you have sensitive skin, though, you may want to dilute it in a carrier oil. In a few weeks, you should notice any discoloration and other negative symptoms start to disappear.
4) Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil (Mentha Piperita) is among the best essential oils for soothing skin conditions. It can provide cooling relief if you have an infection that has become inflamed or one that has started to cause pain. It has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Peppermint oil also helps to strengthen your immune system. Being able to fight a fungal infection from the inside out can be extremely helpful. As you now know, a fungus can spread quickly. Getting a boost to your immune system can make it difficult to spread to other areas of your body.
If you have a severe toenail fungus, this is one of the best oils to choose. It will help to reduce swelling and get rid of the pain you might be experiencing thanks to the high menthol amounts.
The best part about using peppermint oil for toenail fungus is that you don’t need to dilute it at all. You can apply 3-4 drops of Peppermint oil directly onto the affected nails. As soon as it starts to soak in, you should feel its cooling and soothing effects. Apply daily as needed until the infection begins to clear up.
5) Lavender Oil
Lavender oil for toenail fungus is quickly becoming one of the most popular natural solutions, next to tea tree oil. This is because it’s considered one of the safest to use, even undiluted.
It’s also easy to find, smells great, and has relaxing properties. If your nail fungus has started to cause pain or irritation, finding a solution that can also help you relax and feel better, in general, can be a big help.
Lavender oil has antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to boost your circulation. That, in turn, helps to improve your immune system so you can feel better faster. A strong immune system will make it harder for the fungus to spread and will work on killing it quickly.
You can apply it directly to the affected nails. Using a nail brush to scrub it onto and underneath the nails can allow it to work even faster. You don’t have to rinse it away. Let the oil dry and be on your way. You can apply it two times a day for best results.
Some people have gotten even better results by mixing together tea tree oil and lavender oil. It’s a great essential oil mix for toenail fungus that combines two of the best natural treatment solutions.
You can also create a lavender oil foot soak to give yourself a spa-like experience while treating your toenail fungus.
To create an effective foot soak, follow these steps:
- Fill a basin or foot soaking machine with warm water.
- Add up to five drops of lavender oil and five drops of tea tree oil.
- Soak your feet for 20 minutes.
- When finished, make sure to dry off your feet thoroughly to prevent moisture from getting trapped under the nail.
- Repeat daily.
6) Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has been used to eliminate infections for a long time due to its antiviral properties. It is often taken internally to fight infections from the inside out. More recently, it has increased in popularity due to its antifungal qualities, too. For a fungal infection, you can use it topically to find the most success.
Oregano oil has active ingredients that work on several fungal strains. That makes it great for even the most severe fungal infections.
To use oregano oil for toenail fungus, you should apply three or four drops directly to the affected nails each day and either massage it in, or scrub with a nail brush. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to dilute it with coconut oil, so you don’t experience any irritation.
7) Thyme Oil
Thyme oil removes toenail fungus due to an ingredient called Thymol. It’s an antioxidant with antifungal effects. Not only will it stop toenail fungus in its tracks and keep it from spreading, but it will also encourage new cell growth. As healthy cells continue to grow, the fungus will become weaker and weaker, until it eventually dies out.
Thyme oil should be diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil (which also has antifungal properties). Then massage it into your nails up to twice daily for best results.
8) Clove Oil
Clove oil combats toenail fungus in several different ways. First, it has elevated levels of eugenol. Eugenol is an incredibly strong antifungal ingredient. But, it’s also entirely natural. So, it works within clove oil to stop fungal infections in their tracks.
Clove oil also helps to boost your immune system and promotes the growth of new, healthy nails. So, not only are you stopping the fungus, but you have a better chance of healing and recovering faster thanks to clove oil’s immune-boosting properties.
Clove oil is another essential oil that should be diluted. Add a few drops to a carrier oil and gently massage around the affected nails each day. Wash your hands after rubbing this treatment onto fungal-infected nails.
9) Argan Oil
You may have heard about the significant benefits of argan oil for your hair. But, it has properties that work to fight toenail fungus just as well!
Argan oil works so well because it contains high amounts of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. These components help to treat your nail and the surrounding skin. It nourishes your entire body to help it fight off infections like toenail fungus.
The best way to use argan oil is to apply it directly to the affected nails. You can rub it in with your hands or use a nail brush to get underneath the nail. It’s important to keep in mind that argan oil isn’t an antifungal agent like many of the other oils listed here.
But, it will help your skin and nails to become stronger and fight against the fungus. With so many benefits for skin, nails, hair and more, a little bit of argan oil goes a long way in bettering your general health and wellbeing.
10) Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon may be a favorite spice, but cinnamon oil is also a popular remedy for toenail fungus. This is due to its antifungal properties. Cinnamon oil also has immune-boosting properties that can help to fight off existing infections and prevent future ones from occurring.
You can use cinnamon oil in a variety of different ways. But, if you use it topically on your toes, it should be diluted with a carrier oil. Once It’s mixed with a carrier like jojoba oil, you can use an eye dropper to apply it directly underneath the nails to get straight to the infection.
You can also add a few drops of cinnamon oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray the solution directly onto your affected nails twice a day and let dry. This makes for a quick and easy method for clearing up your fungal infection.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Treating Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus is a common problem. Because it’s so common and contagious, there are many different treatments available. Options range from over-the-counter products to DIY remedies. Essential oils tend to fall somewhere in between. You can use them at home, but they need to be bought.
The primary benefit of using essential oils to treat toenail fungus is that they are all natural. For most people, that means there is little risk of experiencing any adverse side effects. But, it’s still important to use them the right way.
Essential oils are highly concentrated. For some people, they can cause irritation or inflammation. You can always do a small skin test on yourself with any of the oils listed here. If you experience any irritation, rinse off the oil and avoid using it or dilute it with a carrier oil. Allergic reactions can also occur if you use too much of a certain kind of oil.
In most cases, these oils are completely safe, and you won’t experience an adverse reaction. But, they should be applied with caution and applied correctly. When they are used the right way, they are an excellent alternative to chemical-laden toenail anti-fungal remedies.
How to Use Essential Oils for Toenail Fungus
The best way to use each of these essential oils is to follow the instructions (above). But, there are some extra tips to keep in mind to help you get the best possible outcome.
Use these tips to help your fungus heal faster and make your symptoms fade away quickly:
- Instead of dropping oil onto your nails using the bottle itself (which can get messy), use a designated dropper. That way, you won’t have to touch the oil at all. Keep the dropper sterile by not letting it touch your nail or surrounding skin. If so, make sure that you clean it thoroughly before using it again or putting it back into the essential oil.
- Give the oil time to soak into your nails and skin. There is never any need to wash or rinse away the oil once it’s applied. If you get sweaty feet, you may want to give the oil an hour or so to thoroughly soak in before putting on shoes or socks. If you sweat too much, it can get ‘washed away,’ or diluted.
- Always be sure you’re using 100% pure, natural oil. You can buy essential oil blends or other products that contain some of the oils. But, they may not be as effective or could cause harmful side effects.
- Most essential oils can be mixed with a carrier oil safely. If you’re at all worried that your skin might have an adverse reaction to an oil, there is no harm in diluting it olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil. Both of these assist with your fight against discolored toenails due to fungus.
How Do I Prepare My Toenails for Treatment?
You don’t need to do much to your nails for it to work. They are strong enough to penetrate through your affected nails and skin to get directly to the fungal infection. But, some things will help the process along.
The better you ‘prepare’ your nails before applying these oils, the faster they can work:
- Care your feet and toenails properly. You should develop a standard foot care routine to put in place every day. This should include washing your feet and toes thoroughly and making sure they are completely dry.
- Clip your nails straight across and make sure they’re short. If your nails have become hard and thick due to a fungus, you may need to get heavy-duty toenail clippers to cut them the right way. Keeping your toenails short will make it harder for a fungus to continue growing. It will expose the fungus to the air instead of more trapped moisture. It will also allow the essential oils to better penetrate under the nail and get directly to the infection.
- Again, toenail fungus thrives in dark, moist environments. Keep your feet dry by alternating shoes you wear each day and changing your socks frequently. There are also highly absorbent socks for sweaty feet.
- Try to avoid spreading your fungal infection to other toes. Toenail fungus is extremely contagious. Keeping your feet clean is critical. You should also never share socks, shoes, or pedicure tools with another person as they could catch the fungus or give one to you.
Are Foot Soaks with Essential Oils Effective?
Some people might be uncomfortable or nervous using essential oils directly on their toes. If you’ve never used them before and you aren’t sure how your skin will react, you might be worried to put something new directly on your skin or under your toe.
If you have a severe fungal infection, applying the essential oil directly to the nail or mixing it with a carrier oil is recommended. But, some alternatives can work just as well. One of the best options is to use a relaxing foot soak with a few drops of essential oils.
Some foot soaks are premade, like the Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System. This is a foot-soaking system that contains all-natural ingredients and focuses on tea tree oil to get rid of toenail fungus fast.
But, you can also create a foot soak at home. All it takes is a basin or foot bath filled with warm water. You can add any of the essential oils listed above. Because the oil has a chance to spread throughout the water, it can get all over your feet and underneath your toenails easily.
That way, you don’t have to worry about touching the infection or using a brush. Let your feet soak for 15-20 minutes in the solution, then dry them off completely.
Can I Mix Essential Oils Together?
Some essential oils work well together. We already stated above that it’s a common practice to mix lavender and tea tree oil. But, it’s important to know how the oils will work together.
More often than not, if you’re trying to treat a specific condition, you should stick with one or two oils. Products that market themselves as oil blends may not work as well. If you mix several different oils on your own, you may experience adverse effects, too.
Before you start mixing more than two oils, learn about how they might react with one another, and how they might affect your skin. It’s likely you’ll get better results by using just one type of oil at a time.
Do Essential Oils Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Quickly?
Some people are hesitant to use natural treatments. Even though they are safe, there is a misconception that they won’t work as quickly as some over-the-counter options. That isn’t necessarily true. Essential oils that have antifungal properties can work just as well as manufactured treatments.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re using essential oils as a toenail fungus treatment is that it may take some time to work. Your fungus didn’t become severe overnight.
So, you shouldn’t expect a remedy to work overnight, either. The longer you’ve let your toenail fungus grow and spread, the longer it will likely take for it to clear up completely.
You have to use it consistently, every day. Don’t stop using it just because your symptoms start to clear up. A fungus is relentless and will come back quickly if it isn’t wiped out entirely. So, even if you begin to see your symptoms go away, keep using an oil treatment for several weeks to ensure the infection is gone.
On average, mild toenail fungus infections will go away in a matter of weeks. If it’s a severe infection, it could take months before your nails are clear. Pay attention to your feet. When you see initial symptoms of a fungus, like a white or yellow dot on the nail, start treatment right away. You don’t have to wait for the fungus to become unsightly or painful to begin treating it.
What’s the Best Natural Way to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus?
No one wants to live with thick, hard, and discolored nails. Unfortunately, these are the typical symptoms of an ugly toenail fungus. They won’t go away on their own and will get worse the longer you go without treatment.
You don’t need to spend much money or worry about using chemicals on your toenails to get rid of the problem. As you can see, many types of essential oils can help clear up your fungus.
There’s a reason essential oils have stood the test of time. They continue to be used for a variety of health problems and skin conditions. New benefits seem to be discovered all the time when it comes to natural oils.
While over-the-counter products and prescription medications can be excellent, they aren’t for everyone. More people are utilizing natural treatments, such as the Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System, than ever before.
When you use essential oils, you don’t have to worry so much about side effects or what they might be doing to your skin. It’s a great natural way to clear up a fungal infection that you can feel good about using every day.