Does Thyme Oil for Toenail Fungus Really Work?

Toenail fungus can be uncomfortable and embarrassing – and it’ll only get better with consistent treatment. If your toenails are brittle and yellow, with an odd smell and often an itching or burning sensation, it sounds like you might be suffering from a fungal nail infection.

The good news is that toenail fungus is simple to get rid of – as long as you ensure you treat it regularly with the right products. From over-the-counter treatments and prescription medications from your doctor to alternative and natural remedies you may have around the house, there are plenty of ways you can treat toenail fungus.

One of the ways you can treat a toenail fungus infection and restore your nail to a healthy state is by using thyme oil. This natural solution can be used alongside other alternative remedies, and many people swear by it as a simple solution in the fight against fungus. But is it effective?

In this article, we’ll be looking at what thyme oil is, how it can get rid of toenail fungus, and whether it’s as effective as people claim it is. Read on to discover whether you should be adding this ingredient to your treatment regime.

What Is Thyme Oil?

You’ve probably heard of thyme before in the culinary sense. It’s a popular herb used in many dishes, especially with chicken. You can find thyme plants in many kitchens, and lots of people buy the herb already ground up for convenience.

Aside from cooking, thyme has been used for centuries in aromatherapy and healing. It’s a well-known antiseptic and was used in ancient medicine in countries like Spain and Morocco.

Thyme oil is an essential oil made from the leaves and flowers of the thyme plant. There are many potential benefits to using this oil – it can reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system and even fight acne, thanks to its antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s these powerful properties that make it a popular treatment for fungal infections.

It’s important to use a quality thyme oil, to get the best results. Some lower-quality oils will have a lower thyme content, which can mean they’re less effective.

How Do You Use Thyme Oil to Treat Toenail Fungus?

Using thyme oil to treat toenail fungus is very simple. Just follow these very easy steps:

  • Clean your feet and make sure they’re dry before you start administering the oil.
  • Dip a Q-tip into the oil, or pour two or three drops onto a cotton pad. Apply directly to the toenail and the surrounding area.
  • You can combine thyme oil with other essential oils and natural substances, including coconut oil and tea tree oil, for more effective results.

Many Popular Treatments Also Contain Thyme Oil

In researching how to get rid of toenail fungus, you may have seen people recommending certain household products as a treatment option. Listerine is often used to kill toenail fungus – and it’s partly because thyme oil is one of the ingredients. Many people soak their toenail in Listerine a few times per week to get rid of the fungus and ensure a healthy new nail grows on.

Vicks Vapo Rub is used to clear blocked noses and help those who are suffering from colds. It also contains thyme oil. Lots of people choose to rub Vicks Vapo Rub into the affected area twice a day to get rid of their toenail fungus. Many have reported succeed within a few months, and within a year, the fungus can be gone entirely.

Does Thyme Oil Work As a Fungal Nail Treatment?

Thyme oil has been the subject of some studies to establish whether it’s effective in treating nail fungus and other fungus-related conditions. One study in 2003 examined the effects of a chest rub containing thyme oil, not unlike Vicks Vapo Rub. The study found that thyme oil was one of the most effective ingredients in restricting the growth of dermatophytes, which are a primary cause of fungus.

A further study in 2007 found that thyme oil is effective at destroying candida fungus because it disturbs the fungus’ metabolism. Another study a year later in 2008 discovered that a 1% solution of thyme essential oil cured animals that were deliberately infected with a range of dermatophytes.

Lastly, a study carried out in 2012 found that 3% thyme essential oil was effective in healing two-thirds of participants that experienced skin lesions because of eczema. Eczema has been linked with Candida albicans, a type of fungus.

Are There Any Risks to Using Thyme Oil?

For the vast majority of people, using thyme oil to fight fungus will be safe. Thyme is a common ingredient in many meals, and most people can consume it and apply it topically without worrying about any adverse reactions.

However, a small number of people are allergic to thyme. When it’s applied to the skin, this can cause itching, redness and a rash. If you think you may be having an allergic reaction to thyme oil, cease using it immediately and consider another treatment option for your fungal nail infection.

If you choose to use Vicks Vapo Rub, which contains thyme oil, be aware that this can cause temporary reddening of the skin. This is usually innocuous and can be put down to the fact that some people have more sensitive skin than others. If you experience itching or burning along with the reddening, stop using Vicks Vapo Rub straight away.

How to Use Thyme Oil for Toenail Fungus

Helping Thyme Oil to Work Faster

As with any treatments for fungal nail infections, thyme oil works best when combined with good foot hygiene. There are lots of ways you can speed up the healing process and help ensure the infection doesn’t come back, including:

  • Clipping your toenails regularly with a stainless steel pedicure kit. Always wash your clipping tools with rubbing alcohol afterwards, and never share with other household members.
  • Use a metal nail file when you get out of the bath, or after you soak your feet. By filing off layers of skin and nail, you can help the treatment (in this case thyme oil) to penetrate deeper and find the infection.
  • Rub thyme oil into the cuticle area – it will soak in and make sure the new nail growth is healthy and fungus-free.

So Does Thyme Oil Work for Toenail Fungus?

The verdict is that thyme oil can sometimes be a good choice for those suffering from mild toenail fungus. It’s been the subject of some studies that have backed up its antifungal properties. Plus, the anecdotal evidence from those who have used this solution themselves is very strong.

If your toenail fungus is particularly serious, or not responding to thyme oil, consider using an over-the-counter toenails fungus treatment, or perhaps a stronger prescription treatment.