Tea Tree Oil for Nails and Cuticle Health
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Caring for your fingernails and toenails is an essential part of your self-care routine. Your cuticle is the skin that grows along the bottom of your nails that protects new nail tissue as it grows out of the root and onto your finger or toe. This skin is extremely delicate and susceptible to damage, infection, and irritation. While taking care of your nails is important, tending to your cuticles is also essential, as it is what protects the rest of your nail and helps them to grow strong and healthy.
A good nail care routine will look after and tend to the cuticle, keeping it moisturized and protecting it from pathogens that could cause harm. Tea tree oil is a natural substance that can be incorporated into your nail care regimen to not only keep your nail looking good but also to protect and maintain your cuticles. Heres’ how.
Understanding Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a compound extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. This small tree is native to Australia, primarily in Queensland and New South Wales. Natives of this continent have for centuries used the oil to treat a wide range of health problems, including respiratory issues, colds, and wounds.
Among the active compounds found in tea tree oil are those that can kill fungi, viruses, and bacteria. For this reason, tea tree oil is often used as a natural antimicrobial additive for home remedies and natural care solutions. The most potent and well-known of the germ-fighting compounds in tea tree oil is Terpinen-4-ol. Not only does this compound fight pathogens but it also enhances your body’s natural ability to fight infection by boosting white blood cell activity.
Because of its ability to kill fungi and other microbes inside the body as well as on the surface of the skin, tea tree oil is commonly used to address infections of the hair, skin, and nails. It is a powerful and popular option for treating all sorts of nail fungal infections and can also prevent infections from occurring.
Using Tea Tree Oil on Your Nails & Cuticles
Tea tree oil makes an excellent addition to your nail care routine for many reasons. If you have any sort of fungal nail infection or are at risk of developing such an infection, applying tea tree oil to your nails and cuticles can help to treat the cause of these infections.
Tea tree oil is a natural remedy that effectively eliminates the fungus that causes nail problems. In most cases, tea tree oil has been found to work just as well if not better than conventional nail fungus treatments at resolving issues.
Because tea tree oil can be irritating to the skin for some people, it should always be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to your skin or fingernails. Mixing a few drops of the essential oil with coconut, almond, jojoba, or olive oil is recommended. Once you have applied the oil to your nails, you should wash your hands thoroughly to avoid spreading either the oil or the fungus to other parts of your body.
Mixing tea tree oil with your favorite moisturizing oils as well as essential oils can create healing, soothing nail oil that moisturizes your cuticles, keeps them clear of infection, and provides your nail beds with anti-inflammatory and healing benefits. Whether your cuticles are just dry or are irritated and red, adding tea tree oil to your nail care regimen is sure to help.
Buck, D.S., Nidorf, D.M., Addino, J.G. (1994). Comparison of two topical preparations for the treatment of onychomycosis: Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and clotrimazole. Journal of Family Practice. Jun: 38(6):601-5.