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Tea Tree Oil for Foot Fungus

Question:
Does tea tree oil work for getting rid of athlete's foot?

Answer:
Applying tea tree oil topically to the feet (typically twice daily) has been shown to be somewhat effective (about 60% cure rate) in treating foot fungus (known as athlete's foot, tinea pedis, or "ringworm" due to the lesion that can occur). Tea tree oil can be as effective as some of the older over-the-counter antifungal treatments such clotrimazole (Lotrimin). However, it is unlikely to be as effective as the newer antifungal terbinafine (Lamisil), which has >80% efficacy and is also available over-the-counter (Patel, Australas J Dermatol).  

Be aware some people may experience allergic inflammation of the skin from tea tree oil.

For more details about tea tree oil and other natural treatments for athlete's foot see the Athlete's Foot article on our site.

Learn more about tea tree oil:



See the Tea Tree Article on our site for more about this essential oil and its uses.


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COMMENTS

Luz17194   September 22, 2018
I used tea tree oil to treat a nail fungus and it worked great. The nail turned yellow but the fungus was gone. Once the nail grew back it was the normal color. I used the Vitamin Shoppe brand but there more brands available at the local Health Food Store.

Tracey16758   April 25, 2018
You might want to try grapefruit seed extract orally in combination with external treatments if the external treatments don't work. I have used a tea tree and oregano oil combination successfully on many skin irritations. Don't know for sure they were ring worm but they had similar appearance(s),

ConsumerLab.com   April 25, 2018
Hi Tracey - Thank you for sharing your experience with this. There is some evidence from laboratory studies that grapefruit seed extract may have antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, there has been concern with adulteration in grapefruit seed extract supplements, and it has the potential to interact with a number of medications. See the CL Answer about grapefruit seed extract for details: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/what-are-the-benefits-of-grapefruit-seed-extract-gse-and-is-it-safe/grapefruit-seed-extract/

Gerard16738   April 18, 2018
I am have always had frequent cases of athletes foot. Tried many treatments with limited success until started using pure tree tea oil about 8 years ago. I dab a small amount on the affected area after a shower, 100% success after 3-4 treatments. Must be pure tea tree oil to work.

Keith16730   April 18, 2018
Is there an AF, either OTC or by prescription, that is 100% effective? Has there been any studies to suggest that Tea Tree Oil, when combined with an OTC anti-fungal, is either synergistic or antagonistic in its effectiveness?

ConsumerLab.com   April 18, 2018
Hi Keith - We are not aware of trials combining tea tree oil with an antifungal drug, although there could be synergy. We are also not aware of any product being 100% effective, i.e., always working -- that's pretty rare with any type of clinical study.


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This CL Answer initially posted on 4/18/2018.
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