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Something that has gained immense popularity and newfound respect recently is essential oils. They have been around for a while, but lately, more people are finding them effective against a number of dermatological issues.
Mainly ‘essential oils’ is the term used to describe oils extracted from plants and herbs. Due to their antifungal and antibacterial properties, they become a common home remedy for dermatological problems caused by pathogens. One such issue is fungal infections, and essential oils have proved to be effective in treating them.
What Are the Types of Antifungal Essential Oils?
Antifungal essential oils are of two main types: herbal and non-herbal. Both types consist of oils that carry distinct properties and benefits. Herbal and spice-based essential oils include (but are not limited to):
Non-herbal or spice-derived essential oils have also been proven to be effective against fungi and include the following:
What Fungal Infections Are They Effective Against?
While essential oils have been found to possess several antimicrobial and antifungal abilities, there are certain antifungal infections they are specifically effective against. Below is a list of some of the most common of those infections:
- Ringworm – a fairly common fungal disease appearing as red, scaly, circular patches on the skin.
- Athlete’s foot – a form of ringworm infection appearing on the feet.
- Jock itch – another type of ringworm disease appearing in sweaty parts of the body.
- Toenail fungus – causes nails to become discolored (usually yellow) with streaks or spots.
- Tinea versicolor – people with oily skin or those going through hormonal changes are more susceptible to this fungus. It causes discoloration in the form of a tiny spot on the skin.
Anecdotal evidence shows that essential oils have proven to be highly effective against these fungal infections.
Usage and Application of Essential Oils?
Essential oils are not for internal use and shall not be ingested at any cost. If anything, cases had reported oil toxicity in the body when an essential oil was consumed. Hence, these are for topical use only.
However, unlike other oils such as coconut or olive oil, essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin. Because of the presence of strong chemicals, concentrated application of these oils can be harmful.
Therefore, it is always recommended that essential oils are used after dilution with a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include coconut, olive, jojoba, argan, and rosehip oil.
Essential oils need to be mixed with carrier oils in proportion. So, 2-3 drops of essential oil should be diluted in around 20 drops of carrier oil. Then a clean cotton pad or ball can be used to apply the mixture to the affected area.
During the application, you must make sure that you only touch the affected area to not spread the fungus elsewhere on the skin. In addition to that, you should carry out this procedure regularly, up to 3 times a day. It may take 2-3 weeks before you see results.
Are There Any Side Effects to Be Wary Of?
While no severe or harmful side effects have been reported upon topical usage of essential oils, you should always keep in mind that fungi can behave differently depending on their host. How your skin may react to a certain essential oil is subjective to you.
Similarly, usage of the correct oil is also important given your fungal condition. Not every essential oil will be effective for every fungal infection. As goes the rule for any skin product, you should always apply the oil to a small patch of the non-affected area and wait for 24 hours to see if the oil suits you or not.
In case you experience some sort of allergic reaction, immediately stop using the oil and consult your dermatologist for expert advice.
Applying essential oils to treat fungal infections has emerged as an effective practice in recent times, with more and more people using them as a convenient home remedy. However, they require a regular application and may not work the same way for everyone.
It is always a good idea to take a doctor’s advice if you do not see any results after 1-2 weeks, as this may indicate that your infection needs medication to be properly treated.
Here at Purely Shea Organics we carry a wide range of natural anti-fungal options at great prices such as: