Onycholysis is a nail disorder characterized by separation of the nail from the nail bed, sometimes resulting in loss of the nails.
The idea that tea tree oil can help with onycholysis springs from the fact that tea tree oil is known to be a good antifungal agent. Many cases of onycholysis are caused by or made worse by fungal infections of the nails. However, once fungus settles into the nail itself, topical treatments such as tea tree oil do not tend to work very well; most nail infections require prescription antifungal medications, taken orally, in order to clear up.
If your case of onycholysis is not clearly caused by a fungal infection, then it is important to have a good physical examination from your primary care doctor
. This is because many times onycholysis is a symptom of a serious underlying medical disorder. Examples of medical problems that can cause onycholysis include nutritional problems like iron deficiency or B vitamin deficiency, rheumatoid arthritis
and other inflammatory conditions, thyroid and other hormonal problems, various prescription medications, and, finally, certain types of cancer.
Scheduling an appointment with your internal medicine doctor
is the best way to start, as they can tell if the onycholysis is from fungal infection and, if not, what other investigations need to be done.