Before I knew tea tree oil, I suffered paronychia 3 years ago: I manicured a toenail and cut the nail too much to hurt the cuticle, then infection came with swelling and redness to make me painful, I ever tried to release the pain by soaking my whole foot into hot water, it worked to reduce the pain but didn’t treat paronychia and of course I couldn’t put my foot into hot water all the day. I was too painful to go to sleep and finally went to a hospital at midnight. When it’s in the beginning that the cuticle got infection, I never thought it would develop into a big pain! The cuticle is unlike other skin surface, it’s hidden. The bacteria and fungus could grow very quickly there. So when you get an injury at your finger or toe, especially near the nails, you had better handle it early like applying something which is antiseptic.
I bought tea tree oil not because of paronychia, it’s just occasionally I found it’s antiseptic and maybe helpful in some cases like an infection or anything else. Actually it did a great job for me when I got slight cuts on my fingers. Usually I felt nothing when I got a slight cut on my finger which is often near the nail, but when it became painful with swelling and redness, I realized the infection came and I would apply one or two drops of tea tree oil on the slight injury. And after 12 or 24 hours, the pain was removed together with the swelling and redness. It happens several time and the tea tree oil always took effect, this made me recall the paronychia I got before. If I used tea tree oil at that time when cutting the cuticle, the paronychia might not happen or develop.
I searched “paronychia” and “tea tree oil” by google to find many articles mentioning that tea tree oil can be used to prevent or treat paronychia. And this convinces me the using of tea tree oil for paronychia.
The below is the Australian tea tree oil I bought from iHerb. Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from the Australian tea tree grown in Australia, which has inherent antiseptic qualities.
For the Paronychia caused by ingrown toenail, tea tree oil is not enough, we need to take a physical way of inserting some cottons under the ingrown nail part to make it grow outwards, please see my another article of Treat Paronychia Caused By Ingrown Toenail (Onychocryptosis) for further details.