Which toenail fungus treatments actually work?

Nail fungus is a very common nail disorder that affects as many as 12% of the population in developed countries and about 38 million Americans! Toenail fungus and fingernail fungus can cause a tingling sensation and even be painful, but above all sufferers feel embarrassed to expose unsightly nails and often feel ashamed to wear sandals in public. Because of nail discoloration, flakiness and foul odor in severe cases, most people are determined to eliminate nail fungus as quickly as possible.

But trying to find the right treatment for nail fungus and an effective cure for your toenails can be confusing. Should you take oral medication prescribed by your physician, try the latest laser treatment recommended by some podiatrists, apply home formulas you can prepare yourself or choose a natural remedy available over-the-counter? How do you know which toenail fungus treatment really works and does not have serious side effects?

This consumer review summarizes extensive research done on the most popular nail fungus treatments. We have extensive information on cure options and stress which ones have the best track record so far. Read on to find out why so many remedies were discarded and which solutions achieved the best results for most test subjects.

Symptoms of Fingernail and Toenail Fungus

Nail fungus infections, also known as onychomycosis or Tinea Unguium, are pretty easy to notice. The most common symptoms for fingernail and toenail fungus include discoloration (white, yellow, brown and black toenails), thickening and flakiness of the nails. The presence of a foul odor occurs frequently in severe cases.

Mild Toenail Fungus
Moderate Toenail Fungus
Severe Toenail Fungus
Mild Toenail Fungus Moderate Toenail Fungus
Severe Toenail Fungus

Without proper treatment, a fungal nail infection will contaminate the entire nail and spread to other nails as well. In some extreme conditions, surgical removal may be the only option. If the disease hasn't infected the area to this extent, then there are toenail fungus treatments that may cure the infection.

Evaluation Methodology for Nail Fungus Treatments

This study covers more than 20 nail fungus treatments. Before the writing of this review, we interviewed many health professionals such as dermatologists, herbalists, homeopaths and naturopaths on the most recommended treatments for nail fungus.

Our research team gathered extensive information on each product to assess its safety, success rate, speed of results and guarantee.

We also recruited many site visitors reporting nail problems as test subjects for these treatments. We asked them to answer an exclusive survey to assess consumer satisfaction for each product.

Note: We are still collecting the opinion of people visiting our site. If you have used a remedy for toenail or fingernail fungus in the past 12 months, you are welcome to answer this consumer survey.

Our Findings - Summary

1. Prescription treatments can do more harm than good!

The success rate of oral prescription medications for toenail fungus treatment is reported to be less than 50% according to clinical trials done in this field. The success rate of topical prescription treatments is even worse and can be as low as 10% for a prescription lacquer applied daily for 48 weeks!

Moreover, prescription treatments may have very serious side effects for people suffering from liver problems or with a history of congestive heart failure. They can cause diarrhea, upset stomach and potentially damage the liver. Topical prescriptions can cause skin irritations such as burning, drying, scaling, itching and weeping. For more information on prescription medications for nail fungus, click here.

2. Laser treatment is costly and still immature

Laser treatment is a new way to treat nail fungus. It focuses laser energy right onto the infected area and is supposed to kill the fungus without leaving behind any damage to the nail or surrounding skin.

Laser treatment for nail fungus has raised new hopes among sufferers. Unfortunately, a thorough examination of this treatment shows major drawbacks that consumers should be aware of before opting for this solution:

  • Clinical trials to test the effectiveness of the toenail fungus laser treatment are not conclusive due to their limited scale. In larger studies applying strict protocols, the laser treatment could fail completely.
  • A one-time toenail fungus treatment typically costs $1,000 with recurring treatments costing $500 each. In some cases, a treatment may require 3 to 4 visits so the cost could end up as much as $3,000! It’s important to stress that the laser treatment for nail fungus is not covered by health insurance companies. The patient must cover the entire cost of the treatment.
  • One treatment lasts for a mere 30 minutes but there is no promise that the fungus will not return after several weeks or months. In addition, patients have to wait at least 6 months before they see a healthy nail grow out completely.
  • Toenail fungus laser treatment is claimed to be painless. Unfortunately it is not true for many nail fungus sufferers that reported a very painful procedure where they felt like a blowtorch to their toes.

Recommendation: Since laser treatment for toenail fungus removal is very costly and still in its early stages, we do not advise risking thousands of dollars until it can prove itself. It would be wise to try cheaper treatments first.

3. Home prepared remedies are a waste of time

You may have heard about do-it-yourself remedies using common household items. The most popular home remedies for nail fungus are vinegar, chlorine bleach, essential oils (oregano, tea tree, lavender), beer, Vicks VapoRub and Listerine mouthwash. You can find a review for each of them here.

Our study found these home remedies to be a waste of time because of the following:

  • They are very time consuming and difficult to perform on a daily basis when applied for months. Most test subjects stopped these treatments after 1-2 weeks because they couldn't incorporate them into their busy life.
  • These products may be hazardous and are not necessarily free of side effects. E.g. chlorine bleach damages the skin or tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions.
  • People rarely achieve a definite cure with such do-it-yourself remedies. There may be a temporary improvement but the root of the problem is not usually addressed.
  • While these toenail fungus treatment products are considered cheap, they can become expensive when used every day and in some cases several times a day for a long period of time.

Recommendation: If you wish to try a home remedy to cure nail fungus, you would better turn to natural products in therapeutic dosages. These remedies have been tested by healthcare companies specializing in natural treatments that are safe and occasionally effective (read on for more information).

4. Some natural treatments proved to be effective but not all of them

The best performing treatments that passed our tests are natural remedies available over-the-counter (OTC). These remedies are free of side effects and you can easily purchase them without a prescription at your local pharmacy or on the Internet.

These topical solutions penetrate the infected nails and reinforce your body's natural ability to beat off fungus and eliminate the fungal infection, all without the use of pharmaceuticals or harsh chemicals. This explains why so many people prefer these natural treatments for their nail fungus.

Applying these natural treatments for 6 to 12 weeks may be enough to stop the infection and get your nails healthy and clear. In some severe cases, the treatment may take 6 months to completely work. So if you want beautiful nails again, these natural treatments are certainly the best option out there.

However, not all natural treatments were created equal and you should be cautious about which one you decide to apply on your nails.

Prior to the writing of this report, no comparative test was conducted between OTC remedies to assess their effectiveness. To fill the gap, we gathered the opinion of people who have tried these products through an anonymous consumer survey (over 750 participants so far) and conducted extensive research on popular OTC treatments such as Zetaclear, Funginix, Barielle, Fungicure, Nail Tek, OPI Fungus Fix and other brands to further confirm our findings.

Many over-the-counter remedies for toenail fungus treatment didn't pass our test because all or part of the following reasons:
  • Over 45% of people who have used them stated they are ineffective.
  • While people suffering from mild nail fungus could experience some results, the ones suffering from moderate to severe nail fungus received very poor results.
  • These remedies were not found to be cost-effective solutions.
  • Allergic reactions such as mild to moderate rashes around the nails were experienced by some test subjects.
  • Enthusiastic reviews about these products appeared to be biased due to affiliated connections with producers of these remedies.

Recommendation: To seriously address your nail fungus problem, we recommend choosing natural treatments with a proven track record and a high success rate.

5. Two natural remedies achieved a high consumer satisfaction rate


ZetaclearMedication Mode: Topical & Homeopathic
Ingredients: Proven Homeopathic Antifungal Ingredients
Cost: $49.95 (quantity based discount)
Results: Excellent
Side Effects: None
Remedy Type: Over-the-counter (no prescription required)
Application: Very easy
Guarantee: 90 day money-back guarantee

Produced by Health Buy, a company listed in the Natural Product Association, Zetaclear is a topical and homeopathic treatment. It requires a natural formulation to be applied directly on the affected nails and a homeopathic blend to be sprayed under the tongue to activate the immune system against the fungal infection. With a very high consumer satisfaction rate, our study showed that Zetaclear is today one of the most effective treatment to fight nail fungus.

>> Click here to read a full review 


FunginixMedication Mode: Topical
Ingredients: Undecylenic Acid, USP 10%
Cost: $39.95 (quantity based discount)
Results: Excellent
Side Effects: None
Remedy Type: Over-the-counter (no prescription required)
Application: Very easy
Guarantee: 60 day full money-back guarantee

Produced by The Sisquoc Healthcare Corporation, Funginix is a topical solution that penetrates the infected nail and attacks the fungus from every side. Our extensive research showed that Funginix is a recommended treatment for nail fungus in terms of effectiveness with an impressive number of consumers and test participants that reported their satisfaction with this treatment!

>> Click here to read a full review 

Additional OTC treatment reviews available on this site:

- Barielle Fungus Rx

- Fungicure

- Nail Tek Anti-Fungal

- OPI Fungus Fix

Treatment Reimbursement Opportunity

For the purpose of our consumer research, we are currently recruiting 200 nail fungus sufferers who are willing to use one of the above over-the-counter treatments and report their progress in curing this condition.

Participants will be entered in a sweepstake and one out of every ten will have the entire cost of their treatment reimbursed!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to treat nail fungus for free. Click here to learn more.


Choosing the right treatment to eliminate nail fungus is paramount to having the best chances of success. The purpose of this review has been to educate consumers on their options so they can make an informed decision and cure their nails in the fastest possible way.

From among all the treatments covered by our study, very few proved to be effective, safe and affordable. Prescription drugs have a relatively low success rate and serious side effects. Laser treatment incurs a high financial risk and has no proven track record. Home remedies are a waste of time because their use is inconvenient, time consuming and they never address the root problem. Most over-the-counter remedies have delivered very poor results.

Out of 20 treatments that we have thoroughly researched, two natural remedies met our requirements and achieved a high success rate. These products are free of side effects, very effective for most people, and affordable. Moreover, their manufacturers endorse these products with a strong consumer guarantee and excellent customer service. These two nail fungus treatment products, Zetaclear and Funginix, don't require a prescription and can easily be ordered on their respective web sites.

>> #1 Zetaclear - Click here to read a full review

>> #2 Funginix - Click here to read a full review




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