Recently, the National Advertising Division asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate advertising claims made by Fiore Rx, the maker of an antifungal nail lacquer. Initially, the company pitched that its products provided “a safe and less-expensive alternative to complicated nail infection treatments” and that it allowed patients to “get antifungal protection, without a prescription or without having to visit a doctor.”
Other Antifungal Nail Lacquer Claims
Of course, we don’t mean to single out Fiore Rx. There are many antifungal nail lacquer companies that make dubious claims. For instance, have a look at some of these sales pitches…
- Deep Cover Nail System – “Other nail polishes form a ‘barrier’ in your nails that can grow and breed fungus and bacteria! But, Deep Cover Nail System™ Lacquer/Polish can treat the root of most nail problems caused by fungus and bacteria!”
- Dr. G’s Clear Nail – “Kills fungus that can lead to nail infections. No need to remove polish or acrylics! Penetrates with Dr. G’s patented delivery system.”
- Orly Fungus MD – “Cures fungal infections on skin or for treatment of fungal infections of skin.”
- Varisi – “Toenail fungus infections and fingernail fungus infections can be cured with VARISI, a 100% natural and organic preparation. VARISI, the ‘formula for clean and healthy toenails and fingernails’ cures toenail fungus infections and also fingernail fungus infections, even with artificial products such as acrylics, silk and fiberglass nails!”
Antifungal Nail Lacquer Pitches Should Include Careful Wording
The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor “at the first of nail fungus,” as the infection can spread and worsen if not treated. Symptoms include nail dullness and discoloration, thickening, and brittle, crumbling edges. To clarify their position, Fiore says, “Fiore Rx is not a cure and you should certainly seek medical attention for serious fungal infections.” Instead, they pitch their product as a way to prevent fungal infection of the nails. In fact, many antifungal nail lacquers say something similar.
Effectiveness of Antifungal Nail Lacquer: Does It Work?
According to Dr. Bryan C. Markinson, the chief of podiatric medicine and surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the most effective treatment is Lamisil, an oral prescription medication that works for 2 out of 3 patients. This drug can be hard on the liver, though, and requires occasional monitoring with a doctor during treatment.
The newest generation of prescription nail lacquers (using ciclopirox or amorolfine) have been clinically tested and approved by the FDA, reports the New York Times. However, many Over-The-Counter products have not been tested. On top of that, Dr. Markinson points out that topical antifungals remain unpopular with patients because they must be used for a minimum of one year on a daily basis to show effectiveness. “Most patients lose enthusiasm after the first three months,” the doctor explains.
A nail fungus solution may range from antifungal creams and nail lacquers to oral medication and laser toenail treatment. So it’s recommended that you visit a podiatrist to discuss the most effective course of action. To prevent the return of infection, we advise you to invest in a SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to keep your footwear clear of fungal spores that can build up and contribute to future infections.