Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here for more.

So, You’ve Developed A Benign Toenail Fungus...

Photo: HBO
5 Neat Things5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “Ask a Clean Person.” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.

Warning: the next paragraph features minor Succession spoilers.

In an exquisitely excruciating scene in the season finale of Succession, Cousin Greg spiraled into a panic upon boarding his Uncle Logan’s boat and being asked, as all boating people are, to remove his shoes. “Sails out, nails out, bro,” Kendall Roy quipped to a stammering Greg(ory). The source of his panic was this: Gross looking nails that the boat’s aesthetician declared were the result of a benign fungus. The thing is, benign fungal infections are actually really easy to treat! So don’t wait until you’re on a boat with your sociopathic cousins to take care of your nail infections — if you notice that your nails are discolored (don’t click that link!) grab one of these over-the-counter fungal treatments.

Advertisement

Ariella Toenail and Nail Repair Pen

Ariella’s Toenail and Nail Repair Pen is a precise applicator, and a great choice for smaller nails.
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Pen applicators have a thin brush tip, almost like you’re going to eliminate the nail fungus using calligraphy as your weapon. To use the pen, first soak your feet for 5 minutes, dry them well, then run the brush tip around the cuticle and over the entire nail. Keeping the infected nail clipped short will also allow you to access the underside of the nail and nail bed with the pen. A pen is a good choice for people with smaller nails.

Advertisement

FUNGINIX Finger and Toe Fungus Treatment

FUNGINIX Finger and Toe Fungus Treatment has a brush built into the bottle cap, and is great for applying to larger nails.
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Brush-on fungal treatments work similarly to pen applicators, but may be easier for people with larger, wider nails to use. The brush is affixed to the bottle cap, so using a brush-on treatment is very much like applying nail varnish — except you can and should absolutely color outside the lines, so to speak. Brush the anti-fungal liquid around the cuticle of the infected nail, allowing it to absorb for at least 5 minutes before you wash your hands or feet.

Advertisement

Vanish Fungal Nail Renewal

Vanish Fungal Nail Renewal Cream is going to be a better choice if you’re applying to multiple nails at once.
Graphic: Shep McAllister
Advertisement

If you have more than one infected nail, a cream is probably going to be a better choice than the pen or brush fungal treatments. A cream allows you to be a bit less precise in your application — simply use your hands to smear the stuff over the infected nails and cuticle area.

Advertisement

NailRENEW Antifungal

NailRENEW Antifungal comes in a dropper bottle, and is great for getting into hard-to-reach areas.
Graphic: Shep McAllister

Dropper bottle applications are a bit messier, but if the fungal infection is in a hard-to-reach spot, like between toes or deep at the base of the nail, the dropper’s ability to flood the nail and the cuticle or the space between toes will be an advantage. As with all the other options, keeping the nail clipped and filed short will help make the treatment more effective.

Advertisement

Vicks VapoRub Ointment

Yes, Vicks VapoRub Ointment can work as an anti-fungal treatment, in a pinch!
Graphic: Shep McAllister
Advertisement

Weird but true: Vick VapoRub, the stuff for congestion, also works for many people as an anti-fungal treatment! One nice thing about using VapoRub is that its thicker formula makes it a bit less messy to apply — though of course, unlike the other options it does have a distinct smell to it. The other nice thing is that it has other uses, so if you buy some to treat your toes so they look nice in barefoot weather, you’ll also have it on hand when that inevitable winter cold rolls around.

Share This Story

About the author

Jolie Kerr

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person