As you are probably already aware from zipping around on all manner of informational or online shopping websites, there doesn’t seem to be one particular way in which to treat onychomycosis – you can try at-home remedies, topical cures, oral antifungal medication, and even surgical removal.
We have our own opinions on which treatment is the most effective, but under our microscope right now is Canespro Fungal Nail Treatment, which hypes itself up as one of the fastest treatments available on the market.
This gives us (people who research nail fungus treatments thoroughly) a bit of a head scratch. Where is this quick fix coming from? How does it work? And what is ultimately happening under your nail when you use Canespro compared to other solutions?
We hope you can handle these answers – because we have detailed them below!
Pros and Cons
We know that the jargon below this can be a bit much to get through if you’ve got places to be and people to meet – so we’ve added a quick pros and cons section right up top to give you the best (and worst) about Canespro.
Canespro is reasonably priced and can be found at many major shops, so finding it shouldn’t be an issue. The application procedure is simple without too many steps, and it will cosmetically alter the nail much faster than other topical treatments. It is a good quick-fix solution if you need those toes to look beach-ready in three weeks and don’t have six months to wait for results.
There is no antifungal medication present in the treatment, meaning you are treating the symptoms instead of the cause.
This can cause a high re-infectivity rate once the initial treatment of 14 to 21 days is finished. The treatment doesn’t have any specific agents to help fortify the nail once it has been debrided constantly and thus may leave a brittle nail. Most of the positive effects of the clinical studies of Canespro are paired with antifungal treatments that don’t come with this specific treatment.
Now that you know the basic hits and misses, let’s show you how we got there.
How It Works
Like any good pharmaceutical company, Beyer has produced a quick animated video detailing how to use Canespro – seemingly made in the style of a mid-2000s aeroplane safety video. We encourage you to check it out for the entertainment value, but we have gone a little more in-depth below.
The application process is as follows:
soak your foot (or hand) for 10 minutes in warm water, then
apply Canespro to a thoroughly dried nail’s infected area. You are then asked to wrap up your toe or finger in a ‘specially-designed’ plaster (it looks like it only fits a big toe – you have eighteen other nails that could be infected!) for 24 hours. You then
take off the plaster and soak your foot again in warm water for 10 minutes before using their scraper to scrape away the softened, infected parts of the nail that have been soaked and worn down by the urea.
Repeat for 14 to 21 days and your nail is going to look good as new. It’s a relatively simple (if elongated) process, in our opinion.
Essentially, Canespro is a urea topical – it is designed to soften and penetrate an infected nail in order to remove the infected parts rather than to combat the infection itself. While the process is simple, the way it works is to target and remove the nail instead of targeting and removing the fungi.
Finding an ingredient list was challenging for Canespro, but we eventually found a simple list of what is in the topical formula: urea, cera alba, lanolin, paraffin, and silica.
As you can see, most of the ingredients are wax-like components that will help the spreading. However, the one that stands out is urea. Urea is a chemical compound that is used in a variety of dermatological treatments, but this 40% urea’s main job is debridement of the nail. Urea essentially breaks down the structure of the nail cells, making them soft enough to scrape off, hence why they include a scraper in their treatment kit.
It is worth noting that there is no active anti-fungal agent in Canespro, only urea and some wax products. As such, you should not expect the ointment to be actively combating the infection, but rather a way to cosmetically deal with cells on the nail that have been infected.
There also does not seem to be any nail strengthening agents within the ointment, meaning that you’re essentially being asked to damage a specific section of your nail, scrape away the unsightly bits, and allow the nail to re-grow while there may be some fungi still rooted in your nail. The fact that you’ll be constantly soaking, scraping, and wrapping your nail for at least two to three weeks is not going to be good for the strength of your nail.
On paper, we’re not seeing that this is a particularly effective method of combating nail fungus. The method here seems to be to attack the symptoms rather than the cause, and thus you will only have a cosmetic solution, if any, to your nail fungus.
However, as with any product, there is both positive and negative. Most reviews of this product are positive and people swear by it – especially highlighting the relatively fast results compared to other topicals that can take up to six months before there is a significant difference.
What we think is happening is that if most people are catching their nail fungus infection early enough, they will try out Canespro. The constant wearing down and scraping away of infected tissue can make it very hard for fungi to maintain a presence (even though they are hardy creatures) if it hasn’t already gained a particularly strong foothold on your nail.
However, others are sceptical and have said that the rate of re-infectivity is high with Canespro. While it may make your toes look good in sandals and flip-flops after a couple of weeks of using it, it is not designed to fight off the fungi living in your nail. Once the treatment is finished, you may well find yourself having to go back to it since it did nothing to stop the infection in the long run.
Where to Get It
Canespro should be pretty easy to find – it is distributed by Beyer Pharmaceuticals, one of the biggest of the big pharma companies, so it won’t be a struggle to find at a local pharmacy or even supermarket.
We managed to find it at most of the high street shops like Superdrug and Tesco, although we didn’t manage to find it online at Boots which was kind of disappointing to us. Amazon and eBay also have listings for Canespro and we’ve provided the links on this page if you’re thinking of trying this solution.
Canespro’s website lists the price of this treatment at £18, which is pretty decent, but if you check out any other retailers you’re likely to see the price being a little higher, around £25 to £30. So it isn’t the cheapest topical treatment out there, but it certainly beats the price for laser surgery or oral medication.
Overall, we just don’t see how this is going to help you unless it is a short-term solution that you’re fine with trying out.
The lack of an antifungal ingredient and the lack of any kind of acidic/alcoholic mixture means that there is nothing in this topical that will help you fight the fungi or the environment of the fungi – you’re only scraping away softened tissue that’s been infected. While it may very well scrape away the whole fungi if you catch it early enough, we think that’s not giving those wily fungi enough credit. They’re difficult little things to deal with, and simply scraping at them isn’t going to be a terribly effective long-term solution to your problem.
However, pairing this with an antifungal may be more effective and you may speed up the treatment process as you will be dealing with the fungi and the infected nail at the same time. This does mean, however, you’d have to do a whole lot of other research for a different kind of topical that usually has its own properties that shouldn’t necessarily be paired with Canespro – so do your homework if this is the route you want to take.
If you have used Canespro in the past and you liked or disliked what it did, please drop us a line to let us know. Did it deal with your whole infection? Was your nail in dire need of sunlight and strength training afterwards? These are the questions we crave the answers to!
Canespro Fungal Nail FAQs
What are the ingredients in Canespro?
The active ingredient in Canespro is urea, which is a nail softener. It allows you to debride the nail and allow the infected tissue to be scraped away. It does not contain an active antifungal ingredient.
Where can I get Canespro?
You can easily find Canespro nail treatment at most (though, apparently, not all) local pharmacies and highstreet shops including Superdrug and Tesco - as well online at Amazon and eBay.
Does Canespro work?
It depends on your definition of ‘work’. It can certainly be useful in debriding your nail and giving you an area to scrape away infected tissue, but it does not work to combat the fungi itself. It will allow your nail to look cosmetically better for the short-term, but as it will not kill the fungal infection itself, there is a high chance that the fungi will re-establish itself.
What are some side effects of Canespro?
Applying Canespro and wrapping up your nail will have the side effect of making your nail very soft and porous – thus allowing it to be scraped away easily. While this effect will be most pronounced at the area of infection, it will also probably be felt throughout the entire nail.
What is the price for Canespro?
Canespro is listed as £18 on the manufacturer’s website but can be as much as £30 depending on the specific retailer you purchase it from.
Canespro Fungal Nail Treatment Review
Reader Rating16 Votes
Good 'quick fix'
No anti-fungal medication present
Potential likelihood of reinfection by not treating cause