Ever since patenting the first arch support for the foot in 1904, Dr Scholl’s may be the most trusted brand-name in foot care and popular podiatry in the entire world. While it is all well and good to implicitly trust the company of Dr William Scholl, the world’s most famous foot-man (he must have known something about feet if he carried around a foot skeleton in his pocket named George), we wanted to go more in-depth into their claims of treating nail fungus.
Scholl’s game is foot health in general – but we’re a little more niche than that: we want to make sure that any touted cure for your nail fungus is going to be worth what you’re spending on it. As such, we’ve decided that we want to do a full review on the Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment, as a part of our ongoing series of reviews for similar products.
Buckle up, dear reader, and get ready to go in-depth on this treatment.
First, for those of you who have got places to be, we list the main pros and cons of the Scholl Nail Fungus Treatment. If you want a nice quick overview of this product, read this section and then skip on down to our final verdict at the end.
This product seems to work for early nail fungus infection, is simple to acquire and use, and is cheap compared to higher-stakes options. It’s a good solution when you have started to notice some discolouration on your toe, and you’ve worked out that it is a fungal infection rather than some other ailment.
You can find it very easily and it is simple to operate if you have the self-discipline to keep at your treatment week after week (although that is probably a given in any nail fungus situation). And even if it does not help you, it does not look like it will do any damage to your nails.
It isn’t guaranteed to be effective, even with the ‘scientifically proven’ mantra that is used in the marketing. There is no active antifungal ingredient that will specifically combat the infectious agent, rather a combination of acids and alcohols to make the nail inhospitable to burgeoning fungi. It does not seem useful whatsoever for nails where the infection has spread to over one-third of the nail and should not be relied upon in such circumstances.
How It Works
We’ve got to hand it to Scholl, they’ve made a pretty slick video (see below) that effectively explains how their product works. It’s less than two minutes in length and gives a quick and simple overview of how this treatment works with some fungi animated into the nail.
Essentially, the Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment has two main components that come together – five single-use, one-way files that can be pulled out of the top of the device (emphasis on the ‘single-use’ element to stop the spread of infection to other toes) and a little brush-and-pot of what they call ‘advanced nail liquid’. Their video uses phrases like ‘specially formulated’ and ‘scientifically proven’ to describe it – we’ll go into detail later on about these claims.
The steps in using the Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment are threefold:
Your first step is to use the single-use files to trim off the top layer of the infected nail, allowing easier access to the fungus rooted underneath and coming up from the nail bed.
The second step is to apply a layer of their ‘advanced nail liquid’ to it. Apparently equipped with fungal-killing properties, this liquid will make the nail ‘inhospitable’ to the fungi.
The third step is consistency: Scholl claims that after four weeks of repeating the process, the fungi will be killed – but they recommend that you continue to apply the liquid for up to nine months to keep the nail protected and encourage healthy nail growth.
When you get right down to it, this treatment is an anti-fungal lacquer treatment with some nail files added for convenience. But what is actually in this advanced nail liquid? And how well does it actually work?
It took quite a while for us to track down the ingredients for this one, as there is no ingredient list in the leaflet for the product. However, Scholl did reply to a customer who asked what was in it – get ready for some long words: sodium benzoate, sodium benoxtrizol sulphate, deionized water, urea, citric acid monohydrate, D panthenol, glycerine, xantha gum, and isopropyl alcohol. Those are all quite a mouthful, but in amongst the jargon we’re not seeing any ciclopirox, nor are we seeing any amorolfine. And as a result, there doesn’t seem to be an active anti-fungal that is a part of this product’s ingredients list.
A scan of the Scholl website apparently confirms that there is no active anti-fungal ingredient, relying on the citric acid monohydrate (and the various other acids and alcohols) to “create an acidic environment in the nail which the fungi are unable to grow in”.
Since the intention seems to be cutting off the environment rather than killing the fungus itself, we can see why this could be an effective solution, but we can also see why the Scholl brand chooses to market it as a treatment for “the early signs of fungal nail” rather than simply treating a fungal nail.
As with any kind of treatment for your nail, let’s just go ahead and get our oft-said phrase out of the way: it could work for you. Just like Vicks Vapo Rub, raw garlic, or essential oils can work for some people, so too could this treatment work for you – potentially more effectively than at-home treatments. While this is a kind of disclaimer for us, as we can’t conclusively tell you if this product will help you, it’s also just true: nail fungus varies from person to person and each person’s unique body chemistry can react differently to different stimuli.
From what we can read online (focusing mainly on non-partisan websites), general consensus results are a little skewed. Some people claim they’ve been waiting for this solution for years and wish they had bought it sooner, while others are scratching their heads and wondering if their nails are actually just getting worse.
We think that the most plausible indication of efficacy is hidden in what we already mentioned: how Scholl markets their product.
This could very well be a suitable product for early-stage fungi: slight discolouration, a little warping or distortion, and no significant deterioration. It seems to work as a kind of heavier-duty at-home solution, using the same basic science as many at-home remedies like lemon juice or vinegar: dilute the area with acids and make it incredibly difficult for the fungus to establish a base camp on your toe.
However, once it does have a significant foothold on your nail, the Scholl Nail Fungus Treatment may just be a waste of time and money since it’s targeted towards early-stage detection.
Where to Get It
As we have already mentioned, Scholl is pretty much the leading name in footcare worldwide, so finding a way to get your hands (or feet) on their products is relatively simple.
This treatment kit is not doctor-prescribed, so you needn’t make an appointment with your physician or GP to try it out. You can probably find this at your local pharmacy or chemist, and we have definitely seen them stocked at Lloyd’s, Boots, Tesco, and Superdrug locations in our travels.
For those of you who don’t get out much (we sympathise), Amazon and eBay both stock this product.
Possibly the best news is that this treatment option is a whole lot cheaper than some others, costing anywhere between £12 and £20 depending on where you’re picking yours up from. This is a relatively cheap and low-stakes solution compared to what you might spend on laser surgery or antifungal oral medication.
Our verdict is based wholly on what your toe looks like right now. If you notice a small patch of fungi gaining ground or some slight symptoms, we think that this treatment is, at the very least, worth more of a shot than an at-home remedy. Many of those solutions use the same principles as the Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment, but it is important to remember that this was designed specifically to treat nail fungus as opposed to mouthwash or vinegar, which, well, wasn’t. Give it a shot – it won’t harm your nails and may work wonders in stopping your infection!
However, if your symptoms are more serious than a nail in the beginning stages of infection – if there is serious discolouration, rapid spreading, distortion, crumbliness, or even pain, you’ve left the phase in which you could get some use out of this product. At this point, we recommend that you visit your doctor and get an antifungal prescription.
We sincerely hope that this review has proven useful for you! If you’ve tried out the Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment before and have had either success or failure with it, we’d like to know your story. Feel free to let us know in the comments/by email what happened and how your infection reacted to this treatment.
Scholl Fungal Nail FAQs
How does Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment work?
The Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment suffuses the nail and nailbed with acids and alcohols that make it extremely difficult for fungi to grow. It essentially attacks the environment of the fungi rather than the fungi itself.
What are Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment instructions?
It is extremely simple to use – simply file the top of your nail down, and apply the advanced nail liquid to the infected nail. Follow Scholl’s recommendations for how frequently you must repeat this procedure to get results.
Where can I get the Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment?
Most local chemists and pharmacies will stock Scholl products as well as online retailers and larger department stores – you can find it easily at Wells, Boots, Tesco, Superdrug, Lloyd’s, Amazon, and eBay.
Is Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment good?
Well – we go into detail about it above, but we think that it could be helpful for you, particularly if you start using this product soon after spotting the fungal infection. That said, it does not contain any of the powerhouse antifungal ingredients that actually do some damage to the fungi itself. For this reason, it may not be as effective as some of the other options available.
What does Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment contain?
Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment contains a number of different chemicals that are designed to penetrate the layers of nail and create a hazardous environment to fungi – these include urea, citric acid monohydrate, and isopropyl alcohol amongst others. The ingredients target the environment but not the fungi itself as it contains no active antifungal agents.