Fungavir Review: Meh

I tried Fungavir for my persistent toenail fungus yuckiness. It’s “too good to be true” claims are too good to be true. The website offers vaguely worded claims that it has special ingredients that get under the nail where other products fail. It does not.

It works about as well as any other topical antifungal I’ve used, but it’s more expensive and the advertising is shadier. Don’t buy it.

I’ve written a lot over the years about anti-fungals, take a look. Short form: Most topicals keep the infection at bay but none get under the nail to the root of the problem. Prescription orals sometimes work, sometimes don’t. There’s no reliable cure for nail fungus, this is especially true for topicals. Oral medicines work from the inside-out so you’ve got a better shot at a cure but they aren’t reliable either.

Fungavir’s website is filled with weasel words and hot air. Read some of their ad copy with that in mind:

There are many discussions about nail fungus going on on my blog. Search my blog for the word “fungus” for more.


  1. […] Update 2-15-12: Here is my review of Fungavir […]

  2. Lucy Alba says:

    Hello Lee,

    I read your comments on fungavir, glad to have seen it because all of the reviews sounded like ads to me. Regarding cure for toenail fungus. I found one that worked…have been fungus free now for 20 years. A dermatologist used some kind of laser to burn my infected toenails, then gave me 3 topical anti-fungus ointments and told me to apply them twice a day. Sure enough, after following his instructions diligently, my toenails grew back cleared of any fungus. (He didn’t completely burn off the nails, but must have weakened them and made them thin enough so that the medicine could get underneath the nail. Recently I’ve seen ads for this kind of treatment costing $800 but when I had it done, it cost me my co-pay only.



  3. lee says:

    The laser treatments seem to have about a 25% success rate :-(. I’m glad it worked for you!

  4. Fungus says:

    Lee, excellent review. It is nice to see you like to spend a few minutes of your time on educating the web, I have done so myself over the last couple of years and it is annoying to see how shameless companies are in their marketing of vinegar and stuff…. Keep up the good work.

    Lucy, congratulations on finding a treatment that worked for you. I know it’s a great feeling.

  5. Catherine says:

    I agree about their shady advertising. The website says you get 6 bottles 1 oz each for the price of 3 bottles, i.e., $149. Last time I ordered I did receive six 1 oz bottles. This time I received six 1/2 oz bottles for the same price, i.e., $149. When I inquired, they said the new mixture is more concentrated. However, the only change was an increase in undecylenic acid from 20% to 25%. Since the website still says you receive six 1 oz bottles, I didn’t expect to receive half as much for the same price.

  6. lee says:

    Where on their site do they say they ship 1 ounce bottles? If you actually bought the product and got 1/2 ounce bottles, call them and complain. If you don’t get any satisfaction, write a comment here!

    Hey, if they can give you less of their product for the same money, that’s a ‘win’ for them, right? I’ve got to say that the 1 ounce bottles I have last a long time. But it’s still more expensive and about as effective as all the other products I’ve tried (which is to say that it keeps the infection at bay but does not get under the nail to cure it.) browse my site to read more.

  7. Jim says:

    Thanks for the warnings about Fungavir. Looks like, not only is it scammy, but the company created a lot of phony “medical reviews” and put them on the web. Google “fungavir review” and you’ll see what I mean.

    The Mayo Clinic’s info on toenail fungus is comprehensive. There is no easy cure for it.

  8. joe says:

    So what treatments would u recommend for fungi in fingernail?
    I was about to buy a bottle of fungavir till I seen these posts. Now having second thoughts on what to do

  9. zay says:

    @Lucy Alba, if you don’t mind, what three topicals did your doctor recommend to you that ACTUALLY WORKED?

  10. T. Wulf says:

    Thanks for an honest review. All the reviews I read seemed “to good to be true” and I wasn’t going to drop $100 on a scam. I am not buying their line or their product. I have tried several exterior application products with little results. What does work?

  11. blue says:

    I hear lasers work but then the nail fungus comes back eventually. I also hear Lamisil works about 60% of the time and has a 30% chance of recurrence for nail fungus. I am hopeful some other meds are approved by the FDA to work, in the AN2690, Mike talks about it here

  12. Bill says:

    The website is a “infomercial” portal for Fungavir ( Click on the Editors Choice Top 5 link. Both sites are registered out of Chesterbrook PA as “Private Registrations”. The “reviews” on the .ORG site are meant to send you to only one site. It pays to snoop around…

  13. nancy says:

    Thank you for posting this. I was have regular pedicures and manicures, my nails use to be clear, I started
    noticing my toe nails and 2 fingernails getting a yellow/brown appearance. At first did not think anything of it, but know most of my toenails are to my embarrassment horrible. I am currently on prescribed meds for an illness and I am not a candidate for oral lamisil. I came across your post trying to purchase topical fungus creams and read your post. Thank you for your information. It is very helpful, if some things sound to good to be true then they must not be true. referring to (Fungavir) My mother suggested Apple cider vinegar (soaking my toes and fingernails for 30mins) she said that would help ,but results would be very slow. I started a week ago and I have notice that my ugly yellow nails are starting to look a little lighter, I use olive oil afterward on my toes, because the vinegar dries my skin. I guess my questions is has anyone else tried this. I want my toe nails back.
    Thank you for reading

  14. lee says:

    Vinegar works about as well as any other topical. Yes it can work though it’s certainly not a sure cure. It’ll soften your nails which can help you get at yucky keratin. Keep reading my blog, there’s lots of good suggestions but no sure cures. Sorry!

  15. Gene says:

    Get yourself a round elongated artists brush. Get APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Remember apple cider vinegar. No other vinegar
    works as well. Pour the vinegar into a small bottle or cup, etc. Wet the brush well and soak the toenail with the brush
    going around skin and all. Make sure you get the toenail soaked. Do each toenail once at night before going to bed. Let
    the feet air dry for about 10 minutes before going to bed. Don’t get uptight as this is a long time procedure. You can
    buy a pint of the apple cider vinegar for about $1.59 and should last months. Can you get cheaper than this?

  16. Jess says:

    I was just about to order Fungavir and Zetaclear because I am tired of how my nails look. my friends and family (the girls) are always inviting me to go get a pedicure but I always have to lie and tell them I have other plans, because I’m too embarrassed to tell them I have nail fungus on my toes. Thank you for putting this together… just to let you know there is a fungavir advertisement at the bottom of your blog.

  17. David in CT says:

    I agree. Reading the “findings”, convinced me to give Fungavir a try. After 8 months of use, not only have I seen zero new nail growth…it seems like it’s actually spread the infection to nails that weren’t that bad before I started using it! All it’s done to date is dry out my toenails to a flakey white chalk and they look worse! I’ve seen that diligent soaking of your toes in an antiseptic mouthwash like regular Listerine can help. It’s worth a try…because Fungavir fails miserably!

  18. kort hawks says:

    quick question – will a doctor remove the nail in order to make the treatment more effective and or increase the speed at which you recover.

  19. lee says:

    Kort, that is an option, yes. They might do a matrixectomy (google it) to permanently remove your nail. Or just trim the nail severely. Removing the nail removes the problem… but then you have no nail! I haven’t done this.

  20. Melissa Knapp says:

    I don’t know about if it spreads the fungus to the other toes, but I do know that Fungavir has at least managed to clear out the two spots on the one toe I have this on from where it looked like it was growing a dark brown spot. It mentioned to file the nail down so that it could get to the bed. (Which I did, not difficult since I’d tried the whole, leave it alone, just keep it clean and trimmed and it’ll be fine. Then I stubbed my toe and the nail broke back to half way down my nail bed. Now it’s hideous.) It doesn’t hurt, but it was getting rather red around the edges, and the cuticle area was looking a bit off. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks and I won’t say it’s ‘curing’ any thing but it did make the red puffiness go away and it cleaned out those two brown spots. It may not ‘completely’ work, but until someone finds one that doesn’t involve the oral medication, I’m stuck. I can’t take the oral stuff I medical issues it would exasperate. So if anyone can help me figure out something that at least will keep it from gtting worse I’d appareciate it.

  21. lee says:

    Melissa, here are some alternatives to Fungavir:
    – Selsun Blue shampoo – use it on your whole foot while you’re in the shower. This has kept my fungus “at bay” to just 1 toe for a few years now
    – Desenex foot powder
    – vinegar soaked into a piece of a cotton ball, held on your toe with some scotch tape for an hour. It will soften up your nail so you can trim it

  22. Gary says:

    I am so sick of this fungus, I have decided to simply soak my toes in BLEACH for a minute or two each night. I mean, bleach should kill anything, right? Want to cut back the nail as far down, deep as I can to expose the underside, so thanks for sharing vinegar will soften the nail before I take my Dremel to it :) Ah… anyone tried simple bleach over a few months?

  23. lee says:

    Hey Gary, I tried using bleach to treat my nail fungus for a little while. It didn’t work because:

    * It stinks. It was weird that I could smell my bleachy feet for 1/2 the day.
    * The bleach started to eat the skin around my toes. If I recall correctly, I tried using bleach for 3 days and by the end of the third day the skin around my toe looked really bad (white, peeling, tender, the skin seemed thinner)
    * Bleach doesn’t do anything special to get under the nail. It’s just another topical antifungal, but with more side effects
    * it felt like it was burning my toes. Bad news!

    Go ahead and give it a try and tell us how it goes, but my experience with bleach was short because the side effects were pretty extreme.

  24. Gary says:

    I’m using a bleach/water mix. And doing so for several reasons, as follows: first, common practice (federal guidelins) at work is that, in event of a blood spill, we’re to use 1 part bleach with 5 or 6 parts water, to kill any possible Hep C or even HIV virus (I work with the homeless, in a shelter). Secondly, bleach is used to kill mold around the house. So, not thinking pure bleach, but maybe mixed with two parts water? Three? Anyway, I’ve actually been doing this for quite some time. Haven’t noticed any smell/discoloration. Thought my big nail was growing back fine, but then discovered that, while it grew back, the underside of the nail did not adhere (via connective tissue) with the underlying skin. Hence, going to pare it back down to where it is connected, and try again. More diligently, though, and also filing the nail down every few nights to where it IS adhered to the underlying tissue. Otherwise, it just leaves a ‘culture vat’ under the nail for the proliferation of fungi as the nail grows out (think air pocket under the nail). Again… with the bleach/water mixture, I had no skin discoloring or odor. Let it well dry before covering with a sock. Of interest to me, my current lady friend informed me this might not be fungus. She showed me a toenail of hers, also about 4x times thicker, but mentioned that when the lab did a test on a cuticle, that it was not a fungus. In any event, I am self conscious as hell about it. Remember seeing ‘older’ people with nails like this when I was a kid… thought it was gross. Now it’s I, who have this crap! Sigh…

  25. Francis A Visk says:

    After reading Fungavir’s review of their own product I decided to purchase four bottles for approximately $104.
    BIG MISTAKE. My fingernails are no better than when I began using it. Even after use for almost 11 months, the nails are brittle, jagged and crack off over a period of time.
    Since I took the advice of Fungavir (“But be patient, it takes about 3-6 months to totally get rid of nail fungus and for new healthy nails to grow”, a quote taken directly from their home page) I gave it a fair trial of 11 months. ANOTHER MISTAKE!
    When I applied for a refund I was informed that the grace period for return was only 60 days.
    Take my advice. In my opinion, this stuff is worthless!

  26. Courtney says:

    Tea tree oil works well, but it can cause serious itching! It cleared up 2 nails and I’m still working on the big nail. I’ve been using it as much as I can during the day!

  27. lee says:

    Yes, tea tree oil works about as well as any other topical (and of course is way less expensive than Fungavir). I tried it for a while and it started to clear up a few toes but then I developed a bit of an allergy to it. My toes got red and very itchy so I had to give it up. Best of luck to you!

  28. Charles in Florida says:

    I have been soaking my feet in Vinegar and Listerine for 25 minutes a day and then clean under the nails, I have been doing this for 4 months and it is working also I us 25% undecylenic acid after cleaning under nails and drying them.

  29. lee says:

    Rock on Charles!

    I hope your nails clear up entirely!

  30. Rob says:

    has anyone tried a product called emuaid max it contains tee tree oil

  31. lee says:

    >emuaid max
    It appears that Mother Teresa has nothing on this stuff. Miracles and miracles! Their homepage reads

    Topical symptomatic relief for resistant skin conditions: Molluscum Contagiosum, Shingles, Severe Boils, Hemorrhoids, Eczema, Cold Sores, Fungal Infections, Warts, Poison Ivy, Psoriasis, Oak & Sumac and other itchy, painful conditions

    If their claims are true, then this homeopathic remedy is about to change the face of modern medicine. (hint, they aren’t and it won’t)

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    It has all the hallmarks of a scam:
    * A nice, “expensive, but not too expensive” price point
    * claims to cure everything
    * Amazon reviews are a mix of 5 star and 1 star (hint, the 5 star ratings are fake)
    * website offers ambiguous superlatives, see below

    This list of ambiguous claims copied from their website

    * Fights infections faster while enhancing the skin’s vital barrier and healing functions
    * Provides rapid relief from difficult-to-treat, resistant skin conditions
    * Powered with the highest concentrations of potent natural healing ingredients and our unparalleled delivery system
    * Starts to repair, relieve and restore damaged skin immediately upon application
    * Works faster and more intensively than regular-strength EMUAID ® and delivers relief from the first use
    * Safe for the entire family
    * 2x MORE Bacillus Ferment — 10x MORE Tea Tree Oil — 50x MORE Vitamin E*
    * 30 Day Guarantee
    * FDA-registered homeopathic medicine

  32. Jan b says:

    Do you soak in apple cider vinegar and Listerine at the same time?

  33. lee says:

    I would try them separately. People disagree about the following but I’d say the vinegar temporarily softens the nail so you can trim it more easily and the Listerine is a topical antifungal that may kill the fungus. Good luck.

  34. Rita Smith says:

    I’ve been trying to use home remedies for a toenail that got infected for a few months now but they really haven’t helped. So I’ve decided to try using a product, called Fungavir. I found it online after I did a search for products. I chose it because it is a natural product and I am into alternative medicine. It did the trick!

  35. lee says:

    Rita, that sounds great except for how you wrote your comment from That domain is so nasty that Google Chrome won’t let me visit the site unless I click past a big, red “DANGER! Malware ahead!!” warning.

    I’m sorry you have to work at a spam company. I hope you move up and out of that job soon.

  36. Barry C says:

    Thankyou for this blog Lee
    I wish I’d found it before I found the fake review sites that led me to Fungivir.
    I bought 6 bottles and had them shipped over to the UK.
    After years of trying things that didn’t really work I got so desperate I wanted to believe there was something and Fungivir’s claims of 25% undecylenic acid seemed to be the best choice from the products reviewed. I can’t believe that such companies will flood the internet with fake review sites and false claims – there should be laws against such deceptive practices!
    I’ve been using Fungivir twice a day for a few months now – I’m halfway through my second bottle. It does last a long time – I’ll say that – better than ‘Exilor’ which I tried before – manufactured in Belgium with possibly equally spurious claims – you don’t get a lot for your money and it’s main ingredient – acetic acid!
    Re: Fungivir – I’m at a point now where I don’t think it’s having much effect. I file my nails down flat to get the solution close to the nail bed but if I didn’t do this I think they would all just grow back thick, rounded and crumbly. I can’t say for sure it’s having no effect but I would have hoped for improvement by now.
    I have another four bottles so I might as well carry on until I can find something else that works – I considered asking for my money back but there’s probably little chance of that now. I only hope that more people in our situation find your blog first and eventually companies like Fungivir may go out of business.

    I tried Epson Salts foot baths for a while – information I found on Dr Sahelian’s site. The daily routine of sitting with your feet in a bowl got to be a bind so in the end I was glad to stop for something quicker.
    I also tried Oregano essential oil as it’s meant to be a powerful anti-fungal – has anyone tried this?

  37. Chrissie1411 says:

    Good to see this blog confirming my own suspicions. Like most people commenting on this site, for over a decade I’ve been milked & milked by topical treatment manufacturers. Also tried all the home remedies – none worked. Finally got laser treatment & this worked. My podiatrist says to still keep using the topical solution – what a bore & so expensive but this is the first time anything has worked so laser did it for me in my case. It’s a pity that this huge network of fake reviews promising miracle cures doesn’t get its just desserts & jail terms for fraud. How do these unscrupulous people keep getting away with it? Even pharmacists lie. This is surely malpractice for pharmacists & fraud for manufacturers.

  38. lee says:

    Chrissie, thanks so much for your comments! I’d love to hear more about how it all worked out.
    Some questions you might choose to go over:
    – what topicals are you using now? Maybe Lamisil and/or undecylenic acid?
    – What did the laser treatment cost? When I last checked, it was $1-3k for a full treatment
    – How long did it take to regrow good nails? I’m guessing 3-18 months.
    – Are you happy with it?

    And thanks for commenting about all the snake oil out there!

  39. Chrissie1411 says:

    Hi Lee, after laser cleared my nail fungus, my podiatrist said to keep using topicals as a prophylactic measure. I just finished my last bottle of useless Fungavir doing this & after much deliberation as Fungavir is so expensive, I’ve decided not to reorder it & to soak my feet in hot water with a big handful of epsom salts (in the morning) then I paint on some lemon eucalyptus oil & a coat of benzoic acid cream. At night after a shower, I soak my feet again & paint on some Rejuvenail. The Rejuvenail label claims it takes 6 hours to soak in. Of course Rejuvenail doesn’t work without laser, but maybe it ensures that no little nail fungus spores get going under my nails again. It only takes one spore & it’s back again.
    As to how much it cost & how long it took – I hate to think. It was a series of treatments at $98 a pop under Australian Medicare supplementation of the full payment of about $200. I had one podiatrist who gave me laser & kept insisting it was cured when I could see it wasn’t & it kept coming back. Then I got another podiatrist who got rid of it. The second treatment was more painful than the previous laser treatment – it worked by heating up the skin & nail to 1cm below the surface. But it worked, thank you universe!!! So the laser cooked the fungus.
    Am I happy? YES!!!!

  40. lee says:

    Chrissie, thanks very much for your input! All of that sounds hopeful! In researching your comments, I came across this article on Podiatry Today which mentioned that laser, like everything else, is definitely not 100% effective. I’m glad your nails are clearing! And yes, you should probably keep up the topical treatments for a long while.

  41. Barry C says:

    Hi Lee
    I posted last year on this thread regarding Fungavir.
    At that time I went on to read some of your other threads about fungal nail infection, but there was a lot and I had to stop because I have severe OCD and the little creature pictures you create for every poster were continually drawing me in and making it a nightmare for me to read the blog (I know this sounds ridiculous but OCD is ridiculous). Consequently, I never got to a conclusive post which summarized what the best treatment might be, based on everyone’s experience and I can’t carry on trying to read through them again because the obsessions with the pictures will start again.
    Would you consider summarizing all the posts on fungal nail infection into one conclusive post about what has actually worked for people? So I could just read that (or maybe you could send me that as an email?). Either way I’d really appreciate it.

    Still struggling with fungal nail infection..

    Many thanks

    (P.S. Feel free to delete the post if you think it’s inappropiate for your blog – best wishes and thankyou)

  42. lee says:

    Hi Barry and the Internets,

    I hope that even if this doesn’t solve your nail problems, it let’s you know what’s going on. That can be a relief in itself.

    here’s the short summary of what I’ve learned about nail fungus: the over-the-counter topicals at your local pharmacy for about $20 sometimes clear up nail fungus, maybe 30% of the time. The ingredient in those products is usually undecylenic acid. Lamisil (or the generic terbinafine) topical ($30) or oral ($2000) is one drug that has better than average results. Going to a podiatrist and getting drugs, or getting your nail ripped out, or both ($50-$3000) might work. There are a couple types of nail fungus, the main classes being dermatophytes and candida. Drugs for one type usually don’t affect the other so it’s helpful to keep a list of what you’ve tried.

    For me, oral Lamisil cured most of my nails with 6 months of treatment in 2006 (13 years ago). My right big toe nail still grows wrong and hurts every few months. To remedy, I shorten the nail (with some pain) with nail clippers and the pain goes away in a few days. I make sure to clean up spraying everything with Lamisil topical to keep the possibility of spreading the infection to a minimum. I don’t actually know if there is still an infection under the nail.

    There’s lots of home-brew topicals that seem to work moderately well… probably a 30% chance of curing your toes. They might work for you, or not. In my case, all of the following appeared to “help” but none got rid of my infection: undecylenic acid, Selsun Blue shampoo, tea tree oil, vinegar on a cotton ball, vapo-rub (I haven’t tried), grapeseed extract. The Selsun Blue helped a lot because it’s inexpensive enough to rub on my whole foot to knock out athelete’s foot and possibly the nail infection.

    Sadly, modern science doesn’t have a guaranteed cure for nail fungus. Anyone who says otherwise is selling you snake oil.

  43. Victoria Sullins says:

    Thank you so much, just about fell for this stuff and then googled fungivar and found this blog way down the page. Wish it could be at the top!
    I am a boat builder, and old house repairer and found this blog about fungus. Originally saw it in wooden boat magazine when seaching for dri rot repair.
    I mixed antifreeze with boric acid mixture for dry rot on my house.
    In the article, an old guy that worked I believe for Dow Chemical used Antifreeze on his foot and it cured it he claimed.

    Here’s an article I just pulled up in searching for glycol for treating fungus. HAS ANYBODY TRIED THIS?
    I haven’t tried it, but I am tempted as I am sick and tired of my finger reinfecting. My doctor said to keep my hands dry HA!. And soak with vinegar water. Persistent now for years.

    “What are the health implications of using ethylene glycol to treat athletes foot (tinea pedis)
    Ask Question
    Asked 2 years, 8 months ago
    Viewed 106 times ….NOT ANSWERED….

    I found this article about the treatment of rot in wooden boats, which in the 11th paragraph from the top mentions the use of common ethylene glycol based antifreeze for the treatment of athletes foot (tinea pedis).

    Does anyone know about any medical research done on this topic, or failing that, the health impact on externally applied ethylene glycol? To narrow down the expected quantity of exposure I would propose an initial treatment of maybe twice a day for a week going down to maybe once a week to prevent any new outbreaks. Areas to be treated are the soles of both feet, the toes with the area between them, under the toe nails and the area on top of the toes. Basically the same area as recommended for commercially available treatments for athlete foot like clotrimazole

    I would guess this is still below the actual exposure that any car mechanic would get on a daily base during his/her work.

    Information that includes any impact of common (anti corrosion) additives found in commercially available antifreeze fluid are welcome if kept separate from those of ethylene glycol specifically.”

  44. Victoria Sullins says:

    Wanted to add the original link to my last post.
    You can copy and paste this for the original article:

  45. Lee says:

    Victoria, using ethylene glycol to fight a nail infection is an interesting proposition. I don’t know the answer but some enterprising scientist out there may!

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