Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Don’t Let a Product’s Name Fool You!

MrConsumer has a toenail problem. Like many people, his toenails have turned brittle, irregular and off-color. He has toenail fungus. Years ago, his doctor said there was a pill for that, but it seemed strange to treat this condition from the inside out (and various articles suggest it is not always effective and takes a long time to work, if at all).

Recently, the most popular over-the-counter ointment brand, Fungi-Nail, ran this TV commercial touting the product.

Seems pretty unambiguous — “Maximum strength Fungi-Nail is so powerful, it cures and prevents fungal infections… Say goodbye to toe fungus with Fungi-Nail.”

But, on the back of the carton, there is a most unexpected disclosure.


Fungi-Nail back

Say what? This product is not for nail fungus? Then why is the product called “Fungi-Nail?” You have to check the FAQ section of the website for that answer.


Fungi-Nail FAQ

So, the name has nothing to do with the function of the product. Nice. And that point is also made at the end of the section on toe fungus on their website:

If you think you have nail fungus, contact your doctor.

So what’s Fungi-Nail good for? Athlete’s foot!

Share this story:
All comments are reviewed before being published, and may be edited. Comments that are off-topic, contain personal attacks, or are otherwise inappropriate will be deleted.

11 thoughts on “Don’t Let a Product’s Name Fool You!”

  1. I wonder if this is one of those “we’re quite sure our product works on toe nails, but the FDA says officially that it doesn’t” type situations. I guess that’s the best case we can hope for.

    The worst, and probably right, case is they know it doesn’t work on toe nail fungus and labelled it “Fungi-Nail” hoping you’ll buy it, though I’m not sure what their plan is when it doesn’t work.

  2. Misleading… the term, Nail is very subjective, it is either toenail or “You Nail It” fungus?

  3. A Q-Tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol and run between the toes, daily, cures and keeps athlete’s foot away, in my experience.

  4. I’m not a doctor, haven’t played one on TV, nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. My wife did have a battle with toenail fungus though.

    Toenails, like hair are dead. Because of that, you have to treat the cells that make the toenail at the base of nail. In time, you should get clear nails at the base and they’ll grow out.

    That’s how the systemic stuff works, and probably how this pen works (just topically)… it treats the living tissue and let’s the nail grow out over time.

  5. This reminds of ‘Aspercreme’, it doesn’t contain aspirin but a lot of people would assume (yes, yes I know what happens when we assume but…?) by the name that it does.

  6. Well, that’s sure a caveat emptor if I’ve ever heard one. OTOH, I did take an oral prescription drug to get rid of mine and it worked very well. And the fungus has never come back. As Mr. Consumer stated, it did take six months for it to disappear. Only downside is that I had to see a dermatologist first, so my co-pay was $50. This was at least five years ago.

  7. I finally got rid of all my toenail fungus last year. One below the knee amputation and one above the knee amputation did the trick. Not recommended if you can avoid it, however.

  8. When I read the FAQ I read it as (and this may be totally wrong but seems like a possible interpretation):

    The FDA says we have to say it’s not effective on nails and scalp and we can tell you they make us say that so we can’t go out on a limb and tell you “…but our product does work on nail fungus” that contradicts what they tell us to say. So the best we can do is tell you that the product is intended to be applied to the skin on the toes and around the toenails and hope that you understand that that means the product is for toenail fungus. The “see your doctor” line is another disclaimer so the FDA doesn’t go after us for giving medical advice.

    Robert’s comment about treating the living cells and waiting for the dead cells, i.e., nails, to be replaced supports that but obviously it’s not clear.

    Anyway, I hope that’s what they mean. From my antifungal experiences, any antifungal medication should just have the disclaimer: “Results from the use of this product are, as always, hit or miss.”

Comments are closed.