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Curanail (amorolfine)

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 5 minutes read
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Curanail 5% is an over-the-counter product containing amorolfine, and is a topical treatment used for fungal nail infections. The nail solution is painted onto the infected nail using the brush provided. It works by soaking in through the nail to kill the fungus responsible for the infection.

A fungal nail infection most commonly affects the toenails but can also affect the fingernails. It is most commonly caused by the same fungi that cause athletes foot. The fungi often cause the infected nail to become discolored, brittle, thickened or distorted. If left untreated the nail may be destroyed and the surrounding skin can also become infected.

This medicine is available for purchase over-the-counter in some pharmacies, but is not available in the United States.

How does Curanail work?

Curanail contains amorolfine which kills fungi and prevents the infection from spreading further. Amorolfine is able to penetrate the nail’s surface and creates small holes within the fungi’s outer membranes. This causes the fungal cells to leak which is why the fungi dies.

In order to get the best result using Curanail, it’s vital to make sure you file down the infected nails using the nail files provided before each weekly application. This allows Curanail to absorb deeper within the nail to have the best chance of fully killing off the fungal infection.

Doctor’s advice

How long does it take for Curanail to work?

Fungal nail infections can vary from person to person. Nails grow slowly and it can take up to a couple of months before you notice any improvement. It can take up to 6-12 months for some people to completely clear the infection. It is a good idea to take photos or record the presentation of your infected nails monthly so you can monitor progress.

Many fungal nail infections will not clear with topical treatments, and many doctors will not even prescribe them as they are not effective. You may require stronger tablet antifungals to clear the infection, but these must be prescribed by your doctor.

Does Curanail work?

Curanail is very effective against nail fungal infections, successfully treating 85% of fingernail infections and 75% of toenail infections in 6 months.

To achieve the best results in the fastest time, it is important that the treatment is followed correctly. Nails can take time to grow and it can sometimes take a couple of months to start seeing improvements. Curanail usually takes 6-12 months to fully get rid of the infection.

Who is Curanail for?

If you want to know if Curanail is right for you, there are a few things to consider first.

It’s only for people over the age of 18 years who are suffering from mild fungal nail infection that is affecting the top and/or outer edges on 1 or 2 of their nails.

Should anyone avoid Curanail?

You should not use Curanail if you:

  • suffer from diabetes
  • have a weak immune system - try taking some immune boosting vitamins
  • have poor circulation
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • are allergic to any ingredients

You should see your doctor for treatment of your fungal nail infections if any of the above applies to you. This is because you need your infection monitored more closely to ensure there are no complications.

What causes a fungal nail infection?

Fungal nail infections are fairly common. They're not serious, although they can take a long time to get rid of once you start a treatment.

Fungal nail infections generally affect your toenails. They can also happen on your fingernails, too.

Fungal nail infections are most commonly caused by the same fungi that cause athlete's foot. This can develop from your feet being constantly warm and damp. If you have hot, sweaty feet and wear socks and sneakers that don’t allow your feet to get enough air, you can run the risk of getting an infection.

Fungal nail infections will usually start at the edge of the nail before spreading to the center of the nail causing it to become yellowed and thicker in parts. As a result of the infection, the nail becomes brittle. This can lead to bits breaking off or even the whole nail lifting off. This can be very painful and can cause the skin to become inflamed.

How to prevent a fungal nail infection

Here are some helpful tips to prevent a fungal nail infection:

  • Keep your feet clean and dry
  • Treat athlete's foot immediately to reduce the chances of it spreading to your toenails
  • Wear clean socks daily
  • Avoid walking in bare feet at public showers in gyms or pools; wear flip-flops instead
  • Don’t wear damp socks or shoes
  • Don’t share towels with other people
  • Don’t wear other people's shoes or socks
  • Don’t share nail clippers, nail files or scissors with others

How to use Curanail

Your Curanail treatment involves a weekly application directly to the infected nail. Curanail is waterproof and soap proof so it does not need to be reapplied.

Step 1: Prepare the Nail

Using a new nail file, delicately file down the infected areas of the nail, including the surface of it. In order to protect any healthy nails, do not use the same nail file you have used on an infected nail as it can spread the infection. Make sure no one else uses your nail files either to prevent it from spreading to them.

Step 2: Clean the nail

Clean the nail surface using one of the swabs provided. Don’t throw the swab away until you have finished as you will need it to clean the applicator.

Step 3: Treat the nail

Dip one of the reusable applicators into the bottle of Curanail nail lacquer. Make sure not to wipe the lacquer off the applicator and carefully apply it to the whole surface of the infected nail. Allow it to dry on the nail or nails you have applied it to for about 3 minutes.

Step 4: Clean the applicator

The applicators provided can be used multiple times; however you need to make sure you thoroughly clean them after each use to avoid spreading the infection to other nails. You can clean the applicator using the same swab you used for cleaning your nails. Avoid touching the newly treated nails with the swab. Make sure the Curanail nail lacquer bottle is closed correctly to avoid it leaking and dispose of the swab safely as it is inflammable.

To get the best results, it is vital that you follow the weekly treatment correctly and without interruption until the infected section of nail has completely grown out. Failing to do this will likely result in the infection returning.

To avoid forgetting when your next application is required, make a note of when you last applied it. You could write this on the box, a calendar, diary or set a reminder on your phone. It needs to be applied each week so it’s very important to know when your next application is due.

In general, Curanail can take six months of treatment to clear up a fingernail infection and nine to twelve months for toenail infections.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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