loading, one second please...

Walgreens' Anti Fungal Spray Relief, But Messy

Reviewing: Walgreens Medicated Anti Fungal Spray Liquid  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Devices & Aids Expertise:
5.3 oz spray can Walgreens Anti-Fungal

My favorite athlete’s foot product is no longer available. When I saw those red cracks starting to form again this week, along with the burning sensation, I knew I had to get some other product, quickly. After some research, I decided to try Walgreens’ Medicated Anti-Fungal liquid spray.

The Gold Bond Athlete’s Foot Swabs that worked so well for me have been discontinued. From reading a long list of feedback forum posts, I have learned that many people found the Gold Bond swabs to be the only thing that worked well for them, too. One person suggests that the problem is not lack of sales for the product, but a patent rights problem with the delivery method, a swab where one end is broken to deliver the medicine to the other end of the central tube. I can’t seem to verify this, but it would explain why such a successful product has suddenly disappeared.

But this week, after having used the very last of my carefully hoarded swabs, I knew that I couldn’t wait any longer to buy something else. At least now I knew that the active ingredient that seems to work for me is Tolnaftate. This is a synthetic thiocarbamate, with three carbon rings. The mechanism for how it controls fungus is not fully understood, but it may inhibit the formation of an enzyme that the athlete’s foot fungus, genus Trichophyton, needs.

After spending some time on line I learned that Dr. Scholl’s foot spray and Tinactin also use Tolnaftate as the active ingredient. Armed with that information, I headed for the drugstore. Walgreen’s was my first stop, just because it was convenient, and I found their store brand version with the same active ingredient.

Walgreens’ Medicated Anti-Fungal spray has Tolnaftate 1% as the active ingredient, and the can actually says to compare it to Tinactin. So I did, and everything seems the same except the Walgreens’ brand was $1.70 cheaper ($7.29 for 5.3 ounces). Well, that’s a no-brainer, if I’m going to try something new anyway. It comes in a spray powder, and a spray liquid. I chose the liquid to try first.

The directions say to (shake and) spray twice a day if you already have athlete’s foot, or once a day for prevention.

As soon as I got home, I washed my feet and sprayed between all my toes. Then I put on clean socks. By this time I had cracks starting in three places. By the next day, the red lines were still visible, but they were headed toward healing rather than opening more. So, I have to conclude that this is the active ingredient that works best to cure my athlete’s foot, and that the store brand product is going to be just fine.

Since I try to treat this problem long before it turns into deep, bleeding, oozing cracks, I don’t know how quickly the spray would clear up a bad case of athlete’s foot. The directions say that you can use it daily for up to four weeks before needing to consult a doctor if the problem persists.

It is not for use on fungus of the scalp or nails. Don’t get it in your eyes or mouth.

The can says that it will also cure ringworm. I’ve never had that, thank goodness! Jock itch is caused by the same fungus as athlete’s foot, but is located in the groin. The label doesn’t say if you can or can’t use the product in that area.


- It seems to work. That is the most important thing!

- It is probably cheaper per use than the swabs were (they were $0.25 each. I’m guessing I’ll get more than 30 applications from this spray can, but I can update when it’s gone to verify that)


- The spray is much messier. I have to put my foot on a towel so as to not spray the bed, rug, etc. The spray goes other places than between my toes, and I used a tissue to move some excess from the top of my foot to the bottom. However, the swabs allowed me to easily spread medicine to the bottom of the foot

- It will not travel as well as the swabs, which were just in a small box, and it would need to be in checked luggage for air travel

- It’s an aerosol can, so not as friendly to the environment as swabs


If the Gold Bond Athlete’s Foot Swabs become available again, I’m sure I’ll go back to them. Meanwhile, the Walgreens’ Medicated Anti-Fungal appears to be able to control my athlete’s foot problem.

In the picture, it doesn’t look like I have athlete’s foot at all. That’s pretty awesome, because it was exactly 24 hours ago that I had an ugly, red, itching line, about 3/4 inch long between those same two toes. Sorry, I didn’t think to get a “before” shot.