In in vitro tests, natural coniferous resin from the Norway spruce (Picea abies) is strongly antifungal. In this observational study, we tested the clinical effectiveness of a lacquer composed of spruce resin for topical treatment of onychomycosis. Thirty-seven patients with clinical diagnosis of onychomycosis were enrolled into the study. All patients used topical resin lacquer treatment daily for 9 months. A mycological culture and potassium hydroxide (KOH) stain were done from nail samples in the beginning and in the end of the study. Treatment was considered effective, if a mycological culture was negative and there was an apparent clinical cure. At study entry, 20 patients (20/37; 54%; 95% CI: 38-70) had a positive mycological culture and/or positive KOH stain for dermatophytes. At study end, the result of 13 patients was negative (13/19; 68%; 95% CI: 48-89). In one case (1/14; 7%; 95% CI: 0-21) the mycological culture was initially negative, but it turned positive during the study period. By 14 compliant patients (14/32; 44%; 95% CI: 27-61), resin lacquer treatment was considered clinically effective: complete healing took place in three cases (9%) and partial healing in 11 cases (85%). The results indicate some evidence of clinical efficacy of the natural coniferous resin used for topical treatment of onychomycosis.
© 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.