Antifungal creams are topical antifungal drugs that are widely used for treating fungal infections of the skin, nail, and the genital area. Fungi typically thrive in moist and dark places, and this is the reason why fungal infections are common in areas like the mouth, armpits, groin, or the genital area. However, fungal infections can also affect the scalp, neck, and other parts of the body.
Some common types of fungal infections are, candidiasis or yeast infection, ringworm, athlete's foot, fungal infections of the finger and toenails, and jock itch. Rarely, fungal infections can also affect internal organs like the heart, lungs, and the brain, especially when the immune system is weakened due to some underlying health conditions like AIDS and cancer. Internal fungal infections can lead to life-threatening conditions. Such infections can require systemic antifungal drugs available in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid, and injections.
How Do Antifungal Creams Work?
The antifungal drugs, including the topical creams identify the fungal cells from the human cells, and then destroy them without causing damage to the normal cells of the body. However, it is not so easy to distinguish fungal cells from human cells, as both are eukaryotic cells.
Fungal and human cells can look quite similar, and due to this similarity, antifungal creams may damage the human cells while destroying the fungal cells at times. This can cause a few minor side effects, like itching and a burning sensation. Sometimes, these topical creams are combined with hydrocortisone to reduce the inflammation caused by a fungal infection.
Topical Antifungal Creams
As mentioned already, these creams are used to treat fungal infections of the skin. They are available in different varieties and strengths. The most commonly used creams and other topical preparations for treating fungal infections are, clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, sulconazole, terbinafine, amorolfine, and griseofulvin. The commonly used topical preparations for treating yeast infections are, nystatin, clotrimazole, econazole, miconazole, tioconazole, and isoconazole.
The creams that are commonly used for treating ringworm are, terbinafine, clotrimazole, econazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, and sulconazole. Even diaper rash, if caused by yeasts can require the application of antifungal creams. Clotrimazole and nystatin are the most frequently used creams for diaper rash. However, before applying this medicine, it is important to ascertain that the infection is indeed caused by fungus, and not by any other agent.
Antifungal creams can usually cure fungal infections without causing any adverse reactions. A few minor side effects like skin irritation, itching, redness, and a burning sensation can be experienced by some individuals. Sometimes, one can develop allergic reactions after applying topical antifungal preparations, which should be reported to a physician. While applying these creams, one should take adequate care to make sure that these preparations do not enter the eyes.
Pregnant women should consult their physicians before using any kind of systemic, as well as topical antifungal drugs. If the infection is severe and persistent, and it has affected a large part of the body, then systemic or oral antifungal medications may be required to treat the condition. For such severe infections, consider to visit your physician to ensure proper treatment.