The best Antifungal Creams for Ringworm

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A hand of a woman who applying an antifungal cream for her ringworm

1Introduction

This article describes the common antifungal creams prescribed by the doctors to treat ringworm in humans. Although there are other types of treatment such as home remedies and oral medication, the main focus here are the ones that can be applied on the body topically.

Antifungal creams are recommended by doctors to cure ringworm because they can usually clear the condition in a matter of two weeks. Antifungal drugs have different mechanisms in killing fungi and curing fungal infections or diseases. Below are the different antifungal creams which are usually recommended by doctors to cure ringworm and other related fungal infections.

2Antifungal Creams

  • Clotrimazole

Clotrimazole is an antifungal medication that inhibits the growth of fungi by interfering with the production of the membrane that is surrounding fungal cells. It can effectively treat ringworm infection in the skin, jock itch, and athlete’s foot, and relieve an infected individual of its symptoms. Apply this medication twice a day or as instructed by the doctor.

Side Effects: local redness, stinging, blistering, peeling, swelling, itching, hives, burning at the area of application

Brand Names: Lotrisone, Canesten Cream, Lotrimin, Prescription Strength Cruex, Desenex, Alevazol, Gyne-Lotrimin

  • Miconazole

Miconazole is an antifungal medication used for treating skin infections such as jock itch, athlete’s foot, and vaginal yeast infections. It works by decreasing the ability of fungi to produce ergosterol, an important part of its cell membrane. Miconazole is applied once or twice a day for 2 weeks for skin infections, and 1 month for athlete’s foot.

Side Effects: irritation, itching, rash, burning, stomach pain, fever

Brand Names: Monistat, Micatin, M-Zole

  • Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole is an FDA approved an antifungal medication that blocks the growth of some types of fungi by stopping the production of membranes that surround fungal cells. Use this two times a day or as directed by the doctor.

Side Effects: nausea, itching, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, headache, dizziness, impotence, blood count abnormalities

Rare Side Effects: hair loss, severe depression, allergic reactions, tingling sensations, liver dysfunction

Brand Names: Nizoral, Nizoral A-D, Ketodan, Kuric. Xolegel, Extina

  • Econazole

Ketoconazole is an FDA approved an antifungal medication that blocks the growth of some types of fungi by stopping the production of membranes that surround fungal cells. Econazole nitrate has strong anti-feeding properties against keratin digesting organisms. Use this two times a day or as directed by the doctor.

Side Effects: itching, rash, burning, stinging, redness, irritation, erythema

Popular Brand Name: Spectazole

  • Oxiconazole

Oxiconazole is an antifungal cream that impedes the growth of fungus. It is used to treat skin infections like jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. Apply to the affected area once or twice a day or as prescribed by the doctor for 2 weeks.

Side Effects: burning, tenderness, stinging, redness, irritation, swelling, flaking of the treated skin, pimple-like bumps

Popular Brand Name: Oxistat

  • Sulconazole

Sulconazole is an antifungal solution or cream that treats skin infections. Sulconazole nitrate has a strong anti-feeding effect on keratin digesting organisms. Apply this on the affected part once or twice daily or as directed by the doctor for 2 to 4 weeks.

Side Effects: irritation, itching, redness, burning, rash, mild skin dryness

Popular Brand Name: Exelderm

  • Sertaconazole

Sertaconazole is an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial cream that is used to treat skin infections like athlete’s foot. It blocks the synthesis of ergosterol which prevents the spreading of fungal cells and impairs the hyphae growth. Apply to the affected part twice daily or as instructed by the doctor.

Side Effects: swelling, burning, tenderness, dry skin, irritation, discoloration

Popular Brand Name: Ertaczo

  • Tolnaftate

Tolnaftate is an antifungal medication that is used to treat fungal skin infections such as ringworm, athlete’s foot, and jock itch. It slows down squalene epoxidase, an important enzyme in the pathway of ergosterol, a major component of the fungal membrane. Apply this medication to the affected area twice a day or as instructed by the doctor.

Side Effect: mild irritation

Popular Brand Name: Tinactin

  • Naftifine

Naftifine is an antifungal medication that works by stopping the growth of fungus. It also helps get rid of the scaling, redness, and itching. Use this cream once daily for two weeks or as prescribed by the doctor.

Side Effect: mild irritation

Popular Brand Name: Naftin

  • Terbinafine

Terbinafine is an FDA approved an antifungal medication that works by interfering with the ability of fungi to produce sterols, chemicals which are an important part of the membrane surrounding fungal cells and which holds them together. Use this once or twice daily or as prescribed by the doctor.

Side Effects: a cough, diarrhea, headache, itching, hives, abdominal pain, altered taste and smell sensation

Popular Brand Name: Lamisil

  • Ciclopirox

Ciclopirox is an antifungal medication used in treating nail infections. It works by preventing the growth of fungus. Apply this to the infected nail/nails once a day, usually at bedtime.

Side Effects: redness or burning of treated skin, changes in color or shape of the nail

Popular Brand Name: Loprox

3Conclusion

Most of the antifungal creams and sprays can be bought over-the-counter and you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to get them. Despite them being OTC, it is still recommended to consult a doctor before using anything to treat ringworm so that the doctor can give the proper prescription and to also monitor the progress of the treatment.