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Antifungal cream

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

There are many topical creams used to treat fungal infections. They are mainly used for localized skin infections, whereas tablets are usually used for more widespread skin and internal infections.  Different antifungal creams are used for different types of skin, vaginal or nail infections. The Healthwords team will explain some of the topical antifungal creams in detail and their different uses.

Doctor’s advice

Names of antifungals

Over-the-counter (OTC) antifungals include: clotrimazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, terbinafine, butenafine, and tolnaftate.

Prescription antifungals include: econazole, nystatin, tioconazole, and higher strengths of some OTC antifungals. Some of these prescription products are available with hydrocortisone. The hydrocortisone combination can be used to help reduce redness, inflammation and itching.


This comes in a 1% cream and is mainly used to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch. It is also available in a vaginal formulation for yeast infections.

Other topical antifungals

Miconazole is similar to clotrimazole in indications and formulations. Terbinafine, butenafine, and tolnaftate can be used for athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch, but they do not have a vaginal formulation.


Ketoconazole comes as a cream or a shampoo.  The cream is used for athlete’s foot, jock itch, and tinea versicolor but requires a prescription. The shampoo is available without prescription and is used for dandruff.

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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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