HOW DO TOPICAL ANTIFUNGALS/CORTICOSTEROIDS WORK?
Fungal infections are caused by:
- Dermatophytes: a group of fungi that affect keratin tissue of the skin and cause superficial infections of the skin and mucous membrane.
- Yeasts: single-celled microorganisms
- Molds: causes nail infections
Topical antifungals/corticosteroids work in the following ways:
- They kill the fungal cells.
- They prevent the fungal cells to grow and reproduce.
- Topical antifungals target the fungal cell membrane and the fungal cell wall (both structures surround and protect the fungal cells). When either of these structures is compromised, the fungal cell can burst open and lead to leakage of contents and eventually death of the fungal cell.
- Topical corticosteroids help to relieve the redness, swelling, itching, and discomfort caused by the infection by exerting three actions:
- Anti-inflammatory (blocking of chemical reactions that cause inflammation)
- Immunosuppressive action prevents tissue damage that can be caused by excessive inflammation
- Vasoconstrictive (they constrict the blood vessels) which reduces swelling and pain
Topical antifungals/corticosteroids are available in the form of creams, lotions, and ointments.
HOW ARE TOPICAL ANTIFUNGALS/CORTICOSTEROIDS USED?
Skin conditions treated with topical antifungals/corticosteroids include:
- Tinea cruris (an infection of the groin, also known as ‘jock itch’)
- Tinea corporis (a red, itchy, circular rash with clearer skin in the middle, commonly called ringworm)
- Tinea pedis (fungal infection of the foot, also known as ‘athlete foot’)
- Cutaneous candidiasis (a fungal infection that causes a red, itchy rash)
- Dermatitis (a condition that makes skin red and itchy)
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL ANTIFUNGALS/CORTICOSTEROIDS?
Common side effects include:
- Pruritis (itching)
- Erythema (redness)
- Skin irritation
- Burning and/or stinging
- Dryness/scaling of the skin
- Peeling skin
Other rare side effects include:
- Contact dermatitis (a condition that makes the skin red or inflamed after contact with an allergen or an irritant)
- Urticaria (an outbreak of pale red bumps or welts on the skin that appear suddenly)
- Folliculitis (a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed)
- Unwanted hair growth
- Striae (stretch marks)
- Skin atrophy
Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
Skin Problems and Treatments Resources