- Fungal infections of the skin, such as ringworm (tinea corporis), jock itch (tinea cruris) or athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).
- Inflammatory skin condition with greasy, red and scaly areas (seborrhoeic dermatitis).
- Fungal skin condition called pityriasis versicolor.
- Candida infections of the skin.
- Relieving the external symptoms (candidal vulvitis) of vaginal thrush (candidal vaginitis). (This cream should be used in combination with another medicine that treats the infection inside your vagina – ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice about which products to use.)
How does it work?
Nizoral cream contains the active ingredient ketoconazole, which is a type of medicine called an antifungal. It is used to treat infections with fungi and yeasts.
Ketoconazole kills fungi and yeasts by interfering with their cell membranes. It works by stopping the fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol, which is an essential component of fungal cell membranes. The disruption in production of ergosterol causes holes to appear in the fungal cell membrane.
The cell membranes of fungi are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. As ketoconazole causes holes to appear in the cell membranes, essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and clears up the infection.
Ketoconazole cream may be prescribed to treat a number of different types of fungal and yeast infections. These include ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch, thrush infections of the skin and vagina (candidosis), and skin conditions that are caused by infection with the yeast Pityrosporum (Malassezia), such as seborrheic dermatitis and pityriasis versicolor.
How do I use it?
- Wash and dry the affected areas of skin thoroughly before applying the cream.
- To treat athletes foot, the cream should be gently rubbed into the affected areas twice a day, usually for a week for mild cases. More severe or extensive cases may take longer to clear up. You should keep using the cream twice a day for a few days after all the symptoms have cleared up to make sure the infection is fully treated and prevent it coming back.
- To treat other skin infections the cream should be rubbed gently into the affected areas of skin once or twice a day, as directed by your doctor. The length of treatment will depend on the type and severity of the infection. You should keep using the cream for a few days after your symptoms have gone away, to make sure the infection has been fully treated. If there is no improvement in your symptoms after four weeks of treatment you should consult your doctor for advice.
- Unless the infected skin is on your hands, wash your hands with soap and water after applying the cream to avoid spreading the infection to other areas of the body, or to other people.