Fungal infections are common because they often stem from yeast that naturally lives on the body. Fungal infections can occur almost anywhere, but they tend to develop in moist, warm areas, such as between the toes or in the genital folds where the yeast can easily multiply. These infections have different names, depending on where on the body they occur. Ringworm develops on the top layer of your skin—it’s an itchy, red ring-shaped rash with healthy-looking skin in the middle (and has nothing to do with a worm). Athlete's foot or tinea pedis develops in the moist areas between your toes and jock itch develops in the folds of the genital areas.
An over-the-counter antifungal cream, ointment, lotion, powder or spray can treat many mild fungal infections. One of the most widely available antifungal medications is miconazole, available in a 1- or 2- percent strength. Other active ingredients in over-the- counter antifungal creams are tolnaftate, butenafine, clotrimazole and terbinafine.
In addition to combating the infection, an antifungal cream or ointment will protect the integrity of your skin. Choose a formula that meets the needs of your skin type and can be easily applied to cover the affected area and gently rubbed in.
The more oil or emollients in the antifungal cream, the better the protective barrier it creates for your skin, especially useful if you’re managing incontinence at the same time. For example, Critic-Aid Clear Antifungal Moisture Barrier is clear in appearance and protects skin from irritation due to incontinence. Atrac-Tain Antifungal Barrier Cream’s zinc oxide-based formulation with 2 percent miconazole nitrate inhibits fungal growth and treats the infection as it provides a soothing skin barrier against moisture. Diabet-x Antifungal Skin Treatment has a rich formula that promotes faster healing with urea, aloe vera, vitamins A, D and E and allantoin and works extremely well as an antifungal foot cream for those with diabetes.
Medicated powders will help keep your feet dry to correct the moisture imbalance that often leads to athlete’s foot. Micro-Guard Antifungal Powder puts 2-percent miconazole nitrate in a non-caking cornstarch base that will treat most superficial skin infections caused by yeast, including jock itch, ringworm and athlete's foot.
Always follow package directions for the best results.