About clotrimazole for skin infections
|Type of medicine||Antifungal|
|Used for||Fungal infections|
Canesten® AF Dual Action
Canesten® HC (clotrimazole with hydrocortisone)
|Available as||Cream, spray and topical solution|
Clotrimazole is used to treat fungal infections of the skin. The most common fungi to cause skin infections are the tinea group of fungi. For example, tinea pedis ('athlete's foot') is a common fungal infection of the toes and feet. Clotrimazole works by killing the fungus causing the infection.
Clotrimazole is available as a cream, spray or topical solution (a liquid which is applied directly on to the skin). The cream is most frequently used but, where large areas of skin are infected or where the area being treated is quite hairy, a spray or topical solution may be more suitable. Sometimes clotrimazole is combined with a mild steroid cream called hydrocortisone, which helps to reduce any inflammation caused by the infection.
Clotrimazole can also be used to treat vaginal thrush. There is a separate information leaflet called 'Clotrimazole for vaginal thrush' which gives information about this.
Before using clotrimazole for skin infections
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using clotrimazole make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
- If you are using any other preparations, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to use clotrimazole for skin infections
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about how to use the preparation you have been given and any possible side-effects from using it.
- Use clotrimazole preparations exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you.
- Unless you have been told otherwise, apply clotrimazole two or three times a day to the infected area.
- Wash and dry your hands well both before and after using clotrimazole. This will help to stop the infection from spreading.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to avoid getting clotrimazole into your eyes or mouth. If this does happen, wipe the cream away and then wash the area with water.
- Continue to use clotrimazole for 1-2 weeks after all signs of your infection have gone. This is to make sure your infection does not return.
- You should see an improvement in your condition after a few days. If your condition does not seem to be getting any better after about a week, book an appointment to see your doctor for advice.
Can clotrimazole cause problems?
Clotrimazole is unlikely to cause any unwanted symptoms, although it may cause mild irritation, redness or a burning sensation when you first use it. If the irritation becomes severe, or if you experience any other symptoms, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How to store clotrimazole
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Canesten® Cream 1%; Manufacturer's PIL, Canesten® Cream 1%, Bayer plc, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Canesten® AF Dual Action Spray; Manufacturer's PIL, Canesten® AF Dual Action Spray, Bayer plc, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated December 2009.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Canesten® AF Dual Action Cream; Manufacturer's PIL, Canesten® AF Dual Action Cream, Bayer plc, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2008, accessed November 2008.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Prof Cathy Jackson