Best Antifungal Cream
The purpose of this experts guide is to help you choose the best antifungal cream that is the right one for you, while avoiding common side effects. We looked into prescription, over the counter and natural antifungal creams, published medical studies as well as the thousands of reviews we gathered over our many years of practice.
Antifungal creams are usually the first treatment option to relieve external fungal infections of the skin, face, feet, toenails, nails, hands and genitals. Common examples are yeast infections, vaginal yeast infections, ringworm, toenails fungus, athlete’s foot, jock itch among others.
A common mistake that often causes many discomforts and complications is to use antifungal creams before the type of the infection or its cause are confirmed. Many skin conditions may look similar to fungal infections but require a different treatment.
Furthermore, infections on the skin can be symptoms of another problem in the body. When the cause of the infection is not addressed, the infection can spread, become more severe, or reoccur. For this reason, finding the type of the infection and its cause should always be considered as a part of the treatment.
In This Guide
- Best over the counter antifungal creams.
- Face antifungal creams.
- Jock itch antifungal creams.
- Toenails & feet antifungal creams.
- When to see your doctor.
For yeast infection and candida overgrowth concerns, see our experts guides:
What Is The Best Fungal Cream For Me?
When it comes to fungal infections and skin issues, it is always best to get checked by a medical professional in order to confirm the infection type, cause and best possible treatment. You can use the strongest best antifungal cream; if the cause of your infection is not addressed, chances are you won’t be able to completely cure it.
If you are looking to try to self treat the fungal infection for a few days and see if the infection gets better, here are a few important guidelines you should know:
- Antifungal creams do not work the same. As such, they have different uses, benefits and also side effects. This applies to prescription antifungal creams as well as to over the counter and natural antifungal creams.
- The best antifungal cream for you may be different than what other people have used.
- Safety should always come first. Especially if you do not have prior experience with antifungal creams, when dealing with a new infection you have never had before, or when the fungal infection affects sensitive areas in your body.
- Always try the cream first on a small part of the skin that is not affected by the infection. If there’s no reaction apply a small amount on the affected area.
Best Antifungal Cream Over The Counter
Over the counter antifungal creams are very popular as a self treatment at home and are also available as topical lotions, gels, ointments, balms and other forms. These creams typically contain synthetic antifungals or are based on natural antifungal ingredients.
Most synthetic antifungal creams are based on Butenafine Hydrochloride (Mentax, Lotrimin Ultra), Clotrimazole, Miconazole Nitrate (Zeasorb, Micatin), Terbinafine Hydrochloride (Lamisil), and Tolnaftate (Tinactin).
Common natural antifungal creams include Ozonated olive oil cream (O2-Zap), diluted tea tree oil and other combination essential oils that have natural antifungal properties. Many popular home remedies for fungal infections are based on these.
Ozonated Olive Oil Antifungal Cream
Pros: natural, safe, effective, backed up by science
Cons: can be hard to find.
Ozonated olive oil antifungal cream has been extensively studied with its effectiveness and safety demonstrated in many published human studies that compared it to prescription and otc antifungal creams (see links below).
This biggest advantage of Ozonated olive oil cream over other antifungal creams is that Ozonated olive oil has a unique ability to relieve the fungal infection (1) on one hand, while helping to soothe skin irritation, accelerate wound healing (2), condition and moisturize the dry skin, all at the same time.
This unique combination and health benefits of both ozone and olive oil is exactly what makes Ozonated olive oil the best antifungal cream for many types of fungal infections (1). It is gentle enough for delicate areas and concerns such as face, vaginal yeast infections (5), gum infections (3) and oral infections (4), yet potent enough for aggressive fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, jock itch, toenails and other fungal infections.
Best Antifungal Cream For Specific Areas
Sometimes using the best antifungal cream may not be enough. The following sections cover specific areas in the body and fungal infections scenarios that often require special attention.
Best Antifungal Cream For Face
Finding the best antifungal cream for face often comes with additional concerns. In addition to relieving the physical discomfort, the need is also cosmetic. In addition, many people have sensitive skin face. Ideally, you want fast results on one hand, but also want to avoid harsh creams that may irritate your face.
For a safe gentle natural antifungal cream, you can try Ozonated olive oil for a few days to see if it helps:
- Wash your hands with water and soap before applying the cream.
- Warm 1 teaspoon of ozonated olive oil until it turns into a cream consistency.
- Do not heat the oil. Placing it in room temperature for a few minutes or holding it in your hands should be enough.
- Carefully wash your face with warm water and a gentle face wash. Make sure the face wash you use doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or other ingredients that can irritate your face.
- Dry your face gently using a clean towel.
- Apply a thin layer of Ozonated olive oil on a small area of your face that is not affected by the fungal infection.
- Wait for 24 hours.
- If no irritation occurs, apply a thin layer starting with a small area that is affected by the infection.
- Continue with this protocol for up to 14 days.
We get many questions on this topic from people that experienced issues and side effects after using synthetic over the counter antifungal creams on their face, but had no issues when they used these creams in the past on their feet.
Based on our experience, if you consider using any synthetic antifungal creams on your face, consult with your doctor first. Butenafine, Clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex), Econazole, Tolnaftate, Ketoconazole (Nizoral) are all highly available antifungal creams, you can get in your local grocery store without a prescription. Using these on your face however, is much different than applying them on your feet.
Do I have yeast infection on face? Common yeast infection on face symptoms include white or red itchy yeast rash on the face, white patches, in some cases with acne, skin breakouts and white or red bumps on the face. If these apply to you, you may want to read our expert guide on this topic: Yeast infection on face.
Best Antifungal Cream For Jock Itch
To make sure you choose the best antifungal cream for jock itch, it is important to consider its cause. Jock itch (Tinea cruris) is more common in athletes or in scenarios of excessive sweating. Exposure to a humid hot environment, constant friction in the groin area, are common risk factors that can lead to Jock itch.
Stopping these conditions, keeping the groin area clean and dry may be enough in minor cases. If you need additional relief or can’t effectively control these risk factors, the best treatment is usually a combination of personal hygiene, keeping the groin area clean and dry as much as you can, as well as using antifungal creams.
Ozonated olive oil is still the best antifungal cream for jock itch and the first you want to try. Other options such as Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Terbinafine should be discussed with your doctor.
In any case, if you do not see any improvements after 5 days, we highly recommend that you should see your doctor.
Best Antifungal Cream For Toenails and Feet
When it comes to the best antifungal cream for toenails, there are 3 important things you should know before you start the treatment:
- Knowing the toenail infection cause is the most important part of the toe nail fungus treatment, as the needed treatment can be completely different.
- Toenail growth takes time. The average toenail growth rate is 1.62 mm (0.06 inch) a month, fingernails – 3.47 mm (0.1 inch) a month (6). This means that it may take several weeks before you notice improvements in your toenail fungus, and several months for a complete toenail fungus cure. Making sure your diet has the nutrients required for healthy toenails and nails growth should always be a part of the treatment Learn more.
- Preventing the toenail fungus from spreading and taking actions to prevent the fungal infection from spreading can simplify the toenail fungus treatment, especially since healing toenail fungus can take a long time. To learn more: Prevent toenail fungus.
Due to the long time it usually takes to treat toenail fungus, Ozonated olive oil is considered as the best antifungal cream for toenails as well. As most drug based medication, long term use of synthetic antifungal creams is not something you want to do. Unless you have no other choice.
To use Ozonated olive oil for toenail fungus and feet:
- Rinse your feet and toenails with warm water, dry thoroughly including the area between the toes.
- Apply a thin layer of ozonated olive oil and massage into the toenail, the surrounding skin covering the entire toe and the area between the toes.
- Use daily, preferably before bedtime letting the ozonated olive oil work on the affected areas as you sleep.
Antifungal Cream Prescription
Antifungal cream that require a prescription can work quite effectively in some cases of severe fungal infections. Based on our experience however, these synthetic antifungal creams are not always needed. This also applies to non prescription synthetic antifungal creams that are available over the counter.
For this reason, our recommendation for prescription antifungal creams and non prescription synthetic antifungal creams is the same:
- If you need a fast relief and looking for an antifungal cream as a self treatment at home, try Ozonated olive oil first, which has proven to be both safe an effective.
- If you consider taking a synthetic antifungal cream, consult with your doctor first.
When To See Your Doctor
Fungal infections may look like other skin conditions. This can be very confusing when you try to self treat a fungal infection at home.
(Something to consider before you spend your time looking at different fungal infection pictures and comparing them to your symptoms).
For this reason, we highly recommend to see your doctor if your level of discomfort is high, if you are unsure what is the type or cause of the infection as well as in the following cases:
- You do not see any improvements after 5 days.
- Other symptoms are present.
- You find yourself thinking about the infection all day, or experience high levels of stress and anxiety.
- Comparing the effect of ozonized olive oil with clotrimazole on three Candida species C. albiacans, C. glabrata, C. krusei (1).
- Therapeutic Effects of Topical Application of Ozone on Acute Cutaneous Wound Healing (2).
- Effect of subgingival application of topical ozonated olive oil in the treatment of chronic periodontitis: a randomized, controlled, double blind, clinical and microbiological study (3).
- Efficacy of ozonized olive oil in the management of oral lesions and conditions: A clinical trial (4).
- The Effects of Ozonated Olive Oil and Clotrimazole Cream for Treatment of Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (5).
- Growth rate of human fingernails and toenails in healthy American young adults (6).