Antifungals treat fungal infections that usually affect your skin, hair, or nails. Over-the- counter antifungal medications come in several forms:

  • Antifungal powder defends against moisture build-up in skin folds.
  • Antifungal cream can help soothe itching, burning, scaling, cracking, redness, soreness, irritation, and scratching
  • Antifungal spray
  • Gels and ointments
You can purchase over-the-counter antifungals without getting a prescription from a doctor.

What Conditions Do Antifungals Treat?
Antifungals can treat several common fungal infections. These include:
  • Vaginal thrush (commonly known as a yeast infection)
  • Athletes’ foot
  • Ringworm
  • Jock itch
  • Tinea versicolor (fungal/yeast skin infection that causes small, oval, discolored skin patches)
  • Poison ivy
  • Poison oak
  • Rashes
  • Several types of nail fungus
Most of these conditions are treatable with over-the-counter antifungals.

When to See a Doctor
Most minor fungal infections are treatable at home with the use of over-the-counter antifungals. However, you may need to see a doctor if:
  • The condition keeps coming back or gets worse.
  • You have diabetes and suspect you have an athletes’ foot or another foot fungus, as this can result in severe infections and complications.
  • If you have a weakened immune system.
  • If you notice patches of hair loss or large patches of dry, itchy skin.
Treatment of antifungal infections is usually straightforward, but your doctor or pharmacist can be a great resource if you have questions.

Which Antifungal Product is Right for You?
When choosing the right over-the-counter antifungal medication, things can be a little confusing. There are a variety of brands and options. For example:
  • Nitrate antifungal creams can be found in different brands and strengths. The active ingredient, miconazole nitrate, treats conditions like athletes' foot and jock itch by preventing fungus growth.
  • Antifungal powder is another option for conditions like jock itch and athletes’ foot. Powder can easily be applied to feet by adding into socks before donning.
  • Vaginal itching and yeast infections can be relieved by creams or through a pessary, often called a vaginal suppository.
  • Itch relief products include creams, calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, and antihistamine cream, which treat the symptoms of fungal infection. Itch relief products can help provide relief from poison ivy, poison oak, insect bites, allergies, and rashes.
The products are composed of different chemical formulas and come with a variety of applications and applicators, from lotions to powders to sprays.

Choosing the Right Over-the-Counter Antifungal
Making the right antifungal choice for you and your body is a simple matter of asking yourself a few questions:
  • Brand: You may have a brand preference or trust one brand over another.
  • Value: Cost is certainly a factor, but some higher quality items work better and provide a better value overall.
  • Allergies and reactions: All antifungal products have ingredients that can cause allergic reactions if you are sensitive to them. If you are allergic to common ingredients, you may have to explore products with different formulas. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting an antifungal treatment if you have pre-existing allergies.