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Therapie. 2006 May-Jun;61(3):251-4.

[Use of topical antifungal agents].

[Article in French]

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Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Université Paris 5, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France.


Topical antifungal agents are not absorbed when given orally. They act by direct contact on the fungus, this type of action requires the simultaneous presence of antifungal and fungus for a minimum of time. There are a large number of compounds belonging to different families of antifungals: polyens, azoles, allylamine and morpholine and antiseptic substances. The treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis is based on topical antifungal agents: amphotericin B or nystatin, imidazoles such as clotrimazole or miconazole. Systemic antifungal agents are indicated in case or poor compliance to topical agents, in prophylaxis of highly relapsing disease, in oesophageal candidiasis and in Candida onychomycosis. A topical antifungal agent is the first choice to treat Candida intertrigo. In any case predisposing factors should be eradicated or amended. Infection to Malassezia spp. are treated topically with azoles or selenium sulphur. Oral ketoconazole is an alternative in severe cases. Dermatophytosis requires a systemic antifungal treatment such as terbinafine in chronic, dry, moccassin type palmoplantar infection and for onychomycosis. Intertrigo and tinea corporis are treated with topical agents such as azoles, terbinafine or tolnaftate. Tinea capitis responds to oral griseofulvine, however a topical antifungal must be added to eradicate contagious conidia. Whatever the localisation is, an other superficial site of infection must be looked for and a source of infection should be investigated and eradicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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