Treating fungal skin infections using Econazole

fungal skin infectionsSkin infections are a common occurrence in young and old alike.  Most of the skin infections are a result of fungal infections.  There are various medications available to treat these fungal infections.  The medications used to treat fungal skin infections come in various forms such as creams, oral medicines, sprays, solutions, shampoos etc.  The duration of treatment and the course of the treatment depend upon the intensity in which the fungal infection has affected the individual.

What are fungal infections?

There are various types and classes of fungi thriving in the soil, our food, skin and other elements of the environment.  While most of these fungi are harmless, some of them can thrive on human skin, multiply and thereby result in infection of the skin, nails, mouth or vagina.

The most common fungi causing infection on the surface of the skin are known as the tinea group of fungi. Example of infections caused by the tinea group of fungi includes athlete’s foot and ringworm.  Athlete’s foot is also known as tinea pedis and is a skin infection that affects the skin of the toes and feet.  This infection can also spread to toe nails and hands.  The other infection caused by the tinea fungi is called ringworm.  This infection is very commonly seen in kids and people who have cats as pets.  Other fungi that is a common cause of skin infections is called as can, which belong to the yeast classification of fungi.  Certain environmental conditions can cause the Candida fungi to multiply and result in a skin infection which in certain cases can also affect the nails.

While most fungal infections spread around the surface of the body, there are a few fungal infections that spread deeper into the body.  These fungal infections normally do not occur in case of healthy individuals with a strong immune system however in some cases they do tend to impact the internal organs like the heart, lungs, brain and others. These internal fungal infections can get serious when left untreated for a long time and sometimes can also be life threatening.

What are the antifungal medications available?

There are several types of antifungal medications available. They come in form of creams, sprays, solutions, pessaries (tablets designed to go into the vagina), shampoos, oral medications and injections. The antifungal medicine treats the infection by damaging the cell wall of the fungi causing it to die.  Antifungal injections are prescribed to patients who are extremely ill and are generally administered in a hospital.

What is Econazole?

Econazole is a topical cream medication used to treat fungal skin infections such as athlete’s foot, Jock Itch, Ringworm and other fungal skin infections caused by Candida (candidiasis). This medication is also known to work for treating a fungal skin infection called as pityriasis (tinea versicolor), which causes skin colour to lighten or dark around regions of the neck, chest, arms, or legs. This antifungal drug works by preventing the growth of fungus.

Dosage and application:

Econazole nitrate cream is available at the drugstores in generic form and is made available in tubes of 15 grams, 30 grams, 85 grams and 120 grams.  This topical cream should be applied to the affected area once or twice per day depending upon the type and intensity of the infection. Dosage may be altered based on the doctor’s advice.  Econazole nitrate cream can interact with other drugs and hence, the doctor must be informed about all the medications and supplements consumed by the patient.

Before application the patient should Wash and completely dry the affected area. Rub the medicine gently to be absorbed and evenly distributed in the affected area. After application, hands must be washed immediately with soap and water to remove any traces of medicine left.

To completely get rid of the infection, econozale must be used in the full course of treatment even if the symptoms have cleared up.  In case a patient misses a dose of the cream; the same can be applied as soon as possible.  However a double dosage should be avoided.

Facts you should know about econazole Nitrate

Some medical conditions and the drugs consumed to treat them may interact with econazole cream, and hence the doctor must be informed about the patients’ complete medical history at the time of consultation.  Medical conditions which must be brought to the treating doctor’s notice include:

  • Pregnancy: Whether the patient is pregnant, trying to conceive or breast feeding; the same must be communicated to the doctor.  This drug is generally advised in the first trimester of pregnancy based on the patient’s requirements.  However only if the doctor finds it important, the cream can be administered in the second and third trimester.
  • Other medications: When the patient is on other medications even supplementary or herbal, must be disclosed to the doctor
  • Allergies to any food or the ingredients of the drug
  • Diseases relating to the kidney, liver, blood or nervous system

Side effects that can be caused due to Econazole Nitrate

There are no serious side effects reported of using the Econazole cream. However, one should consult a doctor immediately upon experiencing any one or more of these side effects:

  • Redness of the skin;
  • itching, burning or stinging sensation;
  • Any other form of irritation;
  • Swelling, bumps or rashes that appear like pimples;
  • Tenderness of the skin

These side effects are usually temporary and usually settle as one uses the medication regularly. However in rare case these side effects can persist for a longer duration or become serious. In such a case, immediate medical attention should be sought.

In rare cases, patients may develop one more of the below mentioned reactions when using econazole nitrate:

  • Blisters or open sores;
  • An allergic wheezing, sneezing or breathing trouble
  • Severe dizziness

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