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What Are the Types of Treatment for Skin Fungus?

Tolnaftate spray can be applied daily to kill the fungus associated with jock itch.
Vinegar can be used topically to treat skin fungus.
Many antifungal creams contain the steroid hydrocortisone to help relieve itching.
Tolnaftate is often used to treat athlete's foot, a type of skin fungus.
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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2014
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There are several types of treatment for skin fungus, ranging from home remedies to treatment from a doctor. Though it is often possible to treat skin infections at home, patients are still advised to see a doctor first for a proper diagnosis, because skin fungus can be confused with other conditions. A visit to the doctor usually results in a prescription antifungal cream or tablet that can get rid of the issue. Patients often can find over-the-counter treatments, including medicated spray, powder and shampoo. Home remedies used to treat skin fungus usually include vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and tea tree oil.

Patients are often advised to see a doctor when they suspect skin fungus, because this allows them to be properly diagnosed and treated with prescription medication, if necessary. Doctors often take the symptoms and appearance of the skin into account, and may perform a culture before making a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, the doctor will likely prescribe antifungal cream, a pill or shampoo, depending on where the fungus is on the skin. Prescription medications are often stronger and more effective than over-the-counter kinds, but they may have side effects, such as an upset stomach. Patients should report to their doctor if the skin irritation does not appear to be clearing up with proper use of the medication, as well as if they notice any side effects.

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It is possible to get treatment for skin fungus without a prescription, and many drugstores sell products that can eliminate the issue. Patients can typically buy sprays, shampoos and creams without a prescription, though these tend to take longer to work than prescription medications. One example of a common over-the-counter treatment for skin fungus is tolnaftate, which is often used to treat athlete's foot, while clotrimazole is typically used to treat ringworm and jock itch. Patients also can buy hydrocortisone cream to relieve the itch while they wait for the antifungal products to get rid of the infection.

Some patients prefer not to use modern medicine, and would rather try simple remedies using products they have at home. For example, soaking the affected area in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water often works as a simple home treatment for skin fungus. The same can be done with vinegar up to three times a day, though patients are advised to wash off the mixture when they are done soaking to avoid smelling the strong odor of vinegar all day. Tea tree oil is another treatment for skin fungus that can be used at home, and applying this liquid to the affected area with a dropper twice a day should clear up the infection.

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