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What Is Miconazole Nitrate?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Miconazole nitrate is a topical medication used to treat fungal infections such as athlete's foot, ringworm, or jock itch. This medication is generally delivered in the form of a topical ointment or as a spray and is applied to the affected area of skin twice per day or as directed by a physician. Some of the most common side effects of miconazole nitrate include a temporary burning or stinging sensation at the application site. This medication may damage latex gloves or other rubber-based products, so care should be taken when choosing gloves to apply the medication. Any questions or concerns about miconazole nitrate or the variety of possible uses for this medication should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Athlete's foot is the term used to describe a fungal infection that affects the feet and is typically treated with miconazole nitrate. Symptoms of athlete's foot may include flaking or peeling between the toes. The affected areas of skin are usually red and itchy. If the infection spreads to the toenails, the nails may become thick and discolored and may begin to crumble. Keeping the feet clean, dry, and healthy can often prevent this type of infection.

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Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus that can appear anywhere on the body. Red, itchy, scaly patches may appear on one or more areas of the body in the shape of a ring. Bald patches may develop if ringworm affects the hair or beard. As is the case with any fungal infection, ringworm is highly contagious, so it is important that the lesions are not allowed to come into contact with others. Miconazole nitrate is the standard treatment for ringworm.

Jock itch is caused by the same fungus that causes athlete's foot and ringworm and primarily affects males, although females may become infected as well. This type of fungal infection can be spread by physical contact with the lesions or by sharing clothing or towels. Jock itch normally affects the inner thigh and does not typically spread to the genital organs. Miconazole nitrate is the most effective treatment for jock itch.

Other fungal infections that may be treated with miconazole nitrate include tinea versicolor and cutaneous candidiasis. Tinea versicolor is a chronic, long-term fungal infection of the skin and is caused by a specific form of yeast that is normally located on human skin, although it seldom causes problems. Cutaneous candidiasis is a skin infection caused by a yeast known as candida.

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