There are almost as many types of antifungals as there are places to get an infection.
But first, let’s give probiotics a special mention. They have amazing antifungal properties, and they can help to prevent a recurrence. Well, maybe not athlete’s foot – and that’s why it’s so important to match the antifungal to the fungus.
Vaginal Yeast Infections
Ladies first. The usual suspect is Candida albicans, and it’s a tough cookie. OTCs (over-the-counter medications) are often creams, while Diflucan is a pill. And sometimes doctors recommend boric acid capsules.
But get a doctor’s diagnosis before you do any serious self-treatment. It could be a different fungus, or a bacterial infection.
- OTC: Micozole, Femstat, GyneCure, Monistat, Clotrimaderm
- Prescription: Diflucan
Jock Itch, Ringworm, Athlete’s Foot
- Jock Itch: fungal infection in the groin, buttocks, inner thighs. And ladies, it’s not just for men.
- Ringworm: ring-shaped fungal infection with uninfected skin in the center.
- Athlete’s Foot: fungal infection between the toes.
The same types of antifungals are often used for these three conditions. Over-the-counter treatments include a range of creams. If they don’t do the job, your doctor may give you a prescription for either an oral or topical medication.
- OTC: Lotrimin, Monistat-Derm, Lamisil, Naftin
- Prescription Topical: Oxistat, Spectazole, Tinactin (athlete’s foot only)
- Prescription Oral: Diflucan, Sporanox, Lamisil
You can sometimes get a handle on this fungal infection of the mouth with probiotic-rich foods or acidophilus capsules. If not, see your doctor for:
Prescription: Clotrimazole, Nystatin, Nizoral, Diflucan
Fungal Lung Infections
These generally occur in patients with severe immune deficiencies, often due to serious illness. In fact, these infections are potentially fatal for those receiving chemo or on immune suppressing drugs. The antifungals used are powerful and sometimes toxic.
The important takeaway is to match the types of antifungals to the types of fungi you find invading your space. Your doctor is the best resource to diagnose and help you deal with a fungus.