Non-Prescription Antifungals for Athlete's Foot

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Non-Prescription Antifungals for Athlete's Foot



Generic NameBrand Name
clotrimazoleCanesten, Clotrimaderm
miconazoleMicatin, Monistat Derm

Other antifungals

Generic NameBrand Name

These antifungal medicines are put directly on the skin (topical). They are available as creams, lotions, solutions, gels, sprays, ointments, swabs, or powders. One medicine may be available in many forms. Your doctor will help you decide which form is best for you.

How It Works

All of these medicines kill fungi. See the medicine label for specific instructions.

If you stop treatment early, even if the symptoms are gone, an athlete's foot infection will likely return. It is very important to use the medicine for the entire time directed.

Why It Is Used

Non-prescription antifungal medicines are usually the first medicines used in treating mild and moderate athlete's foot. If treatment is not successful, or if you have a severe case, prescription antifungals are used.

How Well It Works

Non-prescription antifungal medicines are effective in curing athlete's foot for most people. 1

Side Effects

Topical antifungals rarely cause side effects. Stop using the medicine and talk to your doctor if the medicine causes severe blistering, itching, redness, dryness, or irritation.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

It is not known whether these medicines harm a fetus or pass into breast milk. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, talk with your doctor.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.



  1. Fuller LC (2010). Tinea pedis and skin dermatophytosis. In MG Lebwohl et al., eds., Treatment of Skin Disease, 3rd ed., pp. 740–742. Edinburgh: Mosby Elsevier.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Randall D. Burr, MD - Dermatology
Last Revised August 10, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.