Apply twice a day for a skin infection.
Apply miconazole cream once or twice a day for a nail infection.
Continue to use miconazole for a week or so after all signs of the infection have gone.
About miconazole for fungal skin infections
|Type of medicine||An antifungal medicine|
|Used for||Fungal skin infections|
|Also called||Daktarin®; Daktacort® (miconazole with hydrocortisone)|
|Available as||Cream, ointment, powder and spray|
Although many types of fungi live harmlessly on our skin, some can cause infections. The most common fungi to cause skin infections are the tinea group of fungi. Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection of the toes and feet caused by a fungus from this group. Infections caused by a fungus or a yeast (a type of fungus) can affect other parts of the body too - some examples are fungal nappy rash, fungal groin infections, fungal nail infections, and fungal sweat rashes. Miconazole eases the symptoms of skin infections such as these by killing the fungi causing the infection.
Although miconazole is available on prescription, you can also buy some preparations without a prescription at pharmacies and other retail outlets. Sometimes miconazole is combined with a mild corticosteroid called hydrocortisone (as in the brand called Daktacort®). If your infection has caused the skin to become inflamed and sore, it may be suggested that you use this for a few days to reduce the inflammation, before switching to a miconazole-only preparation.
Before using miconazole
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using miconazole make sure that you speak with a doctor or pharmacist:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Although miconazole is not known to be harmful to babies, you should only use medicines on the recommendation of a doctor while you are expecting or breast-feeding a baby.
- If you are taking any other medicines or using any other creams. This includes any medicines which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines. This is important because miconazole can alter the way anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin work.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine or cream.
How to use miconazole
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about miconazole and how to apply it.
- Wash and dry the infected area of skin before you apply miconazole. You will need to use the preparation regularly for a few weeks. Once all signs of your infection have gone, continue to use it for a further one or two weeks, as this will help to prevent the infection from coming back.
- If you have been given miconazole to treat a skin infection, apply a small amount to the affected area twice each day (ideally, in the morning and the evening). Rub the cream/ointment in gently.
- If you are using miconazole cream to treat a nail infection, apply the cream to the infected nail once or twice a day.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Remember to wash your hands carefully after using miconazole, as this will help to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of your body. Also, use a separate towel to other people until your infection clears up.
- Fungal infections often occur in warm, moist areas of the body. After washing or showering, make sure that all areas of your skin are dried well, particularly areas such as skin folds and between your toes.
- As a guide, infections such as athelete's foot usually clear up within a couple of weeks of treatment, although infections affecting some other areas of the body can take slightly longer. If there are no signs of improvement within two weeks of using miconazole, you should make an appointment to see your doctor for advice.
Can miconazole cause problems?
Miconazole is unlikely to cause any serious side-effects. It can cause some irritation when it is used at first, and a few people experience mild allergic-type reactions (such as redness and itching). If you experience these or any other symptoms, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store miconazole
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
- Store Daktacort® cream in a refrigerator.
Important information about all medicines
This preparation is for use on the skin only. If someone swallows some of it, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Daktarin® 2% Cream; McNeil Products Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2013.
- British National Formulary; 68th Edition (Sep 2014) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall