Which antifungal medications are used to treat tinea cruris (jock itch)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2018
  • Author: Michael Wiederkehr, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The two classes of antifungal medications used most commonly to treat tinea cruris are the azoles and the allylamines. Azoles inhibit the enzyme lanosterol 14-alpha-demethylase, an enzyme that converts lanosterol to ergosterol, which is an important component of the fungal cell wall. Membrane damage results in permeability problems and renders the fungus unable to reproduce. Allylamines inhibit squalene epoxidase, which is an enzyme that converts squalene to ergosterol, resulting in the accumulation of toxic levels of squalene in the cell and in cell death. Examples of both classes of antifungal agents are available for topical and systemic administration. Some data suggest that fungistatic azoles can be as effective as fungicidal allylamines. [11] Both may have depot effects in the stratum corneum. [12]


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