Canesten cream is available over-the-counter as a treatment for a nail fungus infection. It is the active ingredient in Lotrimin and Mycelex brands. It contains the ingredient Clotrimazole, which is one in a family of antifungal drugs ending in “zole” that treat many different kinds of fungus and yeast.
How it Works
Clotrimazole, like other anti-fungal medicines, kills the fungus and yeasts by destroying the spores themselves, and interfering with the way they reproduce. Fungus is asexual; meaning the cells/spores can reproduce at will, and reproduce quickly, which is why fungal infections can get worse before they get better. Interfering with the way they reproduce kills off the fungus quickly, as your body will rid itself of the existing fungus and not have to work to eliminate additional colonies of it. Canesten cream is used topically, and fungus hides inside your nail, not necessarily on top of it, so the treatment may not eliminate all of the fungus, even when used correctly.
How to Use
Canesten cream should be applied topically to the infected nail several times a day, in a thin layer that is massaged into the nail and the surrounding areas. Treatment should continue as directed on the package, but will typically last two weeks or more, until you have seen some progress. This is similar to using any other thicker cream-based treatment – you might have some burning or irritation if there are cuts or scrapes near the nail. If you do not see any noticeable progress after that time period, stop using Canesten. You may want to wear socks after putting this treatment on, as the cream can get on your bed sheets or carpet if you use a lot if it.
Most users of Canesten cream use it for athlete’s foot – but the speed of healing and lack of unpleasant smell involved with the cream is enough to warrant trying it with an infected nail, since the active ingredient Clotrimazole works on all different kinds of fungus. It can get messy if you use too much of the cream, but since you are using it directly on a nail instead of between your toes, this probably won’t be too much of an inconvenience.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Lotrimin is affordable, at around $8.00 a tube, and available at your local store. It is designed to treat athlete’s foot and not necessarily a nail fungus, so proceed at your own risk. If it makes your skin irritated or doesn’t make any progress on your nails, you may want to consider another treatment.