Med Mycol J. 2016;57(2):J71-5. doi: 10.3314/mmj.57.J71.
Oral Antifungal Drugs in the Treatment of Dermatomycosis.
Oral antifungal drugs are used primarily to treat tinea unguium; however, they are also useful for other types of tinea. For example, a combination of topical and oral antifungal drugs is effective in hyperkeratotic tinea pedis that is unresponsive to topical monotherapy. In cases of tinea facialis adjacent to the eyes, ears, or mouth, or widespread tinea corporis, or tinea cruris involving the complex skin folds of the external genitalia, it is difficult to apply topical drugs to all the lesions; therefore, oral antifungal drugs are necessary. Oral antifungal drugs are also useful not only for tinea but for widespread pityriasis versicolor and Malassezia folliculitis, candidal onychomycosis, and candidal paronychia and onychia. Topical antifungal drugs are in fact unsuitable for some mycoses. In tinea capitis, for example, irritation by topical drugs is likely to enhance inflammation; therefore, oral antifungal drug monotherapy is preferable. In interdigital tinea pedis with erosion or contact dermatitis, topical drugs are difficult to use because they tend to cause irritant dermatitis, resulting in exacerbation of the condition. In such cases, treatment should begin with a combination of topical corticosteroid therapy and oral antifungal drugs active against dermatophytes. Topical antifungal drugs are used after the complications resolve. A combination of topical and oral antifungal drugs can shorten the treatment period, thus improving patient adherence to topical treatment. Oral antifungal drugs are useful because of their wide range of applications in the treatment of dermatomycosis.