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What Is Antifungal Spray?

Suzanne S. Wiley
Suzanne S. Wiley

Antifungal spray is a medicine that stops fungal infections on the skin. Patients apply the spray topically, or onto the skin, rather than taking it orally. The spray can be either a liquid or powder and comes in an aerosol-style can, with a nozzle that the user presses down to release the spray.

Fungi are microscopic life forms that colonize skin and other areas of the human body. If they grow out of control, the fungi can create health problems for the person, including itching and discolored skin or nails. Antifungal medications kill off the fungi, although not every medication will kill each variety, and sprays are not always an appropriate form of delivery.

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Localized skin infections are the only illnesses for which an antifungal spray can be used. If an infection is spreading rapidly to other areas of the body, or if the infection is internal, a topical spray will not work because it will either not be able to catch migrating fungi quickly enough, or it will not reach the fungi. The spray form of the medication must touch the infected area in order to kill the fungi living there.

A topical antifungal spray is more convenient to use in some cases because it reduces the amount of touching the patient has to do to the area in question. This in turn reduces the risk of transmitting the fungi to another area of the body, as well as reducing the risk of further irritating the area by having to rub in a cream or lotion form of medication. It also cuts down on the disgust factor as the patient may not want to touch the infected area more than is necessary because of how it looks or feels.

Spraying a medication does carry some risk. One immediate issue is that the antifungal spray can land on areas that aren’t infected or that aren’t even on the patient’s body. This wastes the medication and creates a mess that the patient has to clean up. There is also the risk of inhaling fumes from the spray, or the spray itself if the patient has bent down very close to his or her foot while spraying.

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