Canesten HC cream contains two active ingredients, clotrimazole and hydrocortisone. Clotrimazole is an antifungal medicine used to treat infections with fungi and yeasts. Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid medicine that is applied to the skin to relieve the symptoms of inflammation.
Clotrimazole kills fungi and yeasts by interfering with their cell membranes. It works by stopping the fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol, which is an essential component of fungal cell membranes. The disruption in production of ergosterol causes holes to appear in the fungal cell membrane.
The cell membranes of fungi are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. As clotrimazole causes holes to appear in the cell membranes, essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and treats the infection.
Clotrimazole cream is used to treat a wide range of skin infections caused by fungi. These include infections with dermatophytes such as tinea, eg ringworm (tinea corporis), athlete's foot (tinea pedis), and jock itch (tinea cruris) and infections with yeasts such as candida, eg fungal nappy rash, sweat rash, or thrush affecting the outside of the vagina (vulva and labia) or the end of the penis.
Hydrocortisone reduces skin inflammation by stopping skin cells from producing various inflammation-causing chemicals that are normally released when the skin reacts to irritation. These inflammation-causing chemicals include prostaglandins and various other inflammatory substances. They cause blood vessels to widen and other inflammatory substances to arrive, resulting in the affected area of skin becoming red, swollen and itchy. By preventing these inflammatory chemicals from being released in the skin, hydrocortisone reduces inflammation and relieves its related symptoms such as redness and itchiness.
The combination of medicines in Canesten HC cream is used to treat fungal skin infections where symptoms of inflammation, such as itching, require rapid relief.
Canesten HC cream should be applied thinly and evenly to the affected area(s) of skin twice daily and rubbed in gently. The cream should be used for a maximum of seven days.
If you are using Canesten HC cream to treat athlete's foot you should make sure you wash and dry the feet, especially between the toes, before applying the cream. You may also want to use Canesten powder inside your socks and shoes to help treat the infection and prevent it coming back.
If you are using Canesten HC cream to treat vaginal thrush it will only relieve the external symptoms of the infection, such as itching, inflammation and soreness. It won't treat infection inside your vagina, and so should be used in combination with a thrush treatment that does, for example clotrimazole pessaries or cream that are inserted into the vagina, or an antifungal medicine taken by mouth. Your doctor or pharmacist can advise you about which products to use.
Skin infections caused by yeasts (eg Candida), dermatophytes (eg Trichophyton), moulds and other fungi, such as the following:
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
If used for longer than two to four weeks, under airtight dressings or on large areas of skin, the following side effects are also possible:
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
When applied to unbroken skin clotrimazole and hydrocortisone are not known to affect any other medicines.
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