Canesten Cream is used to treat fungal skin infections such as ringworm, athlete’s foot, fungal nappy rash and fungal sweat rash. It is also used to relieve irritation of the vulva (external thrush) or the end of the penis, which may be associated with thrush.
If you are unsure whether you (or your baby if treating nappy rash) have one of these fungal skin infections, seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist. The active substance in Canesten Cream is clotrimazole.
Clotrimazole belongs to a group of medicines called imidazoles and is an antifungal agent which fights the cause of fungal skin infections.
What is thrush?
Thrush is an infection caused by a type of yeast called Candida. This yeast normally lives in your body quite happily without doing you any harm. But when the natural pH balance of your vagina is upset – which can easily happen – Candida can multiply. And that’s when you may start to itch and develop thrush.
Who gets thrush?
Don’t worry or be embarrassed about having thrush, as thrush is much more common than you might think – 3 out of 4 women have it at some point in their lives, especially if they are under the age of 20 or pregnant, and it is commonly suffered around the time of a period.
Men are not immune. They can get thrush too, though only a few develop the rash and itchiness. Most male sufferers act as carriers, without actually having the symptoms. To help prevent re-infection, make sure your partner uses Canesten Thrush Cream as well as you.
How does the infection occur?
Normally, there is a delicate balance between bacteria and yeasts that live naturally within the vagina.
However, this balance is easily upset by any of the following factors which could allow the yeasts to overgrow, leading to thrush infection:
- Intake of medicines such as antibiotics
- Trauma of sexual activity or tampons
- Perfumed soap, shower gels and bubble baths
- Wearing tight clothing
What are the symptoms of thrush?
The main symptom – and by far the most irritating – is the itching. You may also feel a burning soreness and this can be accompanied by a whitish odourless discharge.
Though very uncomfortable, these symptoms can be sorted out quickly and easily, by treating at the site of infection as well as soothing the irritation.
Most women seek help for relief of external itching. However, it is important that the infection is treated internally as well as externally, to prevent symptoms from returning.
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If Canesten Cream has been prescribed for you by your doctor, follow any instructions he/she may have given you.
If you purchased this product without a prescription, follow these directions closely:
- Before use, pierce the tube seal by inverting the cap over the end of the tube and press.
- If the feet are infected, they should be washed and dried thoroughly, especially between the toes, before applying the cream.
- Canesten Cream should be applied thinly and evenly to the affected areas two or three times daily and rubbed in gently.
- The duration of the treatment depends upon the type of infection. Generally a minimum of two weeks is required, although up to four weeks may be necessary.
- If you have athlete’s foot, it may help to use an antifungal dusting powder as well. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend one.
The symptoms of skin infection, such as itching or soreness, should improve within a few days of treatment although signs such as redness and scaling may take longer to disappear. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
Do not put the cream in your mouth or swallow it. If the cream is swallowed accidentally, tell your doctor straight away or contact the Accident and Emergency Department of your nearest hospital.
If you accidentally get cream in your eyes or mouth, wash immediately with water and contact your doctor.
If you forget to use Canesten Cream apply the cream as soon as possible and then continue the rest of your treatment as usual.
Do not use Canesten Cream for Athletes Foot if you (or your baby if treating nappy rash) are allergic (hypersensitive) to clotrimazole or any of the other ingredients of Canesten Cream.
This product contains cetostearyl alcohol which may cause local skin irritation (e.g. rash, itching or redness).
As with other creams, Canesten Cream may reduce the effectiveness of rubber contraceptives, such as condoms or diaphragms. Consequently, if you are using this cream on the vulva or penis, you should use alternative precautions for at least five days after using this product.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding or trying for a baby, tell your doctor or midwife before using Canesten Cream. If you have informed your doctor or midwife already, follow his/her instructions carefully.
It is important to treat thrush during pregnancy, as evidence shows that it could be passed onto your baby (in the form of oral thrush or other fungal infections) through your birth canal when giving birth. If you are pregnant and think you may have thrush, please visit your doctor.
Clotrimazole, benzyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, sorbitan stearate, cetyl palmitate, cetostearyl alcohol, octyldodecanol and purified water.