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- CDC: Fungal Diseases: Candidiasis
- FDA: Ketoconazole
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Ketoconazole Shampoo
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Whether you're an athlete or an office assistant, chances are you've encountered candida fungus at least once in your life. Candidiasis, sometimes called yeast infection or jock itch, is caused when yeasts that are naturally present in the skin overdevelop and infect mucous membranes. The infection is usually identified by three recognizable and often irritating symptoms: persistent itch, inflammation and development of a rash. The best shampoos and body washes that help fight the persistent itch associated with candida fungus are products that treat the ailment, not just the symptoms.
There are a variety of shampoos available to treat individuals for candida fungus on the scalp. Although a few over-the-counter shampoos are effective options, prescription-strength products are often necessary to treat chronic and severe cases of candida infection. The most appropriate medicated shampoos contain 2 percent ketoconazole 2. Ketoconazole is a synthetic anti-fungal medication used to treat a number of fungal infections in humans and animals 2.
Medicated Body Wash
Medicated shampoos containing ketoconazole are often marketed for use as both shampoo and body wash 2. Although most of these products utilize the same chemical composition, they sometimes use different pharmaceutical brands of the anti-fungal agent ketoconazole, which may confuse consumers 24. The synthetic chemical medication, ketoconazole, is developed by independent pharmacological corporations 2. Each corporation uses a different trademarked brand when labeling the medication. Brand names associated with ketoconazole include Kuric, Nizoral, Nizoral A-D and Xolegel 2. Shampoo and body wash brands are usually associated with one of these medication brand names.
If using a body wash to treat cadida fungus is not a desirable option, topical creams and foams containing anti-fungal agents are also available both over the counter and by prescription.
Individuals who prefer to avoid medicated shampoos and body washes may find organic products a desirable option. Organic shampoos usually contain ingredients such as tea tree oil, lavender, coconut oil, oregano and pau d'arco. Pau d'arco, a South American evergreen tree, is sometimes used to treat candida fungus organically. The plant contains two notably active chemical compounds, lapachol and beta-lapachone. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, these chemicals have anti-inflammatory properties and may kill some bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites 5.
Although there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that any of these ingredients can cure candida fungus in humans, individuals who have an aversion to using synthetic chemical agents in treatment may feel that this is an appropriate option. If symptoms worsen after use of organic treatment products, consumers should consult their primary care physicians immediately.
Homeopathic Body Wash
As with medicated shampoos, organic shampoos can also be used as body wash. Organic shampoos and body washes used to treat candida fungus can be supplemented with organic creams and foams that also use pau d'arco as an active ingredient. Individuals who choose to use organic products should ensure that the product is approved by the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration and monitor their condition carefully.
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