KETOCONAZOLE (kee toe KON na zole) treats fungal or yeast infections of the skin. It may also be used to treat seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that causes dry, flaky, and itchy skin. It belongs to a group of medications called antifungals. It will not treat infections caused by bacteria or viruses.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Large areas of burned or damaged skin
An unusual or allergic reaction to ketoconazole, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
This medication is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash your hands before and after use. If you are treating your hands, only wash your hands before use. Do not use on healthy skin or over large areas of skin. Do not get this medication in your eyes. If you do, rinse it out with plenty of cool tap water. Use it as directed on the label at the same time every day. Do not use it more often than directed. Use the medication for the full course as directed by your care team, even if you think you are better. Do not stop using it unless your care team tells you to stop it early.
Apply a thin film to the affected area and rub gently. Do not bandage or wrap the skin being treated unless directed to do so by your care team.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products without telling your care team.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Burning, itching, crusting, or peeling of treated skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Irritation at application site
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
After bathing, make sure your skin is very dry. Fungal infections like moist conditions. Do not walk around barefoot.
To help prevent reinfection, wear freshly washed cotton, not synthetic, clothing. Tell your care team if you develop sores or blisters that do not heal properly. If your skin infection returns after you stop using this medication, contact your care team.
If you are using this medication for jock itch, do not wear underwear that is tight-fitting or made from synthetic fibers such as rayon or nylon. Instead, wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear. Dry the area completely after bathing.
If you are using this medication to treat athlete's foot, carefully dry the feet, especially between the toes after bathing. Do not wear socks made from wool or synthetic materials such as rayon or nylon. Wear clean cotton socks and change them at least once a day. Wear sandals or shoes that are well-ventilated. An absorbent powder, such as talcum powder, may be used to keep the skin dry. Apply the powder to the affected skin in between applications of this medication.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.