Nystatin cream is an antifungal, antibiotic treatment for fungal infections of the skin. It can help resolve yeast infections but is only suitable for use on the skin.

Nystatin cream is a topical ointment, which means a person should only use it on their skin and nowhere else.

This article discusses the uses of nystatin cream, potential side effects, and more.

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Nystatin treats fungal infections on the skin. In particular, nystatin treats yeast infections of the skin resulting from a type of fungus called Candida.

Candida lives in different parts of the body. Most of the time, it does not cause any issue. However, sometimes too much of the fungus grows, and an infection occurs.

The most common type of Candida that causes infections is Candida albicans.

While yeast infections are most common in the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina, they can also occur on the skin. When these yeast-like infections develop on the skin, they often occur in warm, moist skin folds such as:

  • the armpits
  • under the breasts
  • around nails
  • on the feet, particularly between toes
  • around the groin area
Learn more

Find out more about yeast infections.

When a yeast infection happens on the skin, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms in the affected area. Symptoms can include:

Nystatin cream treats yeast and yeast-like infections on the skin. It does not treat fungal infections that occur:

  • in the eyes
  • in the mouth or throat
  • intravaginally
  • systemically

Nystatin cream will treat the infection but will not relieve the itching, swelling, and other symptoms associated with the infection until the infection clears.

To treat swelling and itching, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests using a corticosteroid cream in addition to antifungal cream.

Learn more

Find out more about fungal infections, skin infections, and other skin problems.

Most often, people who use nystatin cream will need to apply it generously to the affected area twice per day until the infection has cleared or as directed by a doctor.

A doctor can inform a person if they should use the cream more or less frequently.

If a person misses a dose, they should apply it as soon as possible unless it is nearly time to apply the next dose. In this case, they should skip the missed dose and continue as normal.

A person should not apply a large amount of cream at once to make up for the missed dose.

Anyone who uses nystatin cream should not let it get in their mouth or eyes and should not swallow it. Nystatin cream is also not suitable for use on or in the vagina.

If a person’s symptoms persist after the prescribed course has finished, they should consult a doctor again.

A person should not allow anyone else to use their prescribed nystatin cream and should keep it out of the reach of children, pets, and anyone else who could consume it.

Before using nystatin cream

Before using nystatin cream, a person should talk with a doctor if they have had a previous reaction to any of the components of the cream.

A person should also consult their doctor before use if they are pregnant or nursing.

People over 65 years should also discuss the use of nystatin cream with a doctor due to the potential for increased sensitivity to the medication.

Nystatin cream is generally safe to use on skin, with side effects occurring in less than 0.1% of people who use the cream.

However, some people using nystatin cream may notice side effects, including skin irritation or redness.

Serious allergic reactions to nystatin cream rarely occur.

Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include:

If a person using the cream notices symptoms of an allergic reaction, they should stop using it and seek prompt medical attention.

Learn more about allergic reactions and rashes.

The body has limited absorption of topical nystatin cream and, therefore, should not interact with other medications a person is taking.

However, a person should always inform a doctor if they are taking any other medications, vitamins, drugs, or herbal supplements whenever they receive a new medication.

The following provides some answers to common questions about nystatin cream.

How long does nystatin cream take to work?

Symptoms of the fungal infection should improve within 24–72 hours after a person starts using nystatin cream.

However, a person should continue to use the cream the whole time the doctor prescribes, even if symptoms improve.

Can you use nystatin cream on babies?

Experts have found that the cream is safe and effective for children from birth.

However, a person should consult with a doctor before using the cream on a baby.

Does nystatin cream stop itching?

Nystatin cream itself does not stop a person’s skin from itching. However, as nystatin cream heals the fungal infection, the symptoms — including itching — will resolve.

To treat itching, NICE suggests using a corticosteroid cream in addition to antifungal cream.

Nystatin cream is an antifungal medication that treats yeast and yeast-like infections on the skin.

A person should only use the medication on their skin and keep it out of their mouth, eyes, and vagina.

The medication is generally safe and effective. A person should follow their doctor’s instructions for taking the medication and consult a doctor if they experience any side effects.

Side effects are rare and may include itching, redness, and swelling of the face, tongue, or mouth.