Fungal infections in humans occur globally due to dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds and results from contact with infected humans, animals, soils, and fomites. They can be classified into three broad groups: superficial, subcutaneous, and systemic. Most superficial fungal infections of keratinized tissues such as the skin, nails, and hair are caused by dermatophytes that spread through contact with infected person or by self infection through transfer from another body part.1, 2
Dermatophytic infections, in general, are common in the US population, with up to 1 in 5 individuals infected at any one time.3, 4, 5 The majority of superficial fungal infections in the US are tinea infections, which are primarily caused by three types of dermatophytes: Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Epidermophyton floccosum.6 The most common tinea infections are tinea pedis, tinea cruris, and tinea corporis.
Tinea pedis, an infection of the foot, affects nearly 26.5 million people a year with half expected to suffer from reoccurring outbreaks,7 and is second only to acne for being a leading cause of skin infections in the US.8 Trichophyton rubrum has been found to be the leading cause of tinea pedis infection, accounting for two-thirds of all cases.8 Tinea cruris is a superficial fungal infection of the groin and surrounding tissue and is the second leading disease state for a tinea infection.9 Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes have been isolated as the primary cause of tinea cruris; however, Epidermophyton floccosum is also a causative organism.9 As with tinea pedis infections, Trichophyton rubrum has been found to be the leading cause of tinea cruris infection, accounting for about three-fourths of all cases.2
Although oral medications can be used for the treatment of superficial fungal infections, topical medications have become a popular and effective treatment alternative due to the decreased risk of undesirable systemic effects. A common topical intervention is naftifine hydrochloride (HCl), a broad-spectrum topical antifungal drug in the allylamine class. Among the classes of topical treatments, allylamines have been shown to demonstrate better efficacy rates and shorter treatment courses than the azoles.10, 11, 12 Naftifine HCl displays potent fungicidal and fungistatic activity and clinically significant anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects.13-16