Canesten 1% cream contains the active ingredient clotrimazole, which is an antifungal medicine used to treat infections with fungi and yeasts. Clotrimazole 1% cream is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.
Clotrimazole kills fungi and yeasts by interfering with their cell membranes. It works by stopping the fungi from producing a substance called ergosterol, which is an essential component of fungal cell membranes. The disruption in production of ergosterol causes holes to appear in the fungal cell membrane.
The cell membranes of fungi are vital for their survival. They keep unwanted substances from entering the cells and stop the contents of the cells from leaking out. As clotrimazole causes holes to appear in the cell membranes, essential constituents of the fungal cells can leak out. This kills the fungi and treats the infection.
Canesten 1% cream is used to treat a wide range of skin infections caused by fungi. These include infections with dermatophytes such as tinea, eg ringworm (tinea corporis), athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and jock itch (tinea cruris) and infections with yeasts such as candida, eg fungal nappy rash, sweat rash, or thrush affecting the outside of the vagina (vulva and labia) or the end of the penis.