Are antifungal creams leading to superfungal skin infections?

Improper prescribing or overuse of antifungal creams may actually be making some drug-resistant fungal skin infections worse, according to a CDC report published Jan. 11.

In 2021, primary care providers, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants prescribed 6.5 million topical antifungal prescriptions to Medicare patients in the U.S. 

"In the United States, nonrecommended topical antifungal prescribing is likely common, because diagnosis of cutaneous fungal infections by visual inspection is frequently incorrect, including among board-certified dermatologists, and clinicians across specialties rarely perform confirmatory diagnostic testing," the CDC report states. "Understanding prescribing patterns, including identification of clinicians who prescribe a disproportionate volume of topical antifungals, might help establish and promote correct use of these medications." 

Prescribing rates of antifungal creams were highest in the South and Northeastern parts of the U.S., the report found.

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