What Is Nystatin Cream Used For?

If you find yourself wondering what is nystatin cream used for, you may be surprised by the applications it has to a very common problem affecting infants and adults alike.

Share This Post

What is Nystatin Cream | What is it Used For | Risk of Infection | How does it work | Cost | Benefits | Risks | Side Effects

None of us like to think about it, but fungus is everywhere, and the potential for fungal infections is lurking around us constantly.

When you think of fungal infections, you probably think of things like athlete’s foot or jock itch, both of which are common fungal infections that are uncomfortable and inconvenient.

Fungal infections can be more than uncomfortable, however – they can be deadly. What may start as a simple yeast infection of the skin, known as candidiasis, can become a severe invasive infection within the bloodstream.

Yeast infections are the cause of more than 3.6 million U.S. healthcare visits each year, resulting in an estimated 3 billion dollars in direct medical costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some species of fungus are becoming increasingly resistant to antifungal treatment because patients do not complete their recommended course of treatment, allowing the fungus to adapt and change to improve its immunity to the medication.

However, if caught early, most fungal infections of the skin can be treated with topical medications like nystatin cream and other similar drugs.

If you find yourself wondering what is nystatin cream used for, you may be surprised by the applications it has to a very common problem affecting infants and adults alike.

What Is Nystatin Cream?

Nystatin cream is a topical medication that belongs to a class of drugs called antifungals. Antifungal medications are used to kill a fungus that may be infecting the skin and to prevent the growth of the fungus.

Nystatin is sold under several brand names, including Mycostatin, Nystex, and Pediaderm AF.

It can be used on its own, but it is often combined with corticosteroid creams that are used for inflammation treatments.

When sold as nystatin topical cream, it is for use as an antifungal medication only.

Combination medications, such as nystatin and triamcinolone, are sold under brand names like Mycolog-II, Mytrex, and Quenalog.

nystatin cream
Nystatin Cream

What Is Nystatin Cream Used For?

Nystatin cream is an antifungal medication that is used to treat certain fungal infections and conditions, including Candida (Monilia), or yeast infections.

It can also be used to treat diaper rash in infants.

Fungal infections, called mycosis, are caused by an infestation of fungus on the skin. Fungi can be found everywhere in our environment, including on household surfaces, in dirt, on plants, and on the skin.

Nystatin cream treats a type of fungal infection called cutaneous candidiasis, which is caused by yeast.

Yeast infections aren’t contagious, but they can be uncomfortable. They are most commonly found in warm areas of the body that are creased and are regularly moist, such as the armpits or groin.

People who are obese and have folds of skin that are difficult to clean may experience yeast infections within the folds.

People with diabetes and those taking antibiotics are also considered to be at a higher risk of yeast infection. Signs of a yeast infection on the skin include:

  • Rash
  • Pimple-like bumps
  • Oozing patches
  • Itching
  • Burning

Yeast infections can also occur in the nail beds, in the mouth (called thrush), or in the vagina.

However, nystatin cream is only used for the treatment of yeast infections on the skin.

In some cases, fungal infections can become severe and become more serious.

You should seek medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms in addition to those listed above:

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Night sweats
  • Respiratory issues
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
  • Symptoms of meningitis
    • Severe headache
    • Stiff neck
    • Light sensitivity 
YouTube player

Who Is Considered at Risk for a Fungal Infection?

Because we are always surrounded by fungus, anyone can get a fungal infection at any time.

However, fungal infections are most common in people with weakened immune systems or certain other characteristics. People considered at increased risk of a fungal infection include:

  • People who are currently hospitalized
  • Patients living with HIV or AIDS
  • Transplant recipients
  • People taking immunosuppressant medications
  • People with compromised immune systems
  • Patients undergoing treatment for cancer
  • People suffering from obesity

In addition to skin infections, fungi can also cause other types of illnesses, including asthma or allergies, lung infections, infections of the nail bed, bloodstream infections, meningitis, and more.

However, most fungal infections are minor in their early stages and can be treated effectively if caught early.

How Does Nystatin Cream Work?

Antifungal medications like nystatin cream work by directly attacking and killing fungal cells and by preventing fungal cells from growing.

In order to kill the fungal cells and stop the growth of new cells, medications like nystatin cream specifically attempt to destroy cellular structures and functions that are critical to fungal cells but not to human cells.

This way, fungal medications do not cause additional damage to your skin or other parts of the body.

Fungal medications commonly target the cell membrane and cell wall of the fungus, both of which are responsible for the protection of the cell.

The cell membrane and cell wall hold the fungal cell together, so when one or both is destroyed, the fungal cell dies and cannot reproduce.

Nystatin cream belongs to a specific subclass of antifungal medications called polyenes, which work by attacking the cell wall of the fungus to make it more porous.

Over time, the cells of the fungus burst and die.

How Much Does Nystatin Cream Cost?

Because nystatin cream is produced by a variety of manufacturers in both brand-name and generic forms and in a variety of strengths, it is relatively inexpensive.

A 15-gram tube of nystatin cream costs anywhere from 7 to 8 dollars, while a 30-gram tube would cost approximately 13 dollars.

Extremely large quantities of the medication at a very high strength can be expensive, but the medication is generally considered highly affordable.

It is covered by many insurance plans. Patients who have difficulty affording their prescriptions of nystatin cream may receive additional savings by using a pharmacy discount card like Pharmacists.org, which offers savings on all brand name and generic FDA-approved medications at more than 60,000 participating pharmacies.

Pharmacists.org is not insurance, and no personal information or medical history is needed besides your name and contact information.

Participants in the Pharmacists.org pharmacy discount program pay a negotiated rate that Pharmacists.org arranges which each drug manufacturer in order to offer the maximum possible discount without complicated paperwork, copays, or coverage limits. 

What Are the Benefits of Nystatin Cream?

Nystatin cream is generally well tolerated by most patients, so there are many benefits associated with its use:

  • Effective results for treating skin yeast infections 
  • Simple to apply
  • Inexpensive and accessible for most patients
  • Available in generic form
  • Relatively few side effects
  • It can be used safely on children and infants for the treatment of diaper rash.

What Risks Are Associated With Nystatin Cream Use?

Although there are many benefits associated with nystatin, as listed above, taking the medication also poses some risks. Risks associated with nystatin include:

  • The medication should not be applied anywhere besides the skin. Patients should avoid getting the medication in the eyes or mouth.
  • Nystatin cream can cause an allergic reaction. Patients should make their doctors aware of any known allergies.
  • Patients should avoid wearing clothing that is tight, made of synthetic materials, or doesn’t allow for proper air circulation. Patients should wear loose-fitting clothing with natural fibers until the infection is healed.
  • The medication should be taken for the full length of the prescription. Symptoms may improve prior to the end of the prescription, but patients should continue to use the cream as directed. Failure to do so could result in a return of the infection. 
  • When used on children for diaper rash, children should not wear tight-fitting diapers or plastic pants and make sure to keep it out of the reach of children.
  • If used for longer than directed, nystatin cream may begin to cause thinning of the skin and stretch marks on areas with thin skin, such as the face, armpits, and groin. Nystatin cream should be used only as directed. 

What Dose of Nystatin Cream Should I Use?

The dosage of nystatin cream recommended for use will vary depending on the patient and the severity of the infection.

The amount that is prescribed to you will also vary depending on the strength of nystatin cream that is prescribed by your doctor. In general, nystatin cream should be applied in a quantity that covers the affected area two to four times per day, or as directed by your doctor.

No airtight bandages should be used to cover the treated area, but a sterile gauze dressing or bandage is ok.

The average length of treatment is between two to eight weeks and is determined by the severity and type of infection.

It is important that patients do not skip doses of their medication and wash their hands before and after use in order to prevent further fungal spread and increased resistance of the fungus to medication.

Approximately seven percent of bloodstream infections caused by yeast are resistant to antifungals, and one in four patients hospitalized with a bloodstream yeast infection dies of the infection.

Therefore, it is absolutely critical that patients apply their medication as directed, do not skip any doses, and continue their treatment until directed to stop by their doctor. 

What Side Effects Are Associated With Nystatin Cream?

Very few side effects are associated with nystatin cream, and the medication is well tolerated by most people.

Skin irritation is the most common possible side effect associated with nystatin cream, and it usually does not require medical attention.

Patients should report adverse effects like skin irritation to their doctor or healthcare professional if it continues, gets worse, or becomes bothersome. Some people may experience mild itching.

Allergic reactions to nystatin cream are also possible; signs of allergic reactions include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Patients who experience severe burning, itching, rash, pain, or other serious side effects on the application site should discontinue the use of nystatin cream immediately and contact their healthcare professional.

Can Women Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding Use Nystatin Cream?

Nystatin cream is currently classified by the Food and Drug Administration as a Category C medication, meaning that it is not known whether the medication will harm an unborn baby.

Because the effects of nystatin cream on unborn babies are unknown, it is important that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant speak with their doctors before applying nystatin cream.

It is also unknown whether nystatin cream passes through breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. Women considering using nystatin cream should talk to their doctors before breastfeeding and using the cream. 

Do Any Other Drugs Interact With Nystatin Cream?

Nystatin cream carries a low risk of interaction with other drugs taken orally or injected. However, it is important that you give your doctor a comprehensive list of all medications that you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over the counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbal products.

You should not start a new medication without checking with your doctor first. 

How Do I Know If Nystatin Cream Is Right for Me?

Nystatin cream is generally well-tolerated, but it is not right for everyone, including those patients who are allergic to the medication or its ingredients.

Nystatin cream is capable of treating fungal skin infections caused by candida (yeast), including diaper rash.

You should get medical advice from your healthcare provider about any prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbs that you are taking prior to using nystatin cream.

No studies have been conducted regarding the impacts of nystatin cream on pregnant or nursing mothers and their children, so patients should speak to their doctors if they are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing prior to using nystatin cream.

Nystatin cream must be applied multiple times per day consistently, and patients should not skip any doses or end their treatment early.

Doing so may cause the fungal infection to get worse, so patients should not use nystatin cream if they cannot commit to applying it appropriately.

References, Studies and Sources:


We are committed to providing our readers with only trusted resources and science-based studies with regards to medication and health information. 

Disclaimer: This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you suspect medical problems or need medical help or advice, please talk with your healthcare professional.

Share This Post

Pharmacists.org Discount Club

Get Started for $1.

  • Cheapest cash pay option at your retail pharmacy
  • 1,000s of drugs below $10.00 that can beat your co-pay
  • Start for $1 for your first month. Cancel anytime. 
  • Tell us your meds, we tell you the cheapest options.

Popular Destinations

Recent Articles

pharmacists giving out trusted information

Nexplanon Implant: Is the Most Effective Birth Control on the Market Right for You?

Nexplanon is the newest form of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) that provides pregnancy prevention for up to three years. Nexplanon replaced the contraceptive implant Implanon in 2010. Unlike Implanon, Nexplanon is radiopaque, which means it is visible through x-ray. Nexplanon is over 99% effective and is the most effective reversible contraceptive available at this time. The best part is that once it's inserted, you won’t have to think about pregnancy prevention again.

Read More »

Nutrafol Review: Are These Hair Supplements Effective?

Nutrafol is a telehealth company that offers a range of hair supplements for both men and women. Are these supplements effective, though?

We review and include products we think are useful for our community. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a commission. For more info, please read our ad policy, content principles and vetting policy.

Read More »

Share On:

More To Explore

Nexplanon Implant: Is the Most Effective Birth Control on the Market Right for You?

Nexplanon is the newest form of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) that provides pregnancy prevention for up to three years. Nexplanon replaced the contraceptive implant

Nutrafol Review: Are These Hair Supplements Effective?

Nutrafol is a telehealth company that offers a range of hair supplements for both men and women. Are these supplements effective, though?

We review and

Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth: Do They Work?

Many women who aren’t expecting take prenatal vitamins for longer hair and stronger nails. This guide from Pharmacists.org explains if this strategy works.

Addyi, the “Little Pink Pill,” Offers Hope to Women Suffering from Low Sexual Desire

So what if there was a solution? An easy, once-daily pill. Let’s get to know Addyi and the facts behind the “little pink pill.”

How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection in 24 Hours

The last thing you want to hear when you have a yeast infection is that it might take a while to cure it– everyone

Hers Hair Review: Are Their Hair Loss Products Effective?

Hers is one telemedicine company looking to provide women with a solution for hair loss. The products found in their Hers Complete Hair Kit

Pap Smears: Everything You Need to Know

If you are a woman, there's a good chance that you will need to get a pap smear at some point in your life.

What is Fluconazole: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions

Fluconazole is an antifungal medication commonly used for the treatment of fungal infections like yeast infections, fungal meningitis, athlete’s foot, and more.

More Than PMS: Could it Be PMDD?

PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is a more severe form of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). The symptoms can cause extreme mood shifts that negatively impact relationships,

A ScalpMed Review: Is ScalpMed Legit and How To Use

ScalpMed is no more a mystery. Read full article and find in depth overview of hair regrowth product. Article includes real-life examples.

We review and

How Much Hair Loss is Normal?

The average person loses 50 to 100 strands of loose hair per day. Losing more hair without regrowing new hair can be a sign

Perimenopause 101: How to Create Hormonal Harmony

Perimenopause is a transitional time before the onset of menopause. Most women experience symptoms related to perimenopause in their 40’s and 50’s, but sometimes

What are the side effects of Midol?

Midol is a common and popular brand of painkiller that many women use to treat their headaches. Unfortunately, there are some side effects associated

What is Estradiol: Uses, Costs, and Dosage

Estradiol, sometimes referred to as oestradiol (E2), is the strongest of the three estrogens that are naturally produced in the body.

Midol and You: What is Midol, What is in it, and How does it work?

Midol is a brand of medication used to treat pain and menstrual cramps. There are several different types of Midol, each with their own

For Thinning Hair: Minoxidil Foam

Here is your guide on minoxidil foam, its use, and whether the product is right for you. 

What is Vestibular Papillomatosis and How Do I Treat It?

Vestibular papillomatosis is a condition that occurs in women on their vulva, which are the external parts of female genitalia. These tiny bumps can

Does Minoxidil work?

With so many promises of stronger, longer, thicker hair it may be difficult to know whether minoxidil, a topical hair growth treatment, really works.

Surprising Reasons Why Women Lose Their Hair (And How You Can Prevent It)

The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 strands a day. As people age, the rate of

Shapiro MD Review: Does Their Hair Loss Treatment Work?

Shapiro MD uses natural DHT blockers in its shampoos, conditioners, and topical treatments, which may help stop hair loss and promote hair regrowth in

Minoxidil Before and After Results

Minoxidil is a topical medication that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia or male/female pattern baldness. It’s effective

What is Miconazole: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, and Interactions

Patients using miconazole for the treatment of a fungal infection of the skin may experience side effects like burning, swelling, redness, tenderness, stinging, irritation,

What are the Side Effects of Estradiol?

Premenopausal women and women of all ages may also benefit from estradiol to help with ovarian failure, adrenal gland dysfunction, sexual function, and other

Monistat vs Diflucan (Fluconazole): Comparison of Effectiveness

Both Monistat, a topical medication available over the counter, and Diflucan, a prescription medication taken orally, have been shown to be equally effective.

How Much Does Birth Control Cost?

If you’ve never had to pay for birth control, you may not have any idea just how costly avoiding pregnancy can be. According to

Everything You Need to Know About Endometriosis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Options, and More

Endometriosis is a chronic disease that affects millions of women all over the world. It is a condition where the endometrium, or lining of

Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options: A Detailed Comparison Guide

There are 13 different non-hormonal birth control options, each of which works slightly differently to prevent pregnancy without the use of hormones. 

Needed Prenatal Reviews: Is Their Pregnancy Nutrition Legit?

Needed is a supplement brand aimed at providing nutrients for pregnant mothers. But do you really need Needed? Read on to find out.

We review

Ritual Vitamins Review: What To Know Before Buying

Ritual is a vitamin and supplement company that uses clean, natural, science-backed ingredients in all of their products. Continue reading for an in-depth look

Hello Wisp Reviews: Birth Control, UTIs, STD Tests & More

Wisp is a company that offers direct to consumer healthcare focusing on reproductive and sexual health. Find out how it rates and if you