Nystatin vs Clotrimazole – Which Is The Best Medicine For Oral Thrush & Diaper Rash?

It is an antifungal medication that prevents fungus from growing on the skin. This medicine weakens the cell membranes of the fungal cells the drug is targeting.

This leads to the contents of the cell to leak out, ultimately, causing the infectious cells to die, hence, curing the infection.

There are many brand names of this medicine (like – Mycostatin, Bio-Statin, Nilstat), all belonging to a class of drugs called antifungals.


In 1971, it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and is currently widely used in the treatment of superficial candida infections and yeast infections of the mucous membranes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.


It comes as a pastille (soft lozenge) to be dissolved slowly in the mouth as well as a capsule, tablet, and a liquid to take by mouth. Also, it is found as a tablet and vaginal cream that can be inserted into the vagina.

The dose of this drug will be different for different sufferers (depending on the condition which needs to be treated).

The usual dose (powder) for children and adults – use the medicine two or three times a day on the affected area of the skin. The ointment and cream form should be applied two times a day to the affected area.

It is recommended to clean and thoroughly dry the skin area to be treated. Furthermore, apply sufficient medication to cover the affected area, plus, some of the surrounding skin.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • stomach upset;
  • bronchospasm (a constriction of the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles);
  • vomiting;
  • skin irritation;
  • mouth irritation;
  • stomach pain;
  • nausea;
  • muscle pain;
  • vomiting;
  • facial swelling;
  • slow heart rate;
  • skin rash.

When using this medicine, some people can experience Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare, serious disorder of the mucous membranes and skin. It causes the skin to blister and peels off. However, it occurs extremely rarely.

Do not use this medicine to treat any skin condition which has not been checked by your healthcare professional.


It is an OTC and prescription medication that is used to treat yeast infections of the mouth, vagina, and skin. The over-the-counter form is usually found at pharmacies and other retail outlets.

This drug works by preventing the growth of a few types of fungi by interfering with the production of the membrane which surrounds fungal cells.


It is used to treat a wide range of skin infections caused by fungi, such as:

  • thrush affecting the end of the penis or the outside of the vagina (labia and vulva);
  • sweat rash (a skin condition that frequently affects adults and children during hot, humid weather conditions);
  • fungal nappy rash;
  • jock itch (tinea cruris);
  • athlete’s foot (tinea pedis);
  • ringworm (tinea corporis).


Wash your hands before and after using this medicine. It can be found in lotion, cream, or solution forms.

It is generally inserted vaginally, used topically on the skin, as well as allowed to dissolve in the mouth for local fungal infections.

Follow the directions on the prescription label or your doctor’s orders. Topically it can be applied twice per day to the affected area and surrounding skin, typically in the morning and evening.

Some of the fungi may remain even after the infection has gone. Hence, it is essential that you continue to use this medication as your healthcare provider has prescribed, to be 100 percent sure all the fungi are killed.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • skin irritation;
  • skin fissures;
  • urticaria;
  • stinging;
  • local edemas.

Tell your healthcare professional if you are allergic to antifungals or any other foods, drugs, or other substances. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • swelling of face, tongue, lips, or throat;
  • wheezing;
  • shortness of breath;
  • hives;
  • itching.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is commonly safe for pregnant and lactating women to use and clinical studies have shown no evidence of risk of miscarriage or birth defects.

Be careful with this medicine, especially if you have problems with your liver, heart, or kidneys.

Nystatin vs Clotrimazole – Which Is The Best Medicine For Oral Thrush & Diaper Rash?

The mouth is a frequent site where Candida albicans causes infection. Oral thrush refers to candidiasis in the mouths of babies. However, if it occurs in the throat or mouth of adults it may be termed moniliasis or candidosis.

This fungal infection typically goes away on its own without medical treatment, however, there is a chance that the infection may reoccur.

Also, if not treated correctly, it may spread on to hands or it can then be transmitted to an infant’s mouth during breastfeeding from his mother and vice-versa. Predisposing factors for this condition in infants may include:

  • a history of vaginal thrush;
  • long-term use of antibiotics prior to pregnancy or after the delivery;
  • mastitis (approximately 10 percent of  breastfeeding women in the United States get it);
  • damage to the skin of the nipple.

For this condition, Nystatin oral suspension is the best medicine and should be given 4 times per day for 10 days.

Diaper rash is a frequent form of inflamed skin which causes a patchwork of bright red skin on the baby’s bottom. This condition usually results from:

  • antibiotics that are taken by the nursing mother;
  • antibiotics that are taken by the baby;
  • a too-tight diaper;
  • sensitive skin;
  • irritation by urine;
  • irritation by stool.

Clotrimazole is the main ingredient in most antifungal creams for diaper rash. Nystatin is also effective and compatible with breastfeeding.

Also, due to the fact that it is less easily absorbed through both the intestinal tract and skin and that it has a more gentle action, it has considerably fewer side effects than most modern antifungals.

Images credit – @Getty & Shutterstock

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