Comparison of clotrimazole 1% cream with 50% tea tree oil extract in a cream base for the treatment of tinea corporis/cruris: A randomized controlled trial

Achyut Pokharel, C Yaptinchay, A E Thaebtharm


Background: Tinea cruris and corporis are common diseases and can be widespread. Estimated lifetime probability of contracting the disease is as high as 10-20%. Dermatophytic infections are one of the three most frequently observed skin diseases among poor communities in tropical countries. Tea tree oil exerts its antifungal activity by altering membrane properties and compromising membrane associated function resulting in clinical improvement and mycological cure of superficial dermatophytes. 

Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine the efficacy and safety of tea tree oil 50% in a cream base compared with clotrimazole 1% cream for the treatment of tinea corporis or cruris. 

Material and Methods: Sixty patients were enrolled in the study and randomized into tea tree oil and clotrimazole groups with 30 patients in each group. Both groups were instructed to apply cream two times a day after cleaning with soap for 4 weeks. The patients were asked to follow-up every 2 weeks for photography, microscopic and clinical assessment. Before enrollment, patient signed a written consent form. 

Results: Using intention to treat analysis, the assessment of mycological cure, clinical cure, global physician assessments and overall patient perception were done. There were no statistical difference of all the parameters between tea tree oil group and clotrimazole group. 

Conclusion: Tea tree oil 50% cream is safe and as effective as clotrimazole 1% cream for the treatment of tinea corporis or cruris.

NJDVL Vol. 13, No. 1, 2015 Page: 24-30


Tinea corporis; Tea tree oil; Dermatitis

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