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Nystatin cream uses: Yeast infections, athlete’s foot, and more

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How does it work?ThrushVaginal yeast infectionAthlete's footJock itchCostSummary
Nystatin cream can help with fungal infections like athlete’s foot, thrush, and jock itch. It is also available as an oral medication, powder, or liquid.
Medically reviewed by Jennie Olopaade, PharmD, RPH
Written by Faye Stewart
Updated on

We all have billions of bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies. These microbes are completely natural, no matter how often you wash.

Sometimes, the balance can shift and cause one type of microbe to reproduce too much, causing an overgrowth of fungus that can lead to conditions like vaginal yeast infections and athlete’s foot.

Generally, fungal infections are easy to treat with a medication like nystatin (Mycostatin, Nystop). This antifungal cream is also available as a liquid, powder, or oral tablet, and it can treat many infections.

How does Nystatin cream work?

Older adult female in a locker room opening her locker and possibly thinking about reading up what is nystatin cream used for?
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“Nystatin cream works by breaking through the cell walls of the fungus, allowing the contents to leak out, effectively clearing the infection,” explains Stefanie Ferreri, PharmD, chair of the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“The medication works the same way no matter what you are treating, but the dosage and duration of treatment may vary,” Ferreri says.

Below, we look at some of the different conditions that nystatin (Mycostatin, Nystop) can help treat.

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Nystatin for thrush

Thrush is an infection where a yeast-like fungus, Candida albicans, overgrows and causes redness, burning, and soreness. It is a condition that can develop in people with a weakened immune system or after antibiotic treatment and is more common in babies and older adults.

The mouth naturally has candida, and usually, saliva can help to protect you from infection. If an infection develops in your mouth, doctors will often treat oral thrush with liquid nystatin. But if the infection affects the skin, they may recommend nystatin (Mycostatin, Nystop) cream.

Nystatin for vaginal yeast infections

Vaginal yeast infections can affect as many as 70% of females in their lifetime, and the fungus is the same candida species as oral thrush — Candida albicans.

Symptoms can include irritation, redness and swelling, discharge, and intense itchiness of the tissues at the vaginal opening. A doctor may prescribe a cream form of nystatin that you insert into the vagina with an applicator once or twice a day.

Learn more about the causes of yeast infection causes here.

Nystatin for athlete’s foot

Sweaty sneakers can create the warm, moist environment that fungi love to call home. If you notice a red, scaly rash between your toes, this could be athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis.

Athlete’s foot can cause itching, stinging, or burning and can easily spread, especially if you scratch it. It can also spread via towels, clothing, a locker room, a sauna, or pool floors.

Doctors may recommend a powder form of nystatin for athlete’s foot that you sprinkle on the affected area and inside shoes and socks.

Nystatin for jock itch

Jock itch, also called tinea cruris, typically develops in the warm groin area and can also spread to the upper thighs.

You may experience skin redness, irritation, and itchiness, and it may appear scaly and flaky with ring-shaped with raised edges. Like athlete’s foot, it can be transmitted through shared towels or clothing, so it is important to keep this in mind if you share these items.

Using nystatin cream combined with a corticosteroid can help reduce swelling, itching, and redness.

Nystatin cost

Nystatin cream (Nyastop, Nyamyc) is available to purchase with an Optum Perks discount coupon, and although costs can fluctuate, you can expect to pay around $10 for a 30-gram (g) tube.

You can also use Optum Perks coupons for nystatin tablets, with costs of around $32 for 120 tablets.


Nystatin cream can help treat fungal infections like thrush, jock itch, and athlete’s foot. It works by breaking down the cell walls of the fungus and allowing the contents to leak out and the infection to clear.

Other forms of nystatin include powder, liquid, and capsules or tablets. A doctor or healthcare professional will prescribe the most appropriate version for your specific infection.

Although the symptoms of a fungal infection can cause irritation and discomfort, it’s not typically a serious condition, and with the right treatment, you can expect a full recovery.

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

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