Tinactin vs Lotrimin vs Lamisil: Which One is the Best?

Athletes and people with an active lifestyle are more prone to certain conditions caused by fungi buildup. As such, the three most prevalent conditions experienced by people with active lifestyle would be athlete’s foot, jock itch and ring worms in the skin. 

Associated with these conditions would be three of the most potent anti-fungal creams: tinactin, lotrimin and Lamisil. Of course you would ask, if they treat the same thing, which one is the best? 

What are They Used for? 

All three are considered as non-prescription, topical, anti-fungal creams. They are the most popular around the market because they are also the most recommended by doctors. But you have to understand, that these three have salient differences. 

So what are they specifically used for? Well, these three were specifically formulated to relieve strings of conditions brought about by tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), tinea curis (ring worm) and tinea corporis (jock itch). These conditions are burning sensation in the affected area, itching, scaling and cracking of the skin. 


The main difference of Tinactin from Lotrimin and Lamisil is that, it is the only non-prescription cream that is graded safe for both preventing and treating athlete’s foot, jock itch and ring worms. It does not come with an oral version and can only be applied as cream or gel. Thus, if it comes in contact with the mouth, eyes, nose and the genital area, rinse them properly with soap and water. 

To prevent tinea conditions, apply Tinactin in between the toes and in the skin daily. As topical treatment, Tinactin should be applied generously in the affected area twice a day for two to six weeks depending on the severity of the condition. 

Consult your doctor if you intend to use Tinactin during pregnancy. Washing your hands before and after application should is recommended. 

Tinactin may have allergic reactions. Side-effects may include reddening of the skin, hives, difficulty in breathing and swelling of the face, tongue and lips. Itchy and swelling throats may also indicate allergic reaction. 


This product distributed by Bayer and Bayer is formulated with butenafine hydrochloride. It is associated with other anti-fungal medications like Micatin and Nizoral. It basically works by preventing the reproduction of the itchy membranes that grows around fungi cells. 

It can be used using three modes. One, it is applied topically on the skin to treat ring worm, in between the toes to treat athlete’s foot. Two, it can also be applied around the vaginal area to treat yeast infection and other forms of candida diseases. For oral thrush, you can dissolve Lotrimin in the mouth. 

General dosage and application of Lotrimin cream would be once a day for 14days. Vaginal Lotrimin cream is applied daily (specifically at night) for straight seven days. Lotrimin lozenges should be dissolved in the mouth five times a day for two weeks. 

Lotrimin comes with specific side effects, however. This includes blistering, peeling, redness, swelling or itching. When applied orally, it may cause vomiting and nausea. 


It is the most recommended of the three as the best topical cream for athlete’s foot. Distributed by GSK, Lamisil is formulated with terbinafine hydrocholoride. The cream formulation is prescribed for people with dry skin while the gel formulation is given to people who perspire more. 

Unlike Lotrimin, Lamisil works in weakening the cell membranes which hold the clusters of fungi together. The terbinafine hydrochloride in Lamisil interfere in the production of sterols which are produced by the fungi themselves. 

Doctors and pharmacists often recommend using anti-bacterial soap to wash the affected area before applying Lamisil. Recommended use of Lamisil would be twice a day for a week in between the toes and in the foot soles. 

Lamisil, like Lotrimin, can be applied directly to the skin or can be taken orally as tablets. Lamisil tablets are taken once a day for six weeks. Oral terbinafine will induce specific side-effects. These include the following: abdominal pain, headache, cough, effect on sense of taste and smell. 

Which One is the Best Anti-fungal Cream? 

We are basing our verdict for the best anti-fungal cream on three factors: mode of use, treatment and side-effects. For mode of use, we give our vote to Lotrimin. Tinactin is just an anti-fungal cream and while Lamisil may have oral tablets, Lotrimin comes with more than just cream and tablet when it comes to mode of use. 

It comes with a specific vaginal cream and suppository as well as tablets and lozenges for oral use. So for mode of use, Lotrimin comes full circle. In terms of treatment, it is a tie between Lotrimin and Lamisil. They are both formulated to cater to more fungal infections and comes with spray, gel, cream and oral products to treat them. The dosage and length of treatment are also more convenient compared to Tinactin. 

As for side-effects, we give it to Lamisil. Tinactin and Lotrimin have more severe side-effects. In the three factors, we guess we could deduce that Lamisil is the clear winner among the three. 

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