Background: Skin fungal infections are regular injuries suffered by people living
in tropical areas. Most common pathogens are Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton
which can cause skin lesions in many parts of body. Topical antifungal phytochemicals
are commonly used to avoid systemic adverse events and are more convenient for patient
application than those administered by other routes. However, the effectiveness of
topical treatments in eradicating fungal infection is more limited since the stratum corneum
acts as the skin barrier, resulting in long treatment duration and low patient’s compliance.
Methods: The goal of this work is to identify optimized drug delivery systems to improve
topic clinical efficacy. Microemulsions i.e. liquid dispersions of oil and water stabilized
with an interfacial film of surfactant are well known drug delivery systems. Results: A
thickening agent may be included to form microemulsion-based gels to increase skin adhesion.
Microemulsions and microemulsion-based gels can be loaded with several hydrophilic
and lipophilic drugs because they are composed of both water and oil phases. Conclusion: Microemulsions and
microemulsion-based gels can also be used for the delivery of many drugs including antifungal drugs through
stratum corneum due to their capacity to act as skin penetration enhancement. In addition to a comprehensive
review of microemulsion and microemulsion-based gels as suitable carriers for skin delivery of various antifungal
drugs, this review also aims to discuss the delivery of antifungal phytochemicals.
Keywords: Microemulsions, Microemulsion-based gels, Skin fungal infections, Skin drug delivery, Anti-fungal phytochemicals.
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