• Microformulation

    February 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

    That is really a broad subject and probably more than anyone would be able to do in this Forum. In general most ointments are occlusive products traditionally based upon Petrolatum in many cases. Generally you are looking at a W/O emulsion. Further complicating the fact would be that Athletes Foot products are generally Over-The-Counter (OTC) products.

    I would suggest googling some sample Formulations first.

  • mikebavington

    February 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Most athlete’s foot treatments have an antimicrobial ingredient in them to kill the microbes inhabiting the foot. For example, Tinactin has:

    Active Ingredient:
    Tolnaftate 1% - Antimicrobial 
    Inactive Ingredients: (in alphabetical order, not by percentage)
    ceteth-20, cetostearyl alcohol, chlorocresol, mineral oil, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium phosphate monobasic, white petrolatum

    Ceteth-20 - emulsifier
    Cetostearyl Alcohol - thickener, emulsifier
    Chlorocresol - preservative
    Mineral Oil - Occlusive, emollient
    Propylene Glycol - Humectant, Solvent
    Water - Moisturizer, Solvent, viscosity decreasing
    Sodium Phosphate Monobasic - PH adjuster
    White Petroleum - Occlusive, emollient

  • IHK

    February 4, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Hi Mike

    Thanks. I’ll go through and if need more help will discuss again

  • vitalys

    February 5, 2014 at 1:08 am

    IHK, I guess it’s intended to be a drug, not cosmetic product. Honestly, I find it disputable to use the ointment form for feet treatment, since it has so greasy consistency and pretty uncomfortable on the feet. Athlete foot is a complex disease and it may include both fungal and bacterial infections. Try to make a formulation based on emulsion.

  • Avick

    February 5, 2014 at 11:14 am

    A super simple and effective treatment is tea tree essential oil in a carrier oil or alcohol (or emulsion).

    Try a high-alcohol carbomer gel carrying tea tree oil!

  • Microformulation

    February 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Unfortunately with TTO you can’t make a claim that it treats Tinea pedis.

  • Avick

    February 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Right, I wasn’t reading that he necessarily wanted to make any disease claims.

    Tea tree oil is most definitely effective as killing Trichophyton rubrum, one of the fungi that is responsible for athlete’s foot, which maybe could be put on the label? I’m not sure. There’s plenty of research to support it.

  • Microformulation

    February 6, 2014 at 8:46 am

    @avick In the US to make the claim you are limited to the actives and concentrations as outlined in FDA monograph.

  • Avick

    February 6, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Micro, for OTCs, yep, I agree with you. Dietary supplements can make a lot of limited claims, though, as long as they’re not claiming to do anything structure/function-related to the human body. It would require finesse, but I think there is (maybe?) enough gray area that an argument could be made for making functional claims for single herbs used in topical application as long as the claims don’t try to alter the body itself. How about referring to tea tree oil as “antiseptic” as Dessert Essence does?

    I’m really asking here-anyone else with experience in the neutraceutical/cosmetic drug area, please chime in, maybe start a new thread! :)

  • mikebavington

    February 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm


    With Tea Tree Oil, you have to use a very large amount in order to equal the effectiveness of other commonly used antimicrobials - greater than 10%. And with the higher rate needed, you encounter formula cost issues and irritation issues when the product is applied to the skin. Plus you will have more issues with formula stability, etc, as the tea tree oil -  in very high amounts - puts extra demands on the emulisifers.

    I have researched antimicrobials quite a bit and the best one imho, is polyhexanide - PHMB.

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