Benzoic acid possesses appreciable antifungal effects, but it cannot penetrate the outer layer of the skin in infected areas. Therefore, benzoic acid when used as an antifungal agent must be admixed with a keratolytic agent. Suitable mixtures are benzoic acid and salicylic acid and benzoic acid and resorcinol. An old preparation that is still in use is Whitfield's Ointment, USP. This ointment contains benzoic acid, 6%, and salicylic acid, 6%, in a petrolatum base. The cure rates from preparations like these are low.
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