The increasing impact of dermatophytic infections, the limitations encountered in their treatments (e.g. resistance, sideeffects, and high toxicity), the rising overprescription and overuse of conventional antifungals and high treatment costs all have stimulated the research for alternative natural drugs, such as essential oils. This paper reviews the in vitro/in vivo activity of essential oils and their major compounds against dermatophyte strains. A state of knowledge of the chemical composition of the oils, in vitro susceptibility tests and in vivo models used in antidermatophytic assays as well as the mechanism of action involved are referred under the perspective of the potential use of essential oils as antifungal agents in the clinical treatment of dermatophytosis.
Keywords : antifungal activity; dermatophytosis; volatile oils
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