The oil of bitter orange (C. aurantium var. amara) was an effective topical treatment in treatment-resistant superficial dermatophyte infection according to a study of 60 patients (Ramadan et al 1996). Patients with tinea corporis, cruris or pedis were treated with one of three treatments based on oil of bitter orange and cure was assessed by clinical and mycological examinations. One group used a 25% emulsion of oil three times daily, the second group used 20% oil in alcohol three times daily and the third group applied pure oil once daily. Treatment with the 25% oil emulsion was most successful and resulted in 80% of patients being cured after 1-2 weeks and 20% in 2-3 weeks. The group using the 20% oil in alcohol preparation also experienced substantial cure rates, but it took longer to achieve. Application of the undiluted oil successfully cured 33% of subjects within the first week, 60% within 1-2 weeks and 7% in 2-3 weeks. The only side-effect reported was mild irritation when the undiluted oil was used.
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