FAQ & History

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you catch athlete's foot and jock itch?

A: Yes, there are many ways to "catch" it, including stepping on floors and sharing towels. Sports can be a common denominator. The National Library of Medicine has a page on causes at www.nlm.nih.gov.

Q: What can be done to prevent athlete's foot?

A: The American Academy of Family Physicians at www.aafp.org advises the following including:

Q: How can I tell if my rash is jock itch or something else?

A: Jock itch gives an itchy rash in warm, moist areas of your body. It can also include burning, itching and flaking. The Mayo Clinic has a page on symptoms at www.mayoclinic.com.

Q: Is ringworm a worm? And how many types of ringworm (tinea) are there?

A: No, ringworm is actually a fungus. Ringworm gets its name from the shape of the skin patches. The main types are tinea pedis (the foot), tinea cruris (the groin), tinea capitis (the scalp), tinea corporis (the body) and tinea barbae (the beard). The Merck Manual Home Edition online has a long description of each. www.merck.com.

Q: Can my dog have ringworm? And can I catch it from him?

A: Watch for scaly areas with no hair. You can catch ringworm from a pet, according to The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Veterinary Medicine. They have a page on pet ringworm at vetmed.illinois.edu.

Note: The information above is provided to help better understand the background of Micatin®. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical help. Please call your physician immediately if you think you have an emergency.

History of Micatin®

1973 was a legendary sports year. It was the year that Foreman beat Frazier, Billie Jean King won Wimbledon, Secretariat took the Triple Crown and the Dolphins completed an unbeaten season to win Super Bowl VII.

It was also another important year in sports medicine. It was the year that the athlete's foot drug Micatin® debuted. First called Micatin® Cream, Micatin® was initially only available by prescription. When Micatin® arrived on the sports scene on August 23, 1973 its active ingredient, miconazole nitrate, was considered a wonder cure for the fungal infections associated with athlete's foot, jock itch and ringworm. No longer would athletes and everyday folk have to suffer from the painful infections that show up in the body's cavities, crevices and cracks.

Micatin®, then marketed by the Johnson & Johnson Dermatological Division, is an antifungal that uses miconazole nitrate to cure athlete's foot, jock itch and ringworm. After a decade of prescription use, Micatin® was approved for over-the-counter sales in 1984. Sales rocketed to $3.4 million as a result of major national advertising campaigns.

Quickly, Micatin® became a household word through its advertising, mostly done by McCann-Erickson Worldwide. Some ads imagined the history of athlete's foot, from the caveman days, to the Romans, to a medieval soldier with an itchy foot encased in armor. The slogans were straightforward. "Somehow, there's got to be a cure for athlete's foot!" said one commercial. One campaign had the tagline, "Micatin® penetrates. Micatin® cures."

The best known commercials showed a locker room, with various men suffering from athlete's foot, all stepping up to a microphone to say lines like "really feels good down to my toes." The problem was always resolved by a fellow athlete throwing another athlete Micatin®. The unforgettable tagline? "Step up to the Mic."

Notable graphic designers such as Henry Wolf worked on the Micatin® account; some of Wolf's brochure designs for Micatin® are in the Henry Wolf Collection as part of the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives at the Visual Arts Library in New York.

In 1997, Johnson and Johnson sold Micatin® to Pharmacia and Upjohn, which moved the advertising for the account to the advertising agency W.B. Doner. Pharmacia and Upjohn later became part of Pfizer.

In 2008, Sarasota, Florida-based WellSpring Pharmaceutical Corporation bought the U.S. and Canadian rights to Micatin®. Micatin® is now among a family of other respected and classic American pharmacy brands.

2011 brings a re-launch of the Micatin® Antifungal Cream brand. Micatin® will sport a bright new Orange carton that is positioned to be the first major branded antifungal cream that provides bi-lingual English/Spanish text as well as full Drug facts in Spanish printed inside the carton. WellSpring Pharmaceutical Corporation recognizes the opportunity to improve patient compliance and outcomes with these package enhancements.