The efficacy of 2% creams of miconazole nitrate and sertaconazole were compared in a double-blind clinical trial carried out on 100 patients with an established diagnosis of cutaneous dermatophytosis. Assessments were performed on days 0, 15, 29 and 43 in our dermatology clinic. Cure was defined according to clinical assessment confirmed by microscopical examination and culture. The groups were similar in age, gender, weight and clinical presentation. The reported side-effects, most commonly pruritus, occurred in 22 (40.0%) and 15 (33.3%) patients in the sertaconazole and miconazole groups, respectively (P = 0.28), but were not serious enough to stop the treatment. The only significant difference between the groups was in per-protocol cure rate by day 15, when patients in the sertaconazole group had a higher cure rate than the miconazole group (P < 0.01). In conclusion, sertaconazole was superior to miconazole in producing an early response in our patients. Given the higher price of sertaconazole and the ability of the considerably less expensive miconazole to produce equally good response after a month, the usefulness of sertaconazole as an alternative to miconazole in Iran requires further study.