Jock Itch – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

March 27 00:58 2019 Print This Article

Jock itch is a common fungal infection that affects the skin of the genitals, inner thighs and buttocks. It’s part of a group of fungal skin infections called tinea (pronounced: tih -nee-uh), and it’s related to athlete’s foot and ringworm (by the way, ringworm isn’t really a worm it’s a fungus). The medical name for all of these types of fungal infections is a tinea infection, and the medical name for jock itch is tinea cruris. Jock itch can develop when tight garments trap moisture and heat. This creates an environment in which fungi multiply and flourish. Athletes often get jock itch. It occurs more commonly in men, but can affect women as well. The jock itch fungus may cause a rash on the upper and inner thighs, the armpits, and the area just underneath the breasts. Many people with tinea cruris also have athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is called tinea pedis.

Jock itch is a form of ringworm. Ringworm is not a worm at all; it is a fungal infection of the outer layers of skin, hair, or nails. Fungi (plural of fungus) are present everywhere in our environment. Ringworm of the skin appears as a rash with patches that may be red or peeling or that have bumps on the edges that look like blisters. Athletes aren’t the only ones who get jock itch. Men tend to be more susceptible than women. But regardless of your gender, if you sweat a lot, you’re more likely to develop jock itch. The infection is characterized by an itchy, red, ring-shaped rash Jock itch, like other tinea infections, is caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. All of us have microscopic fungi and bacteria living on our bodies, and dermatophytes are among them. Dermatophytes live on the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails and thrive in warm, moist areas like the insides of the thighs. So, when your groin area gets sweaty and isn’t dried properly, it provides a perfect environment for the fungi to multiply and thrive.

Causes of Jock Itch

Find common causes and risk factors of Jock Itch:

  • Weakened immune systems.
  • Humidity.
  • Tight clothing.
  • Heat.
  • Obesity.
  • Heavy perspiration.
  • People infected with HIV/AIDS or diabetics are very much susceptible to jock itch.
  • Jock itch is mildly contagious. It can spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing, towels, and bedspreads of infected people.

Signs and Symptoms of Jock Itch

Sign and symptoms may include the following:

  • Burning sensation in affected areas.
  • Flaking, peeling or cracking skin in your groin.
  • Itching and redness in and around the genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks.

Treatment for Jock Itch

Treatment may include:

  • Keep the skin clean, dry and exposed to air whenever possible.
  • Wear loose fitting under-clothing.
  • Avoid sharing clothing, towels and personal items.
  • Wash hands often to avoid spread infection.
  • After bathing, apply antifungal powders, ointment. If you get an allergic reaction to the medication, stop using and consult a dermatologist.
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