Tinea Cruris: AKA Jock Itch

Image for jock itch Many men (and some women) will suffer the pain and inconvenience of jock itch at some time during their lives. The good news is that jock itch can be treated, usually inexpensively, and at home. Once you treat it, you can take some basic preventive measures to keep it from coming back.

Causes and Symptoms

Jock itch is caused by a fungal infection. Warm, moist areas are the best environments for fungi to grow. Heat and humidity increase your risk of developing jock itch. You may be at a higher risk of if you wear wet, damp, or tight clothing, such as a jockstrap or swimsuit, or if you are overweight or obese. You can also get jock itch from sharing towels or clothing that are infected with the fungus.Jock itch results in red, scaly patches that burn or itch. The patches generally cover the inner thighs and skin around the groin area, but almost never involves the scrotum or penis.

What You Can Do

First, take a close look at the rash area. Jock itch is characterized by red skin and a discernible border between the part of your thigh that is affected and the part that is not.Other skin conditions can look and feel like jock itch. One is called intertrigo, a skin irritation caused when the body folds rub against each other. It becomes worse when you are hot and sweaty. Symptoms include redness and peeling. Another condition is a form of seborrhea that is related to dandruff and is marked by dry, cracking skin. Erythrasma (a bacterial infection) and psoriasis are other common conditions that may mimic jock itch.

Strike Early

If you notice something reddening your groin, do not wait for it to get worse. It is much easier to treat in the early stages. Most forms of jock itch respond to over-the-counter products containing various anti-fungal formulas. Medications come in lotions, sprays, powders, and creams.Be sure to carefully follow the directions for using any medication. The fungus can return if it is not properly treated. Buy a product that is specifically made to treat jock itch. Medication for athlete's foot, another fungal infection, may be too harsh.Take some time to check your feet and the spaces between your toes for signs athlete's foot. It is possible to carry fungus from your bare feet to your groin when you put on your underwear or pants.

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