Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris) is a fungal infection that is most commonly caused by the fungus Trichophyton rubrum. This fungus is part of the Ringworm family of Tineas. Jock Itch is sometimes referred to as Ringworm of the groin or itchy crotch because it can take on the shape of Ringworm. Although Jock Itch is typically considered a “man’s” disease, it can also be found in women. In men and women it can affect the groin, buttocks, anus, and in women, under the breasts. Female Jock Itch is much more common than commonly thought.
Jock Itch occurs when tight clothing traps heat and moisture. The combination of the moisture and heat creates the perfect environment for fungus to grow. You can increase your chances of getting Jock itch by wearing multiple layers of clothing in the wintertime and by wearing wet, sweaty clothes in the summertime. Staying in a wet bathing suit greatly increases your chances of acquiring Jock Itch. Athletes are affected by Jock Itch more often than most people, which is how Tinea Cruris got its nickname. Female Jock Itch can cause other female infections if not treated quickly.
Symptoms of Jock Itch
What are Jock Itch fungus symptoms? Jock Itch usually presents itself as a red, itchy, flat rash on the inside of the thigh area where the fold of the groin area meets the leg. Chafing and burning sensations are also common. It will usually spread outward and downward in a circular formation. Sometimes the center area will be a lighter, pinkish-brown color, much like Ringworm. The outer area of the Jock Itch fungus is slightly raised, scaly, well defined and will be a bright red color. In severe cases, blisters that ooze may be present; therefore it is important to recognize what is Jock Itch as early as possible. Jock itch will spread throughout the genital and pubic regions as well as to the buttocks and anal region; therefore it is important to know what Jock Itch looks like. Jock itch fungus symptoms are the same for male Jock Itch or female Jock Itch. Jock Itch does not usually involve the scrotum or penis. If your scrotum and penis are involved, you need to seek a doctor’s care.
- The most common way of getting Jock Itch is by the transfer of Athlete’s Foot fungus when getting dressed.
- You can get Jock Itch fungus symptoms by having direct skin to skin contact with a person who has a fungal infection.
- You can get Jock Itch from contact with unwashed clothing.
- You can get Jock Itch on floors of public showers or locker rooms or damp surfaces. This is a common method of contracting Jock Itch.
- You can get Jock Itch fungus symptoms from objects that an infected person has touched such as towels, bed linens, exercise equipment, gym mats and shower stalls.
- You can get Jock Itch from tight clothing and excessive perspiration or wetness in the groin or itchy crotch area.
Is Jock Itch Contagious?
Yes jock itch is highly contagious, and it can be transmitted if you have sex with a partner who has Jock Itch. Additionally, Jock Itch can travel to your arm pits and to your feet (Athlete’s Foot) if you don’t take the proper precautions to prevent Jock Itch from spreading
So treat the infection first by applying an over the counter anti fungal cream on the infected skin. You should wear loose (preferably cotton) undergarments and keep the infected skin dry to avoid further spreading of the infection. Following these easy steps will avoid you ever having to worry “is Jock Itch contagious”.
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Most doctors will diagnosis Jock Itch just by looking at the rash. For a positive diagnosis on how to cure itching and burning Jock Itch, there are a couple of different tests that your doctor can perform. Your doctor can do a KOH test. This is where the doctor will do a skin scraping, place the skin cells on a glass slide and then add a couple of drops of Potassium hydroxide (KOH).
The reaction between the skin cells and the KOH releases the hyphae (fungus) so that it can be colored with a stain and identified. Sometimes the doctor will do a skin biopsy to send a sample to a lab for a more positive identification of the fungus involved.
By knowing what Jock Itch looks like and taking action at the first sign, you can be sure you knock out you Jock Itch infections. And by treating your environment, you can safe-guard yourself from future infections of Jock Itch symptoms.
Jock Itch can usually be treated within a couple of weeks. For some people it is common for Jock Itch to re-occur. Treatments for chronic cases of Jock Itch can sometimes take several months as the fungus is deep within the epidermal tissues of the skin if you do not have a highly effective Jock Itch cream. You can help control and prevent Jock Itch outbreaks in many ways. It is very important to know how to treat Jock Itch and to treat your Jock Itch as soon as possible.
Having Jock Itch for extended periods of time can lead to secondary bacterial infections and permanent changes in the skin pigmentation of the affected areas. You also want to be careful when using regular soap products and make sure that you are rinsing completely.
Soap is alkaline (the opposite of acidic). Alkaline environments increase the growth rate of fungus. Scrubbing the area with soap will make your Jock Itch worse.
Prevention & How to Cure Jock Itch
- Complete Jock Itch Treatments as instructed, even after symptoms disappear
- Minimize close contact with others until treatment is finished
- Keep skin dry and clean
- Wear loose clothing and clean cotton boxer shorts
- Wash athletic supporters frequently
- Do not share towels, shoes, clothing, hats or other personal items
- Make sure the person or the source of the infection gets treated
- Use a floor or bath cleaner that contains a fungus-fighting agent
- If you have Athlete’s Foot make sure that the towel that you dried your feet with does not come into contact with other parts of your body
- Spray your shoes with a hospital grade disinfectant to battle the odors and fungus daily
There are many so called Jock Itch home remedies on the internet; however they don’t work or they seem to work for a little while and the infection comes back soon after.
Some of the ineffective Jock Itch home remedies that are such things as eating a lot of garlic, avoiding consumption of carbohydrates, sugar and food items that contain yeast, avoiding alcohol because it eventually converts to sugar and including a lot of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet. The last home remedy is applying honey and garlic alternatively on the infected skin.
Jock Itch is easy to get rid of if you are armed with the right Jock Itch products and Jock Itch regimen (learn more below).
Scratching Jock Itch Causes Other Problems
Although Jock Itch is extremely uncomfortable and itchy, by scratching the area, you will only prolong the problem. Pruritus (itching) is an unpleasant sensation that elicits the desire to scratch. It is a distressing symptom that can cause discomfort and threaten the effectiveness of the skin as a major protective barrier.
- CAUSES SECONDARY INFECTION – Scratching an infected area can cause skin breakdown. This is very serious because once the skin is broken; you run a very high risk of picking up secondary bacterial infections. If you have a fever, pus drainage, oozing, crusting or swelling you probably have a secondary bacterial infection. Once an infection occurs, you must treat that as well as treat the Jock Itch problem.
- CAUSES SPREADING – By scratching your groin area when you have a Jock Itch outbreak, you can potentially spread the tinea fungus to other areas of your body. The fungus spores get on the skin and under your nails then transfer to other body parts such as your face, head or feet when you touch those areas without properly disinfecting your hands.
- CAUSES VISCOUS ITCH-SCRATCH CYCLE – Another downside of scratching the affected area is that although you may get momentary relief from the itching and irritation, your body goes into a viscous itch-scratch cycle. Scratching and rubbing the affected area in response to itching actually worsens the skin inflammation characteristics of the disease. Your skin becomes more sensitive to itching and you feel the need to scratch longer and harder. Itching is a problem during sleep, when all of the conscious control of scratching decreases and there is a lack of outside stimuli to distract a person, which then makes the itchiness more noticeable.
- CAUSES OTHER SKIN SYMPTOMS – The skin can react in a variety of ways once it has been affected by the itch-scratch cycle. Some people develop very red, scaly skin because the skin’s built in immune system is becoming overactive. Other people develop thick leathery skin as a result of constant rubbing and scratching. This is often referred to as lichenification. Other people may develop papules and small raised bumps.
By controlling the urge to itch, rub or grab at the groin or itchy crotch area, you will reduce the risk of your Jock Itch getting worse. You can also prevent some of the above from happening by wearing dry, loose fitting clothing.
Does anything else cause itching in the groin or crotch area?
There are several other skin problems that can cause redness and itching in the groin area. Some of the most common ones are:
- Seborrhea – Common inflammatory skin condition with dry, itchy, white to yellowish flaky skin.
- Psoriasis – Skin irritation with redness, swelling, itchiness, and silvery scaly patches of skin.
- Candida Albicans -Yeast Infections in both men and women.
- Intertrigo – Inflammation of body folds, generally found in cases of obesity and diabetics.
- Erythrasma – A chronic bacterial infection caused by Corynebacterium minutissimum.
- Pubic Lice – Parasitic infestation
- Chemical irritation – Caused by overuse of topical products or allergies to them.
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