Factors like prolonged use of antibiotics, obesity, diabetes, etc. increase the risk of fungal rash on buttocks, and other areas of the body such as the thighs and groin. Here we discuss the causes of fungal rash and some self-care treatment measures.
Fungal rash on buttocks generally occurs uniformly on both the cheeks, and eventually starts getting concentrated on the bottom of each cheek and within the folds. Besides affecting people who are on a long-term course of antibiotics, obesity or diabetes, the rash also occurs in people who are incontinent, perspire heavily, have a sedentary lifestyle, or use skin care products that irritate the skin.
In the following, we have discussed the most common causes of fungal rash on buttocks, and some important self-care and preventive measures to manage the condition.
Jock itch is a fungal infection, caused by dermatophytes. It is common during summer months, or in warm, wet climates. It is a type of ringworm infection, thus it is also known as ringworm of the groin (tinea cruris). Ringworm, although called so, is not associated with any kind of worm in the body. It gets its name from the ring-shaped skin rash it causes. The rash is red, itchy and borders a normal-looking skin in the middle.
Jock itch affects the outer layers of the skin of the buttocks, inner thighs, and genitals. These areas are mostly affected because of their warm and moist environment.
Symptoms of Jock Itch
- A fungal rash on the buttocks, and areas of the groin, inner thighs, and skin folds. The rash can be identified by its scaly border or blister-like bumps around its edges.
- Itching, and reddening of the infected area.
- Pain and a burning sensation.
- Flaking or peeling of the skin around the genital area.
What is its Treatment?
Jock itch is not a serious infection for someone who is otherwise healthy. Over-the-counter topical antifungal medicines are usually sufficient to treat the condition and relieve its symptoms. It is in people, who are immunocompromised, that jock itch may be a serious issue. For severe infections, patients may require prescription-strength antifungal medicines from their doctor.
In babies (mostly below 2 years), a red rash on the buttocks and surrounding areas, most likely indicates diaper rash – a yeast infection, caused by a fungal microorganism called Candida.
Symptoms of Diaper Rash
- A bright red rash occurs in the baby’s bottom, including the thighs and genitals.
- The infected skin looks tender and puffy.
- In boys, the skin around the scrotum and penis reddens, and becomes scaly. The same symptom occurs in the labia and vaginal area, in girls.
- The rash may seem to increase in its size, but usually, remains confined within the edge of the diaper.
What is its Treatment?
As alarming as diaper rash may seem to be, it is not serious, and can be easily managed at home. The primary treatment is to keep the baby’s bottom clean and dry, and avoid using diapers that are too tight or that rub the skin. However, if the rash persists, spreading in other parts of the body, or is accompanied by diarrhea or other abnormal symptoms, then seek medical assistance. Your baby’s doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream.
Self-Care and Preventive Measures
Self-Care and Preventive Measures for Jock Itch
• A moist and warm environment favors germs that cause fungal infections. The risk increases during summer months, when perspiration is more. So, ensure that you use every inch of your towel to dry yourself after bathing or swimming.
• Avoid using heavily perfumed bathing soaps. Such products usually irritate the skin, and worsen the fungal rash. If you use incontinence briefs, then avoid those that come with plastic liners. These products retain moisture and prevent the affected area from drying out. Leaving the briefs open would promote air circulation and help in healing the rash by keeping it dry.
• Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, and consider wearing loose-fitting briefs which are made of cotton, instead of nylon or polyester. Clothes made of cotton promote ventilation, and help keep the skin dry.
• Always wear clean and fresh clothes to prevent the risk of infection.
• If the rash has occurred within the skin folds, then prevent the moisture from accumulating in the area, by placing a soft cloth or a cotton pad between the folds. This will help in keeping the skin dry and keep the infection from spreading further. Talcum powder could also be used to keep such areas dry.
• The risk of contracting jock itch increases if you have a fungal infection on other parts of your body. For instance, athlete’s foot (fungal infection of the feet), if unchecked, may easily trigger jock itch. So, prevent and treat such infections.
• Avoid walking barefoot in places like public pools or showers, gyms, and especially public toilets.
Self-Care and Preventive Measures for Diaper Rash
• Keep your baby clean and dry.
• Every time you do a diaper change, consider cleaning your baby’s bottom with clean, plain water. Then, pat dry the skin properly.
• If your baby has a diaper rash, avoid rubbing or scrubbing it. Instead, gently pat the area with a clean towel.
• Avoid tight-fitting diapers, as they do not allow ventilation, and create a warm, moist environment, favoring germs to start an infection.
• If you stay in a warm climate, and your baby is prone to diaper rash, then let the child spend most of his time without a diaper. While sleeping, let your baby be in a cotton trouser, and lay him/her on a large towel placed above a plastic sheet, to avoid any messy accidents during the night.
• Doctors do not recommend the use of talcum powder for babies. Such products may irritate the baby’s lungs when inhaled.
Some Points to Remember
• Before applying any creams or lotions, clean the affected area gently and thoroughly.
• Avoid rubbing the infected area.
• Pat the skin dry with a clean and dry towel.
• As the rash starts to heal, the skin tends to become dry and flaky. To avoid this, use moisturizing creams or lotions.
• Always wash your hands, and wear gloves before treating the rash, and wash them again, once you are done with it.
• In case of babies, use creams or lotions only after consulting your baby’s pediatrician.
Can Dietary Changes Prevent Fungal Infections?
The most important benefit of following a healthy diet is a strong immune system; in other words, lower incidences of infections and other diseases.
Many people have reported success in preventing and managing fungal infections by:
- Including more of fiber-rich foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, in their diet
- Including probiotics in their diet, which is believed to help increase the number of “good” bacteria in the body, thereby arresting yeast overgrowth. Yogurt is a good source of probiotics, and a popular home remedy for yeast infections
- Avoiding processed foods, especially those with refined carbohydrates, sugar, and yeasts
The above dietary measures to cope with fungal infections is a part of alternative therapy. Although, they may have worked for most people, they still require well-designed and controlled clinical investigations, before they can be recommended by medical experts to the general public. Therefore, the benefits and the risk factors of taking such an approach, must be carefully discussed with a health care provider or doctor.
Fungal rash may recur even after it has healed completely. This can be prevented by using a barrier cream which contains petrolatum, dimethicone and zinc oxide (for babies, always consult a doctor). Taking plenty of fluids including water, also helps in treating and reducing the risk of such infections and their symptoms.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.