Jock itch refers to skin rashes that develop in the groin area. Jock itch symptoms include itching and scaling of the skin that slowly spreads to other areas if not treated on time.
Jock itch refers to itchy patches that develop in and around the groin of individuals. The heat and moisture that is trapped due to the area being covered with clothes makes this region the perfect breeding ground for the fungus that causes the itch. Medically, it is known as Tinea cruris. Other than humidity and moisture, a weak immune system, diabetes, and obesity are some of the other conditions that make one prone to developing this problem. If there is itching in the groin, and you suspect it to be jock itch, then to be sure, you need to know the causes and symptoms.
- Although fungal infection is most commonly associated with this skin condition, it is mainly humidity and friction that cause skin irritation, leading to itching.
- However, bacteria and fungus also affect the area and make the infection severe.
- It is most commonly found under the skin folds of the groin. It is more frequent in men, as the male genitalia provides greater friction and higher levels of humidity in the skin around. From here, the symptoms may spread to the inner thighs, genitals (penis and scrotum of men, and labia and vaginal opening of women), and also the anus.
- Though it is found in unhealthy individuals, people whose immune system has been weakened due to intake of antibiotics can also suffer from this type of skin infection.
- Obese people and those suffering from diabetes are also predisposed to developing signs of this disorder.
- Tight and abrasive underwear or coming in contact with the skin or clothes of an infected person can also transfer the infection to a healthy individual.
- The symptoms start with mild itching that progresses to become severe.
- The infected parts appear like red, raised, plate-like areas with sharp edges. These skin rashes are bumpy and rough to touch.
- In severe cases, pus-filled pustules develop along the edge of the red plate-like infections. The newly-affected areas are redder and more raised than the older areas.
- The infections are scaly and can be well distinguished from the areas that were affected earlier.
- As the infection spreads to newer areas, the skin keeps peeling off.
- In case the area is invaded by yeast, then the genitals of an individual may also be infected, which include the tip of the penis in men. Women develop candidiasis that is characterized by vaginal itching and a white, cottage cheese-like discharge.
- Though males are more prone to developing this infection, women can also contract it. The symptoms for the female are the same as that of males, other than those in the reproductive organs.
- The treatment depends on the cause, which can be either moisture or fungal infection.
- If it is moisture, then one needs to ensure that the affected areas are dry and clean. It is best to wear loose and dry clothes till the symptoms subside.
- In case of fungal infection, since only the superficial layer of the skin is infected, applying fungal creams twice daily for two to four weeks is effective. Use these topical applications on the affected areas and also on skin about an inch or two around it, to prevent the infection from occurring again.
- However, the best way to keep this infection off one’s skin is to take some preventive measures. This is specially true for those individuals who perspire more in and around the groin.
- One should try to wear cotton clothes, as they absorb moisture off the skin.
- One’s clothing should be loose so that it allows air circulation that helps in the evaporation of moisture from the skin.
- Avoid using other individual’s clothes or towels.
- Those who are prone to jock itch should use antifungal sprays or powders once a day. Ensure that the skin is completely dry after a shower.
Although jock itch symptoms are cured easily, the best approach for dealing with the infection is to ensure cleanliness and personal hygiene.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.