What is a jock itch?
Jock itch is a fungal infection also called tinea cruris. It occurs around the groin area, inner thighs, butt crack, armpits, and under the breast. Genitals are rarely affected. The disease is often associated with the same organisms that cause athlete’s foot.
A red itchy rash appears around the groin area. Most of the time, conditions do not get serious. Take early precautions and medication else the disease can last months.
The infection happens in warm and moist areas of the body. These conditions cause fungi to multiply and grow in the region.
The condition is common in males and athletes. People with skin problems such as eczema, who are overweight and sweat much, are also more likely to get it. Women also have chances of getting the disease.
Symptoms you can experience
How to identify if you have a jock itch?
The signs and symptoms of the disease are visible and itchy. Most people experience symptoms around the groin area and upper inner thighs. Others experience the same symptoms in different parts of their body.
Common symptoms to identify jock itch:
- A red rash appears (sometimes it is gray or brown)
- Scaly bordered rash
- Cracking in the skin happens
- Rash reaching near the anus
- Both sides of the groin get affected
What causes a jock itch?
A fungus that naturally lives on your skin, hair, and nails causes the jock itch rash. The same fungus is also responsible for causing athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections. The organisms usually thrive in warm and moist areas of the body.
Several other risk factors that cause jock itch, such as:
- Excessive sweating
- Wearing tight clothes
- Wearing tight undergarments
- Wearing sweaty clothes
- Sharing towels
- Getting in physical contact with the person who has the disease
- Having a weak immune system
- Have athlete’s foot
- Male (women have fewer chances of getting affected)
8 Fast and effective ways to prevent jock itch
There are several ways to prevent jock itching. Beneficial tips to decrease the chances are below:
1. Avoid wearing tight and sweaty clothes.
Wearing sweaty clothes causes fungus to multiply in the region. Tight clothes cause the body areas to become warm, sweaty, and moist. These are the best conditions for fungi to grow and spread.
2. Treat an athlete’s foot.
Treat other infections such as athlete’s foot. It can prevent you from getting a jock itch and other infections.
3. Avoid sharing clothes.
Jock itch is contagious. If you share clothes and personal belongings with someone you might not know has the disease can cause you the disease.
4. Wash the area
Keeping the groin area clean and dry helps to prevent the disease. Also, washing your hands more often helps reduce the risk of you getting the disease from others.
5. Avoid physical contact.
The disease can spread through person-to-person and skin-to-skin contact with someone. You must also not engage sexually with someone who has the disease.
6. Lose weight.
Being overweight leads to many different health problems. Reducing weight can help you prevent the infection and several other diseases.
7. A correct choice of fashion.
Wear cotton underwears, briefs, and boxers that fit you well. Do not use too tight and fitting undergarments/clothes.
8. Improve your immune system.
Improving the immune system helps the body to fight various diseases. You can improve your immune system by improving the quality of your diet.
How to diagnose jock itch?
Your doctor or health care provider can tell by examining the groin area. Usually, testing is not required. If your doctor asks for a test, it is due to its resemblance to other fungal infections. Your doctor will scrape a small piece of skin from the edge of that area for the KOH test.
How do you identify if you have a jock itch?
You can also consult your doctor. Almost all physicians can identify and treat this infection. If the condition becomes severe, you must consult a dermatologist.There are five easy ways to self-identify if you have a jock itch.
- Look for a ring-shaped rash
- See if you have reddened skin around your groin area
- Usually, the rash spreads around the upper thigh
- Itchy and burning sensations
- The skin around the groin may be scaly and flaky
Available treatment methods
It is a treatable disease and usually, it does not get severe. Without treatment, it can last months. Antifungal medications help to cure the disease in 1 to 3 weeks. Over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal medications are available in sprays, creams, and powders.
How to stop itching?
Temptations to scratch the rash are very high. Do not scratch the rash scratching can make an infection worse. Instead, use ice packs to cool down the area. Applying petroleum jelly is the best home remedy to reduce itching.
Usually, itching goes with time, with the help of antifungal medications.
Jock itch is a treatable disease that usually does not get severe. The disease is most common in males and athletes. It is a contagious disease, which you can prevent from getting by maintaining good hygiene. If the condition does not improve in two-three weeks, consult a healthcare professional for better recommendations and suggestions according to your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is jock itch related to STD?
Jock itch is not caused by STDs. It is actually a common skin condition that occurs when a particular type of fungus grows in warm and moist areas of the body, such as the groin and inner thighs. It can affect anyone, regardless of their sexual activity.
On the other hand, STDs are infections that can be transmitted from one person to another during sexual activity (HIV). They are completely separate from all skin infections. While jock itch may cause discomfort, it can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams and does not require prescription medication.
Can jock itch cause smell?
Jock itch does not typically have a smell, but the fungus that causes it can combine with sweat and bacteria on the skin, resulting in an unpleasant smell. This smell is similar to what can occur in other parts of the body where sweat accumulates, such as the armpits or feet. To minimize any odor or discomfort, it is important to keep the affected area clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
Is jock itch a type of ringworm infection?
Jock itch and ringworm are skin conditions caused by the same type of fungus, but they have a few key differences.
Ringworm is a common infection that can affect the skin, hair, or nails. It can show up in various parts of the body, including the scalp, feet, and groin. Jock itch, on the other hand, specifically refers to a type of ringworm that occurs in the groin area and inner thighs. It gets its name because it often affects athletes who sweat and wear tight clothing like jockstraps. While both conditions are caused by fungus, jock itch is a more specific term for ringworm in the groin area.
Is jock itch common in children?
No, it is very uncommon. Children usually do not get jock itch, but that does not mean they are immune to it. To avoid jock itch, children must follow preventive methods.
Is jock itch contagious?
Yes, a it is a contagious fungal infection. It can spread from skin-to-skin and person-to-person contact. If you physically indulge with someone who has the disease and can transmit it to you. Sexual contact also increases the chances of the disease. Exchanging sweaty clothes and dumping towels with someone also transmit the disease.