Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris)
What Is It?
Jock itch can develop when under garments trap moisture and heat. This creates an environment in which fungi multiply and flourish. It occurs more commonly in men, but can affect women as well. The jock itch fungus may cause a rash on the upper and inner thighs, the armpits, and the area just underneath the breast.
A flat, red, itchy rash first appears high on the inner side of one or both thighs or under the testies on men. It spreads outward in a ringlike circular pattern while the center clears up partially. The border is sharply marked, slightly raised and often beefy red in color. It can spread to the pubic and genital regions and sometimes to the buttocks and is much more common than you think.
Your doctor may send the sample to a laboratory to pinpoint the fungus that's causing the trouble. Other causes of a rash in the groin include yeast infection of the skin, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. However, you'll identify it easily enough without a trip to the doctors.
Jock itch usually can be treated within weeks, although it commonly comes back. Treatment for chronic (long-lasting) infections may last one or two months. If you do not seek treatment, it will not go away on its own.
The healthier you are, the less likely you are to get a fungal infection. Remaining healthy through diet, rest and exercise is the first step in avoiding fungal infection.
Here are other steps you can take to remain fungus-free:
Keep your body clean. Using an intimate wash.
Dry yourself well after showers and baths.
Shower immediately after athletic activities.
Wear loose clothing whenever possible. Try and wear cotton undies.
Do not share clothing or towels with others; wash towels frequently.
Clean exercise equipment before use.
Most likely, your doctor will prescribe a topical antifungal treatment for you to apply once or twice a day for at least two weeks. Untreated athlete's foot can cause jock itch to return.
Because jock itch commonly comes back, you need to be extra cautious. The itching can be alleviated with an over-the-counter treatment such as Kolorex Intimate Wash. You also should avoid hot baths and tight-fitting clothing. Men should wear boxer shorts rather than briefs.
When To Call A Professional
Call your doctor whenever you develop a skin rash.
Treatment for jock itch is quick and usually effective, but the condition often comes back.