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Jock Itch - Itch In Groin Area, Causes & Treatments

last updated » 8th Jun 2011
jock itch


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It is an embarrassing problem that some people have to go through, especially men. One doesn't like talking about it, let alone getting it shown to a professional. Right, we are talking about that itchy and irritating feeling that some men often feel in their groin area. They desperately want to ease that itchy feeling but are obviously embarrassed to ease their problem in public view for the fear of being labeled as a pervert. This skin ailment is commonly known as Jock Itch. It is an itchy rash in the groin that commonly involves the inner thighs and adjacent skin.

What is Jock Itch?
Jock itch, also known as Tinea Cruris, is a fungal infection of the skin in the groin. The warm, moiset environment is the perfect place for the fungus to grow. The fungus that most commonly causes Jock itch is called Trichophyton rubrum. Under the microscope, this fungus looks like translucent, branching, rod-shaped filaments.

This skin ailment is more common in men than women. It is caused by the humidity, friction and heat that infect one's skin. The body parts wherein skin is more likely to be warm and moist, such as the groin, the fungi grow and thrive, resulting into a fungal infection. Also people who are obese or sweat a lot also are at higher risk of jock itch.

Symptoms Of Jock Itch

  • The acute infection begins with an itchy area of redness in a skin fold.
  • The area may enlarge, and other sores may develop in no particular pattern.
  • The rash appears as raised red plaques (plate-like areas) with sharp borders.
  • The border may exhibit tiny pimples or even pustules with central areas that are reddish and dry with small scales.
  • If you become infected with yeast organisms, the rash tends to be redder and moist.

Why is it caused?
There are various reasons as to why Jock itch can occur. Most possible causes of this common groin itch include irritation from excess moisture, skin rubbing or friction, allergic problems, sweating, fungal infection, Candida (yeast) infection, and bacterial overgrowth or skin infection. It is important to keep in mind that not all cases of Jock itch are caused by the fungus. Jock itch is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. These microscopic organisms are normal inhabitants of your skin, and stay in check as long as your skin is clean and dry.

Jock itch is not a serious ailment however; secondary bacterial skin infections can take place if the proper medication is not taken. It can cause permanent change in the skin colour of the area. Also, it can affect your skin by itching, chafing (rubbing your infected area), or burning in the groin, thigh or anal area. Jock Itch is best treated with topical creams or ointments since the fungus only affects the top layer of skin. Cream should be applied twice a day for at least two weeks.

Creams should be applied to the rash and also at least two finger widths beyond the rash. Many people with jock itch also have athlete's foot and these same creams can be applied to the feet. Avoid sharing clothing and towels or washcloths. Antifungal powders or sprays may be used once a day to prevent infection.

If the rash is very red and itchy, especially if it has blisters at the edge, a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone can be applied also. Steroids should not be used in the groin alone without consulting a health care provider since steroids alone can make the rash of jock itch much worse.

Follow these tips to avoid Itch in groin area or Jock Itch

  • Avoid wearing wet clothes.
  • Do not share towels and clothes with others.
  • Keep the skin in the groin area dry.
  • Refrain from wearing tight ill-fitting clothes.
  • Apply anti-fungal creams and ointments.
  • Do not scratch the itchy affected areas as it will worsen the condition.
  • Sportspersons should not wear athletic gear that is unwashed

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