Jock Itch or tinea cruris is a fungal infection affecting the groin area in men and women. How long Jock Itch lasts depends on its treatment, the extent of spread of infection and also upon individual immunity, health etc. Certain factors greatly increase the risk of developing Jock Itch. Let us study these factors as well as the causes and symptoms of this skin infection:
Jock Itch symptoms
- The rash starts as a small, scaly itchy rash with blisters or tiny lesions in the folds of the skin of the groin and thigh area.
- Over the next few days, the rash appears to worsen and spread sometimes even affecting the thighs.
- There is distinct scaling and the itching may worsen with time.
- Scratching the rash can cause oozing, pus, bleeding and secondary skin infections.
Your primary health care provider can diagnose the rash based on its appearance. In some cases, a skin culture may be necessary in order to determine the exact species and nature of fungus causing the rash. Your doctor will study the sample under the microscope and prescribe the right medicine for its eradication. Special light test diagnostics are also used at times to diagnose skin rashes.
Factors that lead to Jock Itch – Causes of Tinea Cruris
Certain factors are known to increase risk of Jock Itch which is more prevalent in men than in women.
1. Excess sweating
Athletes, swimmers, sportsmen or active people are more likely to develop Jock Itch owing to sweating and excess perspiration. The sweat creates a perfect breeding ground for the fungal spores trapped in the groin area. Also, the athletic gear traps the sweat on the skin, further feeding the fungus. Swimmers who remain in wet bathing suits are also unknowingly increasing the likelihood of developing Jock Itch.
People with diabetes are at a greater risk for recurring Jock Itch. The fluctuating blood sugar levels impact immune system causing skin rashes. The rash also does not heal quickly ad takes longer to clear.
3. Toxic overload
Improper diet, stress, pollution, unhealthy lifestyle habits, etc all cause an immense strain on the liver, kidneys and other detoxification organs. This leads to toxic overload since the organs are unable to remove all the toxins from the body. These factors lead to Candida overgrowth which causes recurrent vaginal thrush in women and Jock Itch in men.
4. Athletes Foot
Those who suffer from Athlete’s Foot or toenail fungus are also more likely to develop Jock Itch. This is due to the spread of the fungal spores from the feet to the groin area. Failure to treat fungal ringworm infections occurring on other parts of the body definitely increases one’s risk to such infections.
In people with excess fat in between the thighs as well as those with large amount of belly fat, the chances of Jock Itch go up. The folds of the skin trap sweat and germs leading to fungal skin infection. The thighs also rub against each other leading to rashes, itching and, subsequently, fungal or bacterial skin infections.
6. Hot humid weather
People living in hot and humid countries are also more likely to develop Jock Itch. These weather conditions facilitate the growth and spread of dermatophytes causing the infection.
7. Use of public showers, bathrooms and pools
The fungi that cause ringworm tend to live on wet, moist surfaces typically seen around public bathrooms and shower stalls, swimming pools etc. One could accidentally pick up these fungi and develop Jock Itch.
Jock Itch treatment
In case of any fungal skin infection, it is vital to keep the skin clean and dry. Avoid moisture as it feeds the fungus. Dry the skin with a clean towel after bathing and apply antifungal medicine such as clotrimazole based creams. You can also dust the skin with an antifungal powder. Do not share used towels with other family members.
At night, repeat application of the Jock Itch cream and avoid wearing tight underpants. It is best not to use underwear while sleeping so that the skin can breathe and remain cool, dry and clean. For very severe cases of tinea cruris, patients may need to take oral antifungal medicines. It is important to use all medication as prescribed and not stop in between even if the rash appears to clear. Failure to do so could cause the tinea infection to recur. With the right treatment Jock Itch can be cured in 2-3 weeks.