Causes of Jock Itch
Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a common fungal infection that affects the skin of your inner thighs, buttocks and genitals. Jock itch causes an itchy, red, often ring-shaped rash in these warm, moist areas of your body.Jock itch, like other tinea infections, is caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes (pronounced: dur-mah-tuh-fites). All of us have microscopic fungi and bacteria living on our bodies, and dermatophytes are among them. Dermatophytes live on the dead tissues of your skin, hair, and nails and thrive in warm, moist areas like the insides of the thighs.
Causes of Jock Itch
The body normally hosts a variety of bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body. Others can multiply rapidly and form infections. Jock itch occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies in the groin area.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. But on some areas of the body where skin is likely to be moist and warm, such asthe groin the fungi grow and thrive, resulting in a fungal infection.
Jock itch may be contagious. It can be passed from one person to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing. Jock itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum or penis. It is often less severe than other tinea infections, but may last a long time. Jock itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.
Signs and symptoms of Jock Itch
Itching and redness in your groin, including your genitals, inner thighs, buttocks and anal area
Burning sensation in affected areas
Itching of the groin especially in the folds of the skin and in the anal area. A raised dry or scaly rash with sharply defined borders. The rash starts in the groin area and may spread down the inner thigh. The skin in the affected area is usually a reddish brown color or much lighter than the unaffected skin. Blisters can appear. Jock itch does not usually affect the scrotum or the penis.
Jock Itch Treatment
Jock itch is best treated with topical creams or ointments since the fungus only affects the top layer of skin. Many of the antifungal medications require a prescription, but there are three that can be bought over-the-counter (OTC). The OTC antifungals are tolnaftate (Tinactin), clotrimazole (Lotrimin), and miconazole (Micatin). Creams used to treat jock itch should be applied twice a day for at least two weeks. Application can be stopped after the rash has been gone for one week.
Change clothing, especially the underwear, every day.
Continue this treatment for 2 weeks, even if symptoms disappear, to prevent the infection from recurring.
Since the introduction of newer medicines, doctors rarely prescribe grislinesses, another oral medication, to treat fungal skin infections. Although grislinesses is effective, it can take longer to clear up the infection. Its most common side effect is headache, and it occasionally causes discomfort in the digestive tract, sensitivity to light, rashes or a drop in your white blood cell count.Tolnaftate (Tinactin, Aft ate) and undecylenate (Cruex, Desenex) are well-known, effective medications. The powder form is also useful as a drying agent. These medications are not effective against candidal infections.