What causes Jock Itch? Know about its Symptoms & Treatment
Jock itch is commonly known as Tinea cruris which is a fungal infection of the skin. Tinea is known as ringworm and cruris as the groin. It mostly affects the groin area, inner thighs, and buttocks. The affected skin may look irritated or scaly, and develop small bumps or blisters.
What causes Jock itch? Is it contagious or not?
Yes, Jock itch is contagious. It is caused by a fungus that spreads from person to person or by sharing contaminated towels or clothing. It is likely to be caused by the same fungus that causes athlete's foot. The infection often spreads from the feet to the groin because the fungus can migrate to your hands or onto towels.
Risk Factors for developing Jock itch
Jock itch can affect people of all age groups. However, teens and young adult men are most likely to experience jock itch. This condition is rare in women because men are three times more likely to suffer from jock itch than women. It’s rare in children.
You're more likely to have jock itch if you have-
- Gender: Men are more likely to experience this condition than women.
- Weight:Obese people have more skin folds, which is the desirable condition for fungal infections like Jock itch to occur.
- Heavy sweating:If a person sweats a lot, the skin becomes more prone for fungal development.
- Age:Teens are more likely to experience jock itch.
- Tight-fitting clothing and underwear:Thick and tight fabrics trap moisture in the skin, creating an excellent environment for fungal growth.
- Weakened immune system:People with the weakened immune system are more likely to develop fungal infections like jock itch.
- Diabetes:People with diabetes are more prone to skin infections, like jock itch.
Signs and symptoms of Jock itch
Symptoms usually appear between 4 to 14 days after the skin comes into contact with the fungus.
Jock itch initially starts as a flat, red, and itchy rash. This rash often appears first on the inner thighs and then spreads outward in a ring shape. As the rash spreads, the center of the rash often improves. The rash often develops a clear red border that may contain a number of blisters. As the rash spreads, it can infect the thighs, groin, and buttocks.
Apart from the rash, other symptoms of Jock itch are as follows:
- Burning and itching on the skin.
- Scaling and flaking skin.
- Rash that may get worse with exercise and doesn't respond to anti-itch creams.
Prevention and Treatment
There are several ways to reduce the risk of jock itch, such as-
Practice good hygiene-
Regular washing your hands can greatly reduce the risk of catching this infection from other people. It is also important to keep your skin clean and dry, especially in the groin area.
Wash the area regularly with soap and dry the area thoroughly after showering. Applying baby talcum powder around the groin can also help prevent excess moisture.
Avoid tight clothing-
Tight clothes can rub or scratch your skin, which can make you more prone to itching. You can try wearing boxers instead of briefs.
Wear loose clothing in hot or humid weather-
Loose clothing can prevent sweat and a warm, humid environment in which fungus usually grows. Make sure you wash your workout clothes or athletic braces after use.
If you have athlete’s foot, seek treatment immediately-
The fungus that causes itching can cause athlete's foot and vice versa. You can avoid spreading it to your groin by making sure you don't use the same towel on your legs or groin and by maintaining hygiene.
Medications to treat Jock itch
Itching can usually be treated with an over-the-counter antifungal cream, lotion, or powder that is applied to the skin for two to four weeks. If you are prone to itching, you should continue to apply antifungal or drying powder after bathing to prevent recurrence.
Nonprescription medicines used to treat jock itch include-
- Clotrimazole (antifungal liquid, fungicure, clocip powder)
- Miconazole (Aloe Vesta 2 in 1 Antifungal, Aloe Vesta Clear Antifungal, Azolen, Baza Antifungal, Critic-Aid Clear AF, Cruex Prescription Strength, DermaFungal, Desenex Jock Itch, Fungoid, Lagicam, Micaderm, Micatin, Secura Antifungal)
- Terbinafine (Athlete’s Foot Cream)
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral A-D)
If the infection does not respond to over-the-counter medications, your doctor may prescribe something stronger, including the following medications:
- Econazole (Ecoza)
- Oxiconazole (Oxistat)
You may also be prescribed the following oral medications:
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
- Itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox, Tolsura)
- Terbinafine (Lamisil)
All the above mentioned oral medications should be taken under medical supervision to avoid any complications.
Home remedies to cure Jock itch
Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties that will help you get rid of jock itch as long as you use it daily. Apply the honey for at least an hour. Then just rinse it off. Give yourself a few weeks to see the results.
Garlic has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Crush a clove of garlic and mix it with about three to four tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply a thin layer of this oil to the affected area and cover it with gauze then rinse it off. Do this for about two weeks, until the symptoms go away.
This is one of the simplest and effective home remedies for jock itch. Apply the anti-fungal soap and take shower at least three times a day to clean the infected area. Dry off when you are done.
Applying a layer of aloe vera can help stop the itching and will help you get rid of this problem as it has antifungal and cooling properties. It lasts for about two weeks but you will see positive results.
Apply coconut oil to the infected area a few times a day. This will surely help you out to fight jock itchasCoconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Turmeric is a powerful antifungal agent. Mix it with a little bit of water to make a paste. Apply it on the area with a cotton swab twice a day for two weeks. You can see positive results earlier also.
When to see a doctor?
While jock itch is not a serious problem, your doctor should look for any persistent rash that develops to rule out other serious medical conditions. A person with jock itch should see a doctor if over-the-counter medications don't work or if the rash gets worse.