What Is It?
Jock itch refers to any itchy groin rash in person, usually athletes. It's sometimes called "Crotch rot." Jock itch is not a general medical term. There are many causes for jock itch. The most common is a fungal infection of the skin. When jock itch is caused by fungus, the rash is also known as tinea cruris. The fungus causing tinea cruris is a microscopic organism (plant) that grows in the outer skin layers and prefers moisture and warmth. When the fungus affects the feet, it is known as “athlete’s foot” (tinea pedis). When the rash affects other parts of the body, it is known as tinea corporis (corporis is Latin for body).
Is It Contagious?
Fortunately, tinea cruris is not contagious. Direct person-to-person spreading is not a problem. The patient’s own case of athlete’s foot is usually the source of the jock itch infection. As persons with athlete’s foot or fungus of the feet put their pants on, their feet hit the crotch area as the foot slides down the pant leg. When the foot hits the crotch area, it deposits microscopic spores in the groin area of clothing. This is how athlete’s foot can cause jock itch.
Tinea cruris is treated with anti fungal medicines. If it is a topical medicine, it is usually applied thinly twice per day. To prevent recurrence, continue to apply the anti fungal medicine for two to four weeks after the rash has cleared. Apply nothing else to your groin except water and a gentle non detergent cleanser. Tinea cruris usually clears promptly with a topical anti fungal medicine. If it doesn't, you may need a one- to two-week course with an oral (pill by mouth) anti fungal medicine. Tinea cruris is the main but not only cause of groin itching. If the rash is not improved, please return for further evaluation.
It's important to note that Tinea cruris often recurs. With that in mind, know that warmth and moisture encourage the fungus to grow. You can prevent recurrences by following these steps:
- Dry off thoroughly after bathing
- Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear
- Dusting bland powder in your groin once or twice daily
- After swimming, put on dry clothing right away; do not wear a wet swimsuit for an extended period of time.
- The most important factor in preventing tinea cruris is to make sure that you do not develop a fungal infection of the feet or toenails.
Get CheckedDr. Crutchfield is an expert at evaluating jock itch and rashes. Call today to schedule your appointment, and Dr. Crutchfield will tailor a skin regimen that's just right to deal with your skin concern.
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