What is Jock Itch and How to Prevent it  

by Pool Builders on 09-26-2010 in Articles

Jock itch, also known as crotch itch, Gym itch, Crock rot, Ringworm of the groin and dhobi itch is a common skin infection. Called Tinea Cruris in medical terms, it is a fungal infection that affects the groin area and is most often seen in men.

Where does Jock Itch occur?

Jock itch [http://www.defensesoap.com/jock-itch-facts.html] occurs in groin region, upper and inner thighs or anus. Skin folds are especially prone to this infection.

Symptoms of Jock Itch:

Jock Itch usually begins in the groin and maybe scrotum, as a circular, red rash with a raised surface. The rash may have prominent edges. The infected area experiences burning and itching. The skin may start flaking or peeling and cracking. As the infection worsens, the area develops blisters which start oozing. The infection then starts spreading to other areas. In rare cases, fever, vomiting and open ulcers develop and swelling of genital area is seen.

What Causes Jock Itch?

Skin folds are prone to retaining moisture. This moisture encourages growth of micro-organisms like fungus. Skin infections mostly result from fungal growth harbored by a warm damp environment. Fungus from infection in other parts of the body such as Athlete's foot may also spread and cause Jock Itch. The type of fungus that is most commonly responsible for tinea cruris is called Trichophyton rubrum, though sometimes other fungi like Candida albicans, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Epidermophyton floccosum may also cause Jock Itch. Tight clothing, clothes which rub against skin like jockstrap, excessive sweating produce ideal conditions for fungus to cultivate. This fungus is found in places which are humid and warm like gymnasiums and swimming pool lockers. People tend to contract skin infections from these places.

Diagnosis of Jock Itch:

On basis of afore mentioned symptoms, a doctor will give you a physical exam. Doctor may also perform laboratory tests to aid diagnosis. A swab or culture of infected skin may be taken to confirm the exact cause of Jock Itch. In certain cases a biopsy of skin may be done to arrive at particular fungus which is causing the infection.

Treatment for Jock Itch:

Treatment usually depends on the cause of Jock Itch. If it is only humidity which has caused the rash to appear, over the counter topical creams and ointment may be prescribed. These creams usually contain 1% hydrocortisone or zinc oxide, as both are effective in treating rashes. For fungal infected rashes, the first line of treatment is antifungal creams, gels or sprays. Some of these may be available over the counter like clotrimazole which is quite effective or special ointments may be prescribed by the doctor.
In cases where infection has become complicated, oral medication is prescribed. Oral medication has to be taken for a long duration ranging from one to seven weeks. Fungal infections take a long time to cure completely; hence the treatment also lasts long.
Jock Itch is easily treated but medication, whether topical or oral, must be taken dedicatedly otherwise there is a risk of Jock Itch becoming chronic and recurring time and again.

Prevention of Jock Itch

Jock Itch though common is prevented by taking simple precautions. These should be practiced as a general hygiene routine.
1. Keep skin folds and especially groin area dry and clean. Powder which absorbs moisture may be applied.
2. Wear loose cotton clothes which allow skin to breathe, especially underwear.
3. Change your towels after using them in places such as swimming pools or gyms. Do not share towels with anybody.
4. Wash and bathe properly after any exercise which causes excessive sweating. If possible wash with herbal antifungal and antiseptic soap.
5. Sterilizing towels and other equipment used while exercising is also helpful in preventing Jock itch.

Jock itch is an easily preventable condition. All it involves is maintaining good hygiene habits. Take care of your sensitive skin as a stitch in time saves nine. Simple precautions will prevent a condition which can later cause lot of pain and anguish.

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