Jock itch is a skin condition that affects the skin on and around the crotch. It mostly affects men although it can be seen in women too.
What is jock itch?
Jock itch is a fungal infection of the skin, also known as tinea cruris. Some people also call it crotch itch, crotch rot and gym itch. It appears in the groin area and involves symptoms like itching, burning, tingling, redness, rash, flaking cracking or rippling skin. It can even develop small boils and pustules. Jock itch can extend from the groin to the thighs, skin folds and buttocks.
As previously mentioned, jock itch is more often seen in men than in women. The fungus that causes it prefers dark, moist and warm environments, much like the one created in the groin area when the clothes are on. It is often seen in athletes, because when they work out in their mostly synthetic sports garments, they tend to sweat more, which creates a favorable ground for the fungus to thrive.
Treatment for jock itch
The first line of defense against jock itch is, like in many other conditions, prevention. Athletes, people who exercise a lot and others who are prone to jock itch, should make sure to maintain proper hygiene in the area. They should shower immediately after workout and dry the groin area carefully and thoroughly. The clothes should be made of breathable materials, such as cotton, and not from synthetic blends. It also helps to put some baby powder on the area after it is dry.
Those who already have jock itch should make sure to sleep in light and loose clothes, the ones that do not cling to the groin. Sleeping nude or near a fan exposes the area to fresh air and greatly improves the condition.
If jock itch is in full swing, it is recommended to try one of many over-the-counter antifungal ointments that are available in drugstores. Active ingredients in these creams and ointments prevent the fungus from producing a substance called ergosterol. Without ergosterol, the fungus cannot survive.
Other medications that can be applied include Hydrocortisone creams that relieve the itching and redness while antifungal ointments do their job on killing the fungus.
Sometimes antifungal medication purchased in drugstores is not strong enough to solve the infection and it is necessary to see a doctor who will prescribe stronger medications. Jock itch should not be neglected or left untreated, because it can spread and become even more difficult to treat.