Jock itch is a fungal infection of the groin which mainly affects men. It is caused by the accumulation of microorganisms known as Trichophyton ruburm in the dead surface skin cells that also can cause infection of toe and body. Considering that the development of the fungus is caused by humid and warm atmosphere, wearing sweaty clothes increases risk of developing this infection. Under a microscope, Trichophyton rubrum is visible as transparent, branching fibers which look like hair. However, these fibers are different from the hair because they have the same width along the entire fiber as the hair is thinning at the end. Also, the walls of the spongy are tufts opposed to hair.
Jock itch occurs in the form of itchy rash on the groins consisting of red plate lesions bordered with bright red peeling edges. These edges are a little raised from the surface affected by fungus, which is mostly red-brown and less peeling. Also, the rash may spread to buttocks and inner thighs. The good thing about this disease is that it doesn’t spread to the scrotum and penis. If infection occurs in that area, the fungus Candida albicans is about.
Groins can be affected by other infections not caused by propagation of fungi. Therefore, it is important to emphasize their differences in relation to the Jock itch to make easier to discern what kind of infection is about.
In the first place there is inetrtrigo which manifests in the form of red macerated rash. This infection occurs mainly in overweight people due to the increased friction of the wet skin. On the affected skin creates cracks which can be extremely painful and further infected by fungi and bacteria.
Then, there is erythrasma a rash very similar to Jock itch caused by bacteria. The difference in relation to the Jock itch is that the affected skin is more brown than red without the appearance of flaking skin and blisters.
The surest way to confirm the existence of jock itch is a method that includes examination scraped samples of skin under a microscope. Then, on that puts a few drops of potassium hydroxide. Heating the slide containing a sample and KOH, dead skin cells release fibers characteristic of Jock itch. When diagnosing Jock itch additional methods such as Chlorazol Fungal Stain, Swartz Lamkins Fungal Stain, or Parker's blue ink can be used to better allocate hyphae.
Jock itch is usually treated by applying various antifungal creams directly to the affected area. Most of these drugs are prescribed, but there are those that can be found in free sale such as tolnaftate, clotrimazole and miconazole. These creams are usually applied twice a day for at least two weeks. If a rash is accompanied by blistering at the edges, hydrocortisone cream can be of great help. But before its application on the groin it is necessary to consult a doctor because steroids can lead to certain deterioration.
The best method for treating Jock itch is its prevention which includes:
- Maintaining the groins as dry as possible, not allowing the sweat to accumulate on this area. Powdering groin every time after a shower can significantly contribute to keep this area dry.
- Wearing clothes made from cotton or material that doesn’t pass moisture.
- Changing sweaty clothes and underwear as often as possible and washing after each use to prevent the accumulation of sweat in the groin.
- Not sharing clothes and towels with others.