Jock itch is known by many different names: jock rot, gym itch, ringworm of the groin, crotch itch, and Dhobie itch. Its medical name is tinea cruris but can also be called eczema marginatum. It is one of the most common problems that fall under the term “men’s health”.
As the name suggests, jock itch causes itching and sometimes a burning sensation in the sufferer’s groin region. It can spread to the anus, inner thighs and thigh folds. It can go as far back as the perianal and perineum areas, as well. Areas that are affected may be brown, tan, or red and can be rippling, flaking, peeling.
Sometimes it can be cracking skin, which can become serious as the risk of infection increases. Jock itch usually starts in the groin fold. It goes about half an inch across on both sides. The rash will be a plate-like area with scaly parts that have well-defined edges. Sometimes random sores may appear and ooze. If the jock itch spreads it will usually travel south down your thigh. Jock itch has what is known as an “advancing edge”. It is the scaly part with well-defined edges that was mentioned earlier. The advancing edge makes it easy for professionals to document the spread of your jock itch.
There are a few types of fungus that can cause jock itch. They include: Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Candida albicans, and Epidermophyton floccosum. The most common one, however, is Trichophyton rubrum. These fungus can be introduced to your body in a number of ways. They can infect you when you have a weakened immune system. You can get it from athlete’s foot, which can travel through clothing. And you can get it from wearing a jock strap which causes heat and moisture around your crotch that makes it a great place for fungus.
Jock itch is most popularly treated with topical anti-fungals. These are ointments and creams that you can apply to your skin. Examples of some of the creams are Lamisil, Tinactin, Micatin and Mycelex (these are the brand names). If your jock itch persists after the recommended amount of treatment by your topical anti-fungals then you may need to switch to oral treatment. You may also need to use oral treatment if your jock itch is widespread. Oral treatments used for jock itch include: allylamines, griseofulvin, and fluconazole. These are all types of azoles. If you do not treat your jock itch it can spread and irritate the skin, causing it to become painful. Cracks and skin blisters may appear and then run the risk of becoming infected. In this case, you will have to start taking antibiotics.
Treatment for jock itch, for the most part, is effective and quick. However, it is possible for jock itch to return. It is recommended that people who wear tight clothing, athletes, people with fungal infections that spread to other parts and those with weakened immune systems be particularly vigilant with jock itch. Jock itch is not fatal.