Jock itch is a fungal skin infection caused by a fungus called Trichophyton rubrum. This fungus mainly affects skin of genitals, inner thighs, groin area and buttocks. This fungus mainly grows in warm and moist part of the body. Jock itch is also known as tinea cruis. It causes a lot of discomfort but is not a serious infection. It is more common in men than in women. Overweight and profusely sweating people can also get infected.
The fungus that is responsible for jock itch infections which is also one of the most common types of fungal infections and belongs to a group of fungi known as dermatophytes. These fungi are responsible for a variety of common infections like ringworm, athletes foot, toenail fungus and so on. Dermatophytes thrive in warm and moist environments, which does explain the susceptibility of specific areas of the body to such fungal infections. The most commonly affected parts of the body therefore are the feet and groin. While conditions like athletes foot affect the feet, the groins are afflicted with fungal infections like jock itch.
Jock itch rashes affect the skin of the genitals as also the surrounding regions of the groins, inner thighs and buttocks. The infection causes the formation of itchy and reddened skin that can get quite sore and painful. The itching can get very intense, could also put you in a very embarrassing situation. Jock itch is typically thought to be most prevalent among athletes and sports persons who sweat a lot, but it can afflict absolutely anyone, including both men and women. Prompt treatment for jock itch symptoms in both men and women is necessary in order to prevent the spread of the infection. Home remedies for jock itch can also help to provide some relief from the uncomfortable symptoms but treatment may still be necessary.
Despite the fact that jock itch can be extremely unpleasant due to the high levels of discomfort and embarrassment that it causes, the condition is not really very serious and can be treated quite effectively with over the counter ointments, creams and powders. Using a jock itch home remedy like vinegar soaks, baking soda, or tea tree oil may offer some relief and could even help cure the condition but there is no scientific validation for most of these claims. The most important aspect of jock itch treatment for both men and women has little to do with home remedies, but more to do with self care at home. Personal hygiene is of the utmost importance not just to cure the condition but also to prevent spreading it as most fungal skin infections like jock itch are contagious.
Although jock itch can affect anyone it is more common among men than in women. It should also be pointed out that jock itch can infect absolutely anyone irrespective of your general health and well being, but patients suffering from diabetes or obesity may be more at risk of infections.
Moist and warm areas of body like genitals, buttocks, inner thighs and so on may develop red, itchy, ring-shaped rashes. As the time passes these rashes become more severe and may result in breakdown of the skin.
Peeling or cracking of groin skin could be seen. Burning sensation or chafing around groin area could be experienced.
Jock itch typically starts off with a mild but almost constant itch in the groin. This itching gets progressively worse, becoming almost unbearable at times. Although jock itch rashes can affect the area around the groins like the inner thighs and buttocks it most frequently develops along the sides of the groins in the folds of flesh. The skin that is affected tends to take on a rough and bumpy appearance and becomes excessively dry. Lumps of pus may develop over the skin and may even ooze. From the groins the rash may even begin to spread out, working its way lower down the thighs or it could even spread to the genitals like the penis, scrotum, vagina, labia or the anus. In women it is also not uncommon for jock itch and yeast infections to develop simultaneously. In men there could be an onset of infections on the head of the penis.
The biggest risk of jock itch rashes would be posed from the risk of secondary infections. Home remedies for jock itch relief and over the counter medicated products like soothing antifungal creams or antifungal jock itch powders can help provide considerable relief and are an important aspect of treatment because the intense itching can cause you to give in to the urge to scratch at the skin. Scratching can cause severe bruising and lesions in the affected skin allowing for infections, sores and ulcers to develop.
The symptoms of jock itch may not be present throughout and often come and go. Jock itch treatment is important but there are times when the symptoms may resolve naturally without any intervention.
Jock itch and most other common fungal infections are caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi are present in the environment around us at all times and are in fact present on your skin under normal circumstances as well. So as long as your skin remains clean and dry there is little to no chance of a jock itch rash or any other fungal infection setting in. Areas of the skin that remain moist and damp are naturally a lot more susceptible to infections as the fungi thrive in such environments.
There are off course certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of you picking up the infection:
Personal hygiene is of the utmost importance as the sharing of personal items like towels or clothing can cause the infection to spread quite easily. Likewise direct physical contact as through sexual intercourse could also lead to infection.
The fungus causing jock itch starts developing when the moist area of the body becomes too warm and starts sweating. Tight undergarments or tight clothes may aggravate the symptoms of jock itch. People having diseases like AIDS and diabetes are more prone to it because of their weak immune system. Jock itch is mildly contagious, so you may get infected if you come in contact with another person suffering from it. Avoid sharing personal belongings with the infected person. If you have other fungal infections like athletes foot then it may also cause jock itch.
Keep moist and warm areas of the body clean and dry. Since jock itch is a fungal infection apply any OTC antifungal cream, powder or spray on the infected skin. Change your undergarments daily. You can use antidandruff shampoo on the infected skin. Apply tea tree oil on the infected skin, it is a natural antifungal.
The best jock itch treatment strategy would involve a combination of conventional treatments and home remedies for jock itch along with stringent hygiene and self care practice. You can use antifungal shampoos available over the counter to cleanse the area and follow this up with the application of over the counter antifungal creams. Dust on some antifungal powder before donning any clothing. Make sure you are completely dry before you get dressed. Change your undergarments frequently in an effort to keep the area clean and dry.
Since jock itch is a fungal infection, include good quantity of garlic in your food. Garlic has antifungal qualities. Apply honey and garlic alternatively on the infected skin.
Avoid eating refined carbohydrates, sugar and food items that contain yeasts. Avoid alcohol because it eventually converts to sugar. Your diet must contain a lot of raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid greasy, fried and processed foods.
Wear loose cotton clothes. You can use silica to keep the damp body area dry.