Jock itch also known as “Dhobi’s itch” is a kind of chronic itchy rash that occurs in the groin area and between the thighs. Jock itch can cause abrasion, redness and severe itching on the affected skin and it commonly occurs on the area where the skin rubs with one another. Anus region is the most affected part in people who are overweight wherein the skin overlaps with plenty of skin folds. Jock itch is a fungal infection causing red ring shaped rashes between the thighs and on regions of skin folds. It can be treated with antifungal creams and medications. It is common in men and in women it can affect the anus region and beneath the breasts. Keeping the area clean and dry can prevent you from jock itch.
Jock itch Symptoms :
Some of the signs of jock itch are given below :
- Itchy rash
- Red ring shaped rash
- Raised blisters
- Flaky or scaly skin with severe burns or itches
- Persistent itch beneath the breasts and between the thighs
- Jock itch often starts with scratching of skin in the groin area which spreads further until upper thigh region. Flaky skin in the affected area may contain blisters or papules with defined borders. The area may become red and is more profound in skin folds.
- In men jock itch is prominent in the shaft of the penis when added with yeast infection where the skin becomes red and moist. In women vaginal area (in and around) may get affected with intense itching and sometimes white thick mucus discharge. If the person does not take any treatment the infection can spread to the nearby skin.
You need to consult your doctor if the symptoms are not improving with home remedies since you may require prescription drugs.
What Causes Jock Itch :
Jock itch is a fungal infection that spreads from affected person to the other by sharing personal clothing and towels. The fungus that causes itchy burns in athlete’s foot can also cause jock itch. The infection can easily spread to other parts when the person scratches the affected skin and touches his groin.
Friction between skin and clothing can also cause jock itch. Wearing tight clothes can cause rubbing of skin with the cloth frequently triggering irritation. While men develop jock itch commonly in his genitals women are likely to develop itchy skin underneath their breasts where skin folds are thick and moist. Since these regions are often dark and covered there is enough room for yeast and fungi to grow on it aggravating the condition.
In rare cases bacteria can also cause jock itch and this is common in people with weakened immune system. Even it can be caused by yeast like Candida that can grow easily on the tip of the penis.
Risk Factors :
- Being a man, being obese or overweight increases the risk of jock itch. Women are likely to develop intense itching below their breasts if they are wearing tight-fitting inner garments.
- Heat and humidity can also trigger formation of jock itch and people who sweat heavily are at high risk of jock itch. And those with excessive skin folds in selected area are prone to jock itch.
- No testing is required for diagnosing jock itch. Mere examination of the affected skin is enough for detecting jock itch. She may ask you questions about your medical history, your habits and past infections you had.
- In rare cases tiny tissue sample of the skin is examined under a microscope for detecting the type of micro-organism.
- You can tell your doctor if you had been to any new area and involved in camping activity etc.
Jock Itch Treatment :
Simple home remedies are enough for mild form of jock itch. You can prevent jock itch by keeping the skin dry and clean. Over the counter fungal creams and spray is useful for improving the symptoms. You need to apply the cream for at least 2 weeks even there is no symptom.
People having athlete’s foot should take care to treat it first failing which the infection can easily spread to other parts of the body.
In case the symptoms are not improving within few days you can check with your doctor. He would examine the affected skin and prescribe suitable strength of antifungal creams or sprays. In severe cases the doctor may prescribe antifungal pills and you should complete the course of medications as suggested by your doctor.
Topical cream is the first line therapy for mild to moderate jock itch. Some of the prescription creams include Miconazole or Monistat derm or Tinactin or Clotrimazole (Lotrimin) and Lamisil. After taking the bath, gently wipe out excess moisture from the skin and apply this cream liberally on the affected region. Allow it to get absorbed and repeat the same before going to bed. Diflucan and Sporanox are common topical ointment used for treating jock itch.
Home Remedies For Jock Itch :
To begin with you need to keep the affected skin area clean and moisture-free. You can apply talcum powder in the regions of skin folds generously that helps in absorbing the moisture. Avoid wearing tight clothes and make sure that there is enough space for circulation of air inside.
You can try using hydrocortisone cream or ointment that contains zinc oxide. Repeat using this cream for at least 3-5 days and in most cases you can get quick relief. In case the symptoms do not improve, you can consult your doctor. Antifungal creams suggested by your doctor can be applied for 2-3 weeks daily. You need to use them even if the symptoms are improved to prevent relapse.
- Tips For Prevention :
1. Use Right Fitting Clothing : Don’t wear tight clothes since it can cause rubbing of skin and irritation. It can make you vulnerable for skin infection and jock itch.
2. Keep Dry : Ensure that your private parts like groin and region between your thighs are totally dry. Sweating can be at the maximum in these areas and that too after exercising. You can apply talcum powder before starting your workouts so that these regions are kept dry.
3. Change Garments : You need to change your inner garments at least twice a day to prevent added moisture that can make you susceptible to infection.
4. Avoid Sharing : Do not share personal items like soap, towels and clothing with unknown persons and strangers.
5. Tea Tree Oil : Add few drops of tea tree oil on soft cloth and apply it gently on the affected skin area. Tea tree oil is an excellent home remedy for reliving itchiness of jock itch and it possess antifungal property. Repeat this simple remedy twice a day for 4-5 days.
6. Vinegar : Vinegar solution is good anti-inflammatory agent and applying apple cider vinegar for few days can give you quick relief from symptoms.
7. Even alcohol and Listerine solution is recommended for treating jock itch but there is no evidence.
8. Salt Bath : Add a handful of Epsom salt to the bathtub and fill it with lukewarm water. Just sink yourself in this solution for few minutes daily. This can help in preventing itchiness caused by jock itch.