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Sunday, December 30, 2012

What is Jock Itch ?

Jock itch is a type/form of ringworm, which caused a fungal infection in the groin that commonly involves the inner thighs and adjacent skin, including the scrotum in males. It will appear as a rash with patches that may be red, or peeling, or that have bumps on the edges that look like blisters. The skin often is itchy, and the rash can spread very quickly (after excessive scratching). It is associated with sweating, friction/abrasion, occlusive clothing, and the direct rubbing of skin on skin. The rash may affect not only the groin, but it can involve any areas of skin that overlap, including around the anus and in the skin folds of obese individuals.

What causes jock itch ? Answers : Heat; Humidity; Tight Clothing and Damp skin folds which is found in obese person's body, or excessive sweating. However, Jock itch is more common in men than in women. This is because, the male genitalia easily leads to increased friction and humidity. Women will also experience such condition underneath their breasts.

Jock itch is caused by a fungus. Fungi commonly grow on, or in the top layer of the skin. They may or may not cause an infection. Fungi grow best in warm, moist areas of the body such as the groin, inner thighs, and buttocks. However, it is known to affect mostly, male athletes, although anyone can get it too. Those who often use public showers and locker rooms will increase their chances of getting such problem. Fungi grow best in the steamy rooms among damp towels, sweaty workout clothes, and wet floors. Thus, it is not surprising that jock itch and athlete's foot often occur simultaneously, since both are caused by fungi.

Symptoms of jock itch include the following :
  • Itchy and painful; 
  • A rash is seen on the groin, skin folds, inner thighs, or buttocks. But, surprisingly, they do occur on the scrotum, or penis;
  • The edge of the rash is often scaly, or having bumps that look like blisters.
Jock itch is always annoying. However, it is usually not serious. If you had it before, you should recognize the symptoms easily.

Most ringworm infections of the skin (including jock itch) can be treated at home with antifungal creams and powders which can be bought over the pharmacy. But, it is best to let your doctor have a look at it and determine the severity of your infection.

To treat jock itch, ensure to follow these steps :
  • Wash the rash with soap and water thoroughly. Spread an antifungal cream over the rash. Apply the cream beyond the edge of the rash;
  • Use an antifungal cream or powder that contains terbinafine, miconazole, or clotrimazole. You can buy these products without a prescription. Brand names include Lamisil, Lotrimin, Micatin, and Monistat. Try to continue for a while even if the symptoms have gone away. Should there be no improvement after 2 weeks (after usage), contact your doctor immediately.e exactly as the label says. If symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks, call your doctor;
  • In rare cases, ringworm of the skin causes large areas of blisters. If your ringworm forms blisters, you can use compresses, or sterilised needles to prick (burst) them. This is to soothe and dry out the blisters. After the skin is dried out, use antifungal creamsto treat;
  • If you have jock itch and athlete's foot, you should treat both ..... this is to prevent reinfecting your groin when you put on your underwear.
How to prevent jock itch ?
Always try to keep your groin, inner thighs and buttocks, clean and dry. Ensure to dry-off well, after you had exercised and showered. You may follow these steps :
  • Wash your workout clothes, underwear, socks, and towels after each use;
  • Wear shower-shoes when you use public showers and locker rooms;
  • If you have athlete's foot, you should treat it. During treatment, put your socks on before you put on your underwear. This will prevent the spread of the fungus from your feet to your groin;
  • If you keep getting athlete's foot, ensure to dry your feet last after a shower. This can help prevent spreading infection from your feet to your groin.

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