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Jock Itch

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Tinea cruris

  • It is a fungal infection of the skin around the groin or the area in between the buttocks.  It usually causes a scaly rash that may cause some burning or itching.  Treatment is usually with anti-fungus creams or with oral anti-fungus pills.

  • A scaly rash in the groin or in between the buttocks; it usually does not involve the skin around the scrotum.
  • The rash is generally red and scaly with sharp margins.  It often spreads outward, with the central part becoming clear as the rash spreads.
  • In some people, the area may remain darker than normal skin, even after the infection has been fully treated.
  • The rash may not cause any symptoms but usually it is very itchy.  In some cases, it may also cause stinging or burning.  The rash is usually not painful.
  • It can also cause the skin to be wet and "weepy."
  • The surrounding skin may become infected and cause Cellulitis (inflammation).

  • Jock itch is due to a fungal infection of the skin around the groin and in between the buttocks.
  • The bacteria responsible for jock itch are as follows:
    1. Epidermophyton floccosum
    2. Trichophyton rubrum
    3. Trichophyton mentagrophytes

  • Examination -- the doctor usually easily recognizes the typical appearance of the rash.
  • The doctor may also scrape the rash and examine it under the microscope.
  • Sometimes a culture of the rash may be needed to make the diagnosis.

  • Treatment with any one of the numerous anti-fungul creams.
  • Usually, the treatment needs to be continued for 1 to 2 weeks.  Sometimes, over-the-counter anti-fungus creams are enough.  Other times, one may need a prescription-strength cream.
  • For jock itch that does not respond to creams, an oral anti-fungus medicine such as griseofulvin, itraconazole, or terbinafine can be used. However, all of these medications are expensive.
  • Treatment is usually successful within 1 to 2 weeks.

  • General measures, used to prevent fungal infections, are important.  Keep the skin dry -- moist skin encourages fungal infections.
  • Dry all areas of the skin after a bath or after heavy sweating, especially in between skin folds and in the groin area.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Use talc or other drying powders to keep dry the areas that perspire a lot, especially the groin.  You can even use over-the-counter anti-fungus powders for this purpose.
  • People using steroid creams, taking steroid pills, or those with diabetes have a higher chance of developing fungal infections, and need to be especially careful.
  • People who perspire a lot and obese people should be very careful to keep the area around the groin and buttocks dry.  Remember, moist skin encourages fungal infections.

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