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Jock itch, or tinea cruris, is a fungal infection that causes itching and burning in the crotch area. Jock itch is very common among men and boys who play sports because they often sweat in those areas. Jock itch isn’t severe and usually clears up on its own without treatment after about four weeks. You can ease your discomfort during treatment with over-the-counter products.
What are the causes of Jock itch?
- Fungal infection:Â The most common cause of jock itch is a fungal infection caused by dermatophytes, which live on dead tissue, such as the outer layer of skin. Jock itch is more likely if your groin and armpits aren’t washed well after exercise or sweating.
- Tight clothing and excessive moisture:Â The groin area also may contribute to jock itch. People who work in warm, moist environments â€” such as those who work outdoors or in factories â€” develop jock itch because they sweat heavily and don’t dry themselves properly after bathing or working out.
- Underlying medical conditions:Â Medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, poor circulation, and HIV/AIDS can make you more susceptible to jock itch.
What are the symptoms of Jock Itch?
- Intensely itchy skin in the groin area.
- Skin lesions that look like pimples, blisters, or small red dots.
- Rashes usually occur on both inner thighs and around the anus but may spread to the penis, scrotum, and upper thigh.
- Blisters or sores may be filled with a clear or yellowish fluid.
- The burning sensation of the skin on the affected area.
- Peeling of skin on feet, hands, and genitals.
- Flaking of your scalp and eyebrows as well.
- Jock itch usually affects the skin of your inner thighs, groin, buttocks, and genitals.
How do skin doctors diagnose Jock Itch?
Doctors can diagnose jock itch by examining your skin. They may take a small sample of skin from the affected area to examine under a microscope. This test can be done on any rashes or patches, not just those that are itchy.
How do skin doctors treat Jock Itch?
- OTC antifungals such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin), miconazole cream (Monistat-Derm), ketoconazole cream, terbinafine cream (Lamisil) or terbinafine pills
- Prescription medicines include econazole nitrate, fluconazole and griseofulvin.
- Oral terbinafine or itraconazole
- Antibiotics for skin infections caused by bacteria, including MRSA
- Intralesional steroid injection if the area is very inflamed.
- Retinoids are topical medications that may help with scarring and pigment changes. This option should be discussed with your doctor before being taken.
- For severe cases, oral corticosteroid pills are prescribed to relieve symptoms related to fungal infection, like itching and burning sensation in the groin area. This medicine will not cure or prevent future outbreaks of this condition but can reduce inflammation during treatment.
- An ultraviolet light-treated office visit may be used to treat yeast infections on the skin caused by jock itch. It involves exposing the affected areas to a particular type of ultraviolet light in an office visit.
- You can also be given antifungal pills or topical treatment if over-the-counter medications do not work. If bacteria cause the infection, oral antibiotics are prescribed to treat it. Your doctor will order blood tests to check your liver function before prescribing medicine if you have HIV/AIDS because some drugs can cause serious problems when used by people with these conditions.
- Corticosteroid injection – this is also known as a cortisone injection. This is usually given in the doctor’s office. A small needle is used to inject a small amount of medication just below the skin surface. It helps decrease inflammation and itching.
- Oral antifungals such as fluconazole or ketoconazole may be prescribed if over-the-counter topical medications don’t work, especially for more severe cases of jock itch. Your doctor will check your liver function before prescribing medicine if you have HIV/AIDS because certain medications can cause serious problems when used by people with these conditions.
- Retinoids are topical medications that help treat scarring and pigment changes. This treatment option should only be discussed with your doctor before it’s taken.
- Corticosteroid pills -Your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, for severe cases of jock itch. These medicines reduce inflammation and itching and won’t cure or prevent future outbreaks and should only be used when other treatment options fail to provide relief.
When to visit a skin doctor for jock itch?
You should visit a skin doctor for jock itch if:
- Over-the-counter antifungal cream doesn’t get rid of the infection.
- You have severe or worsening symptoms, despite self-care treatments at home.
- The affected area is on your face, hands, or other areas where you can spread the fungal infection to others quickly. If parts of your body not affected by jock itch become infected with fungi from scratching too much in the groin area, this needs to be treated as soon as possible before it becomes worse and spreads to more parts of your body that are not yet affected.
What are common treatments for Jock Itch approved by skin doctors?
Most cases of jock itch clear up without treatment within seven weeks. Meanwhile, try these self-care measures:
- Keep Your Skin Dry
One of the best ways to treat jock itch is to keep your skin dry, which reduces sweating and itching. Don’t use deodorant soaps because they tend to irritate the affected area. Avoid wearing tight clothing that doesn’t allow for air circulation in the genital area. Bathe daily using soap or body wash that contains zinc oxide or benzoyl peroxide (many athlete’s foot treatments also contain these ingredients). These medicated washes help fight moisture by killing fungus and bacteria on contact.
- Use Antifungal Medications
You may need an over-the-counter antifungal cream if the jock itch doesn’t clear up on its own after seven weeks. Apply the medication as directed and continue to use it even if your symptoms disappear because untreated fungal infections often return. Try an over-the-counter antifungal powder or gel such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin) or miconazole (Micatin).
- Soothe Your Skin with Calamine Lotion
Calamine lotion can relieve dryness and itching caused by jock itch. It’s available over the counter and comes in various forms such as gel, spray, and liquid (the liquid is messy to use).
- Apply Witch Hazel or Tea Tree Oil
If you have a jock itch, you can use witch hazel or tea tree oil to soothe your skin. These natural ingredients are available in pharmacies and health-food stores. But they may cause mild stinging when applied to the affected area.
- Take It Easy with Scratching
When you have a jock itch, it can be tempting to scratch the affected skin for relief. But scratching is never a good way to treat your skin – even when you’re not dealing with an infection. Scratching can cause injuries that lead to more itching and slowed healing of the area. Plus, you may spread the fungus from other parts of your body or someone else’s body onto the infected area.
- Don’t share personal items
It’s also essential to make sure you don’t share personal items with others because fungi (such as those that cause jock itch) can be quickly passed from one person to another. Things to avoid include towels, clothing, and athletic equipment.
- Dry Your Cleansing Towel Thoroughly After Using It
If you use a cleansing towel after working out or sweating excessively, make sure it’s scorched before putting it away in your gym bag. This is especially important if you’re using a public towel or one that someone else has used. If moisture collects on the towel and creates an environment for fungal growth, it may spread back onto your skin when you put it back into your gym bag (see how to prevent this from happening).
What are the natural treatments for Jock Itch?
No one knows your skin better than you do. If you have mild jock itch that doesn’t need to be treated with prescription medication, try some of these natural remedies at home:
- Use a Compress Apply a warm compress to the affected area for 15 minutes several times a day. Then apply an antifungal cream or powder. You can prepare your compresses from ingredients in your kitchen or use ready-made compresses that you buy at pharmacies and health-food stores (often, these products contain two active ingredients: zinc oxide and benzoyl peroxide).
- Take a Bath In Epsom Salt Epsom salt is known for drawing out impurities, so it’ll help treat jock itch by drying out the affected skin. Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to a tub full of warm water and soak in it for 5â€“10 minutes every night before going to bed. Don’t do this if your skin is already dry or irritated.
- Use Petroleum Jelly Petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline brand, can help reduce moisture and heal the affected skin by keeping it moisturized. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the affected area 2â€“3 times a day after bathing or showering. You can also apply petroleum jelly before going to bed and wear an old pair of pants that you don’t mind getting stained because some of the jellies may rub off on your clothes during the night (you can use baby wipes to remove these stains). But be careful not to overuse petroleum jelly â€” too much of it can irritate your skin further and lead to more itching and scratching.
- Use Fresh Aloe Vera Fresh aloe vera can help moisturize the affected skin and clear up jock itch when applied topically. Cut open a leaf from an aloe vera plant, squeeze out some of its gel, and use the gel directly to the affected area in a thick layer 2â€“3 times a day. You can also buy fresh or dried aloe vera gel at health-food stores to use as part of your overall treatment plan.
- Take Vitamin C Supplements: If you’re dealing with jock itch caused by scratching and irritation, taking vitamin C supplements may help reduce the swelling, redness, and itching so that you feel better (especially if these symptoms are bothersome or get in the way of your normal daily activities). Vitamin C supplements are available in many forms, such as tablets and chewable tablets. They can be taken on their own or in combination with other vitamins and minerals.
- Try a Soothing Moisturizer: A soothing moisturizer may help the skin heal by forming a barrier over it to prevent further damage from rough clothing and scratching. Try using a mild, non-irritating cream containing natural ingredients such as aloe vera gel or oatmeal extracts (Aveeno brand). Apply a small amount of this product to the affected area 2â€“3 times a day after bathing or showering.
- Try Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is an aromatherapy oil that has been used for many years to treat various conditions, including jock itch. Tea tree oil is a good option if you want to try an alternative treatment or your skin isn’t getting better with other medicines. You can apply tea tree oil directly to the skin using a cotton ball, but make sure the area is thoroughly dry first. This treatment should be discontinued if there’s no improvement after one week, as it may cause mild irritation and redness in some people (but this is rare).
- Use homeopathic treatment: Many homeopathic remedies can help treat jock itch and related skin conditions. These remedies include:
* Thuja, for itchy rashes or eruptions that appear all over the body; the rash is usually worse at night.
* Sabadilla, for a persistent itching that’s worse at night and affects the legs, genitals, abdomen, and rectum.
* Carcinosin, for an itchy eruption with intense pruritus (itching) that occurs during the day or at night on one side of the body or in two symmetrical areas on both sides of the body.
Benefits of using the homeopathic treatment for Jock Itch:
- Homeopathic treatment for jock itch is safe and does not have any side effects, but they should only be taken if advised by your doctor or purchased from a reputable pharmacy that requires a prescription.
- Homeopathic treatment for jock itch doesn’t interact with any other medications you may be taking and can be combined with different types of treatment without causing adverse effects.
If you’ve never used this type of treatment before, it’s essential to take some time to learn about how homeopathic remedies are supposed to work before using them. This will help ensure the best results when using these products. You should consult a registered homeopathy doctor before taking any homeopathic remedy. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy now!