Men's Health Issues
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Groin / Jock Itch
Groin itch is a man's problem, also called tinea cruris or ringworm of the groin, is an infection of the male groin area caused by fungus.
Causes of Groin Itch
The human body normally hosts a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. Some of these are actually useful to the body. Others can multiply rapidly and cause infections. groin itch occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies in the (warm and humid) male groin area.
Groin itch occurs mostly in adult men and adolescent boys. It can sometimes accompany athlete's foot and ringworm. The fungus causing groin itch thrives in warm, moist areas. groin itch can be triggered by friction from clothes and prolonged wetness in the groin area, caused from sweating (or swimming and water aerobics without fully drying yourself).
Groin itch may be contagious. It can be passed from one male to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing. groin itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum or penis. It is often less severe than other tinea infections, but may last a long time. groin itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.
Other causes of itching in the groin include:
- Lichen simplex chronicus
- Pubic lice
- Chemical irritation
Symptoms of Groin Itch
- Itching in groin, thigh skin folds, or anus
- Red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze -- The patches often have sharply-defined edges and are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center
- Abnormally dark or light skin
Exams and Tests for Groin Itch
Your doctor will usually diagnose jock itch based on the appearance of the skin. Tests are usually not necessary. If tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis, either a culture or a skin lesion biopsy (for example, a scraping of the skin) may show the fungus that causes groin itch.
Treatment for Groin-Itch and Jock-Itch
Jock itch usually responds to self-care within a couple of weeks:
- Keep the skin clean and dry.
- Don't wear clothing that rubs and irritates the area.
- Apply topical over-the-counter anti fungal or drying powders, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or tolnaftate.
Severe infections, frequently recurring infections, or infections lasting longer than 2-weeks may require further treatment by your doctor. Stronger prescription medications, such as those containing ketoconazole or terbinafine, or oral antifungals may be needed. Antibiotics may be needed to treat bacterial infections that occurs in addition to the fungus (for example, from scratching the area).
General Prognosis for Groin Itch
groin itch usually responds promptly to treatment, but some groin/jock itch cases last a long time.
Possible Complications of Groin Itch
- Permanent change in the skin color of the area
- Secondary bacterial skin infections
- Side effects of medications
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your doctor if your grin itch does not respond to home care after 2 weeks, or you get other symptoms.
Prevention of Groin Itch
- Keep the groin area clean and dry.
- Don't wear clothing that rubs and irritates the area. Avoid tight-fitting and rough-texture clothes.
- Wear loose-fitting underwear.
- Wash athletic supporters frequently.
- After bathing, apply antifungal or drying powders if you are susceptible to groin itch.
Alternative Names for Groin Itch
Jock itch; Fungal infection - groin; Infection - fungal - groin; Itching in the groin; Ringworm - groin; Tinea cruris; Tinea of the groin.
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