Tinea cruris, which is commonly known as jock itch, is the fungal infection of the groin area. It affects the skin of the genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks. The skin condition got its name, as it is common in people who perspire a lot, such as athletes. Jock itch is also likely to be present in people who are overweight or obese.
While most cases of jock itch are not contagious, there are cases in which the skin condition can be transmitted through skin or sexual contact, as well as sharing of materials like towels or swimwear, according to Medicine Net. In addition, the publication said that jock itch can be transmitted through a close skin contact.
According to Mayo Clinic, jock itch typically starts with a reddened area of skin that spreads from the folds of the groin in a half-moon shape and further spreads onto the upper thigh. The publication added that the border of the said rash may have a line of small and raised blisters, which usually becomes burning or itching, especially with exercise or activity. In addition, the affected skin may be scaly or flaky in jock itch. Changes in skin color may also be noted.
Management of jock itch is primarily hygienic and self-care in nature. According to Healthline, it is vital for the skin to be kept clean and dry. This can be done by drying the groin area completely after a taking a shower or taking a bath. Also, bottom garments, such as underwear, should also be taken off and replaced with a clean one after physical activities like doing an exercise or playing sports.
Another important action in the management of jock itch includes washing the groin skin two to three times a day, according to Medicine Net. This allows the removal of oil and debris in the area, preventing bacteria and fungi to thrive. In addition, excess skin irritation in the groin area can also be prevented by wearing 100 percent cotton underwear, as the material provides more comfort to the area, as compared to nylon or silicon materials. Skin irritation can also be ruled out by avoiding fabric softeners, detergents, and bleaches, which contain chemicals, which irritate the skin.
Prior to pharmacological approach, there are also several home remedies for jock itch. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar, and rubbing alcohol, are some of the accessible remedies for treating jock itch. According to the publication, tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties that can treat not only jock itch, but also other types of skin infections. A cotton ball may be used to apply the oil to the affected area two times a day.
Just like tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar also has strong anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that may treat and manage different kinds of skin infections. Two tablespoons of the vinegar is added in two cups of warm water. The affected area is washed with the solution and is allowed to dry on its own. The process is then repeated two to three times a day, particularly before going to bed.
The third on the list is rubbing alcohol. It kills the fungus causing jock itch, making it a reliable choice as remedy for the skin condition. Alcohol is also a drying agent, thus, it also helps in keeping the affected area dry, which opposes the warm and moist environment fungi love to thrive in. A cotton ball dipped in 90 percent alcohol is applied on the affected area and it may not be rinsed, since alcohol evaporates fast. This can be done a few times every day.
With regard to pharmaceutical management of jock it, the physician may initially recommend using over-the-counter anti-fungal topical agents, such as ointment, powder, spray, or lotion, according to Mayo Clinic. These anti-fungal medications are set to kill fungi that cause the skin condition and may result to the resolution of the rash. However, the medications should be continually applied to the affected area two times a day for at least ten days.
Prescription medications, in the form of creams, ointment, and pills, may also be necessary for jock itch treatment should over-the-counter medications fail to relieve the skin condition.
If the lesions and the itch are not relieved even after the application of home remedies and over-the-counter agents, it is suggested to consult with a physician for assessment and medical advice on prescription medications.