Jock Itch: Symptoms and Causes


Jock itch is a common, itchy rash of the groin which caused by fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi naturally live on the skin such as hair. When living in a warm and moist area, they can cause a very intense itch and is associated with red or pink rashes. Jock itch is primarily a skin infection in men because of anatomic structures unique to males.

Symptoms of jock itch

The condition causes a symmetrical red or pink rash on the side of the groin folds. There may be a persistent itching and burning sensation in the affected area. The edge of the rash may consist a line of small, raised blisters and the skin may be flaky or scaly. A rash will change in color and get worse with exercise or activity. It can’t improve and even get worse or spreads with over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream.

The symptoms of jock itch may come and go, and in many cases, the condition is treated spontaneously without any treatment in healthy people.

When to see a doctor

If a person has a rash on the skin that doesn’t improve within two weeks and the over-the-counter medications can’t resolve the rash, they may need prescription medication.

If a person has been following the prescription but it still spreads and becomes increasingly uncomfortable, or does not go away completely, they should see a doctor again.

Causes of jock itch

Jock itch is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which normally live on the skin and don’t cause infection. However, the lengthy exposure to moisture can support an overgrowth of dermatophytes in your groin area and causes the infection.

Overweight people are more likely to experience jock itch because the fungus can develop in folds of skin. Jock itch may also develop by prolonged exposure to moisture and friction from clothes. Therefore, it is important to wash with soap and water in the groin and armpit areas daily. Moreover, tight clothing and undergarments that trap in sweat can influence jock itch. People having other infection such as yeasts or bacteria have higher risks of jock itch.

The jock itch is highly contagious, which means the infection easily spread. A person may get the fungal infection through direct close contact with someone who has the infection or through contact with the unwashed clothing or towel of an infected person.

A person can also get jock itch if he or she has athlete’s foot and spreads fungi to the groin.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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