Jock itch or tinea cruris is a type of fungal infection affecting the buttocks, genital area, thighs and groin. The reason for this is that the skin of these areas is warm and moist making it the ideal environment for the fungal agent to grow. Such condition will result to a red rash that is shaped liked a ring and an itchy skin. Other terms of tinea cruris include Gym itch, crotch itch, Eczema marginatum and crotch rot. In the United States of America, this is commonly recognized as the ringworm of the groin while in Britain, this is termed as dhobi itch or scrot rot. Men are usually affected than women.
Causes of Jock Itch
Jock itch is due to Trichophyton rubrum. It is a type of fungus which results to athlete’s foot and ringworm infection of the scalp. Under the microscope, the fungus is similar to a translucent, rod-shaped filament or hyphae. The hyphae are uniform all through the tapering at the ends. Such uniformity can help in recognizing it from the hair. These fungi will usually contaminate the dead cells of the epidermis.
The fungus dwells in an environment that is damp and warm. When heavy sweating occurs due to a humid environment, the oil of the skin which prevents fungal growth is washed off making the skin susceptible to infection. Men are usually affected compared to their female counterpart. This is due to the fact that men wear athletic supporters or tight underwear which is not washed immediately after every use. Also, people who sweat a lot and are overweight are at risk of developing the infection. Furthermore, those who are prone to this condition include individuals with diabetes, those with chronic, inherited skin disease atopic dermatitis and those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Symptoms of Jock Itch
The most frequent signs and symptoms are red and itchy skin in the area of the groin. But the redness as well as the itchiness are not only limited to the area of the groin. They could spread to the anal region, buttocks, inner thighs and genitals. The areas which are affected will develop a burning sensation and the skin on the groin region will start to flake, peel and even crack. Due to the persistent itchiness and burning sensation, it will be extremely uncomfortable to wear tight clothing or underwear. The cracking skin will result to fissures which are extremely painful. In the fissures, secondary fungal or bacterial infection could develop.