Wondering what’s causing that incessant itching and foul smell down there? It could be jock itch. What is it, you ask? Jock itch, or Tinea cruris, is a common fungal infection in the groin. While its name can be misleading, jock itch doesn’t affect just athletes; it can affect anyone. It is common in men, young boys, and among those who are overweight or obese.1
Want to know more? Here’s everything you should probably know about this infection.
Jock Itch: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment
What Are The Symptoms?
The first thing you’d probably experience when you have jock itch is itching of course – mostly in the groin and inner thigh regions. The itching can sometimes be quite persistent and severe and is, hence, bound to leave you with redness and burning as well. The itch may also go all the way to the buttocks but doesn’t usually spread to the scrotum or penis.
Jock itch can also give you rashes, which are different from the usual rashes you get because of the flaky edges surrounding them.
How Is Jock Itch Caused?
Fungi find warm, humid environments perfect for growth. This is what makes your groin more prone to fungal infections. Jock itch is caused by mold-like fungi known as dermatophytes. These fungi live on your skin and aren’t normally problematic. However, when you’ve sweat a lot or if you’ve been wearing tight clothes all day and allowing your skin to rub against your clothes, you may get jock itch. The fungi that cause it are the same as the ones that cause athlete’s foot.
Although the infection is quite mild, it’s extremely contagious and can easily spread from one person to another. So, a woman is likely to get jock itch if her male partner has it and there is skin contact in the groin area.
Because fungi tend to grow in the folds of skin, which are likely to be sweaty, overweight people are fairly prone to this infection.
Wondering if jock itch smells? The answer is yes. If you’ve had jock itch for a while, you may notice a cheesy, musky sort of odor coming from down there. This is mostly because of the overgrowth of fungi in your groin area. However, know that the odor usually doesn’t tend to be overpowering. The intensity of the smell is likely to increase and may be more noticeable if you sweat a lot in the area of the infection.
What Can You Do To Treat It?
You can easily get rid of jock itch at home and avoid making it worse following these simple steps.
- Wash the affected area well with soap and water.
- Shower after you’ve exercised a lot, and thoroughly pat yourself dry after showering.
- Do not share your towels or clothes with anyone if you have jock itch.
- Dabbing the affected area with a clean cloth on which baking soda has been sprinkled could get rid of the smell caused by the infection.
- Wear clean underwear every day; if you tend to sweat a lot, change your underwear when it becomes too moist.
- Wear loose underwear and clothes to avoid friction between your skin and clothes. Cotton is the best choice because it is comfortable and breathes.
- Avoid foods that may make the itch worse like chocolates, mushrooms, cheese, alcohol, baked yeast goods, and grains with gluten.
- If you have jock itch, a diet low in refined carbohydrates and yeast products is good for you. Stick to foods like meat, nuts, eggs, vegetables – garlic, in particular, because it has antifungal properties.
Now that you know everything you need to know about jock itch, you’ll know how to handle it if you get it. However, if the itch doesn’t go away after a few days or gets worse, consult your dermatologist.
|↑1||Ely, John W., Sandra Rosenfeld, and M. A. R. Y. SEABURY STONE. “Diagnosis and management of tinea infections.” American family physician 90, no. 10 (2014).|