How Do You Get Jock Itch? 5 Dangers to Look Out for

How Do You Get Jock Itch? 5 Dangers to Look Out for

Mar 20
How Do You Get Jock Itch? 5 Dangers to Look Out for

Jock itch is a form of ringworm. It’s caused by a fungus and can last one or two months with treatment. While jock itch is most common in men, women can get it as well.

Another name for jock itch is tinea cruris, and it affects the groin, buttocks and inner thighs. It can spread to other parts of the body and cause a secondary infection. In many cases, jock itch is spread from the feet, and it’s called athlete’s foot.

The symptoms of jock itch vary, depending on every person. Some of the most common symptoms to look for are:

  • an itchy, red, circular rash with raised edges
  • intense itching, irritation and burning
  • flaking, peeling, or cracking skin
  • oozing bumps or blisters on the edges of the rash
  • dark skin at the groin area

But how do you get jock itch? Let’s take a quick look at the causes of this disease.

Jock Itch Causes

Jock itch comes from a fungus. It loves to live in moist, warm areas of the body such as the groin, buttocks, genitals, and inner thighs. When fungus grows out of control, it causes an infection. Jock itch usually strikes male athletes. But people who have weak immune systems or those with obesity or diabetes can also be at risk.

There are five ways you can get jock itch:

1. From wearing tight clothes

Clothing that is too tight and irritates your skin can cause rubbing and chafing. This can put you at an increased risk of getting jock itch.

Moreover, fungus grows quickly in warm, damp conditions. Tight clothes can help trap heat and moisture in your groin, leading to jock itch.

Some studies have shown that wearing tight clothing can make jock itch spread more easily. Therefore, to reduce the chance of infection, you should avoid all tight clothing.

wearing tight clothing can make jock itch spread more easily.

2. From sweating in the groin

Excessive sweating has been linked to some skin conditions. And jock itch is the most important one to consider.

Heavy sweating feeds the fungus and makes jock itch more likely. If you sweat a lot from exercise, sports, or hot weather, you’re at risk of the infection.

3. From staying in a wet bathing suit for too long

Like wearing tight clothing, wearing a wet bathing suit too long can do a number on your body. First, it causes chafing and rubbing, putting you at risk of jock itch. Second, a wet bathing suit creates a perfect condition for bacteria to grow. This can lead to itching or irritation in or around your genitals and painful urination. Men who sit around in their wet clothing all day can be at high risk for jock itch.

Men who sit around in their wet clothing all day can be at high risk for jock itch.

4. From sharing sweaty clothing or damp towels at the gym

A study has shown that there are over 25 different types of viruses, bacteria and fungi lurking at the gym. They live on everything from a toilet seat to gym equipment. If you come into contact with these things, you can pick up a fungus. Using sweaty clothing or damp towels of another can also cause jock itch.

Other skin conditions you can get from the gym are:

5. From having close contact with someone with jock itch

Jock itch is mildly contagious. It can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact including intercourse. If you have unprotected sex with someone who has jock itch, you will develop it, too.

Other lifestyle habits can increase your risk of getting jock itch:

  • touching your athlete’s foot and then touch your genitals
  • sharing infected towels, swimwear, or soaps
  • not washing frequently, especially after exposed to someone or something that has a fungus

Learn more: What Happens if You Don’t Change Your Underwear Regularly?

jock itch is spread during sexual contact

What Can You Do to Prevent Jock Itch?

In most cases, it’s not too difficult to prevent jock itch. The key is to have good personal hygiene and be careful about transmission.

Wash your groin and genitals often, especially after bathing or showering. Then use a clean towel to dry your area. This can help to prevent fungus from growing on your skin. Wearing breathable, loose-fitting underwear. This is a good way to help healing and keep jock itch from spreading.

Jock itch is likely to spread during sexual contact. So if you have the infection, avoid all kinds of sex until it heals.

Use different towels for your face and body. This can help prevent jock itch from spreading to other areas of your body.

Another important way is to avoid sharing clothes and personal items. When someone has jock itch, it’s very hard to treat. And they may have recurrence.

Learn more: Tips to Prevent the Spread of a Fungal Infection

How Do You Get Jock Itch Diagnosed?

If you think you have jock itch, you should get diagnosed as soon as possible. This infection can’t heal on its own, and you may need medication. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, jock itch can get worse, spread, or develop a further infection.

Here’s how a doctor can find out if you have jock itch.

  • check your symptoms and skin appearance
  • recommend a KOH test
  • prescribe a small skin biopsy or laboratory test

KOH test can help diagnose jock itch

What Happens Next?

After diagnosis, your doctor will recommend treatment. For most people, over-the-counter (OTC) medications are enough. You can find them in forms of tablets, creams, lotions or powders. Fugacil is one of the most common topical creams for jock itch. It can help treat the symptoms and prevent recurrent infections. Many patients have used this and got rid of jock itch in 1-2 weeks. Also, some have never seen a recurrence.

In more severe cases, prescription meds are necessary. You can ask your doctor about Terbinafine, Itraconazole or Fluconazole. These can take several months to show results and sometimes can cause side effects. For example: nausea, headaches, and digestive problems. So if you want to take these drugs, speak to your doctor first.

In your home, it is really important to clear everything. Always use clean clothes and underwear. And make sure to wash your towels, pillows, and sheets regularly.

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