Jock itch with a rash
Jock itch is usually an itchy rash in the fold of skin in the groin. In men, the skin fold beneath the scrotum is often affected as well, but not the penis. The skin over the testicles (scrotum skin) is seldom affected. The rash is red and slightly scaly. It usually has a sharp border, demarcating it clearly from the unaffected skin. If you look closely at the border, you may see that the edge is very slightly raised with small pimples. The rash spreads outwards and, as it does so, the centre may clear. Both sides are usually affected, but the shape of the rash may be different on each side.
What to do
- not wearing tight underpants
- wearing 100% cotton underpants instead of synthetic fabrics
- drying yourself carefully in the groin and around the testicles after bathing or showering
- losing weight if you have a paunch
- looking after your feet to avoid athlete’s foot (look at the section on sweaty feet)
- putting your socks on before your underpants when you get dressed, to prevent fungi from your feet getting inside your underpants.
Fungi also thrive on skin that is slightly damaged. Skin damage is commonly caused by perfumes in soaps, shampoos and shower gels, and enzymes in washing powders. So you can help yourself by:
- washing with an unperfumed soap
- if you wash your hair in the shower, not letting the foam run down your body into the groin creases
- not using ‘enzyme’ or ‘biological’ washing powders for your underpants.
These self-help measures will discourage the fungus but probably will not eliminate it, so see your doctor for an antifungal cream. Your doctor can also check that the rash is not some other skin problem (such as psoriasis).
Jock itch without a rash
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Thursday, September 6th 2012
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