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Jock Itch And Athletes Foot

« Back to What is a Nail Fungus Infection?

Jock Itch And Athletes Foot

Jock itch, also called tinea cruris or ringworm of the groin, is a fungus infection of the groin area. Think of it as nail fungus gone to live "down south."

Remember that the body normally hosts a variety of bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body, while others can multiply rapidly and form infections. Jock itch occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies in the groin area. Much like the nails, the warmth and moisture and darkness of the groin area make it a fertile breeding ground for all types of fungus.

Jock itch occurs almost exclusively in adult men. It can sometimes accompany athlete's foot and ringworm. Jock itch can be triggered by friction from clothes, and prolonged wetness in the groin area (such as from sweating or continued clothing dampness).

Jock itch may be contagious. It can be passed from one person to another by direct skin-to-skin contact, or through contact with unwashed clothing of an infected person. Jock itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum or penis. It is often less severe than other tinea infections, but may last a long time. Jock itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.

Symptoms of Jock Itch (tinea cruris):
  • Itching in groin, thigh skin folds, or the behind.
  • Red, raised, scaly itchy patches that may blister and ooze. The patches often have sharply-defined edges that may create the appearance of a ring.
  • Abnormally dark or light skin tone in the affected area.
Preventing Jock Itch:
  • Maintain a clean and dry groin area.
  • Avoid wearing clothing materials that rub or irritate the groin. Avoid tight-fitting and rough-textured clothing.
  • Wear clean, dry, loose-fitting underwear.
  • Wash jock straps (athletic supporters) and exercise clothing frequently.
  • If you are susceptible to jock itch, always apply antifungal or drying powders after bathing.
  • Apply any of the home remedies for fungus on the next page.

Athlete's Foot. Athlete's foot is an infection of the feet caused by fungus. The medical term is tinea pedis. Athlete's foot may last for a short or long time and may come back after treatment.

Athlete's foot occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies in your feet (especially between your toes) or, less commonly, your hands.

Of the fungal infections known as tinea infections, Athlete's foot is the most common. It may occur at the same time as other fungal skin infections such as ringworm or jock itch. These fungi thrive in warm, moist areas (are you seeing a pattern here?).

Your risk for getting athlete's foot increases if you:
  • Wear closed shoes, especially if they are plastic-lined
  • Keep your feet wet for prolonged periods of time
  • Sweat a lot
  • Develop a minor skin or nail injury
  • Athlete's foot is contagious, and can be passed through direct contact, or contact with items such as shoes, stockings, and shower or pool surfaces.

Just like nail fungus and jock itch, the athlete's foot fungus thrives and grows in warm moist areas. Keeping the feet clean, dry, and avoiding tight shoes or those made of non-breathable materials is important in preventing athlete's foot fungus (tinea pedis).

Next: Home Remedies For Nail Fungus »

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