Also known as jock itch, ‘Tinea Cruris’ is a fungal infection of the groin; it commonly occurs in men. This disorder is primarily caused by a fungus known as dermatophytes. It is characterized by an appearance of circular patches on the skin which look similar to a ring. They usually do no harm. However, if conditions are right they can 'invade' the skin, multiply and cause infection. The conditions fungi like best are warm, moist and airless areas of skin, such as the groin.
The fungus primarily tends to grow on the moist and warm parts of the body, such as the buttocks, thighs or the groin region. Men who are overweight are at an increased risk because of the excess sweat that provides the perfect thriving spot for the fungus. Athletes are also more vulnerable to this condition. Sharing objects such as shoes, towels and combs can also be a source of this infection.
The groin becomes itchy and irritable, mainly in the crease between the top of the leg and the genitals. It is more common in men, and the scrotum may also be itchy. A red rash then develops in the groin, usually with a definite edge or border. Both groins are commonly affected. The rash often spreads a short way down the inside of both thighs.
Sometimes the infection spreads to the skin on other parts of the body (or may have first started in another area, such as athlete's foot). Fungal infections do not usually go deeper than the skin into the body and are not usually serious.
This condition is usually mild, hence, can be treated with over the counter medications. It takes about a week or two for the symptoms to clear up completely. Anti-fungal creams and lotions are useful in getting rid of the infection. It is recommended to carry on with the treatment even after the symptoms subside; till you complete the required dosage. Also, continue the anti-fungal medication for at least two weeks after symptomatic relief to prevent recurrence.
In addition to the treatments, there are certain preventive measures that you can adopt–
Don’t wear the same set of clothes every day while exercising.
Wear fresh and properly washed undergarments.
Wear loose-fitting clothes; this prevents the area from getting too moist too soon.
Apply medicated talcum powder on the infected areas.