Ringworm or Tinea infection of the groin, called Jock itch, often takes a long time to go away completely. In many men, a common complaint is that their Jock itch “just won’t go away” and that it keeps ‘coming back’. In this guide, we will study reasons why Jock Itch occurs and recurs as well as some permanent solutions to cure it completely.
Jock Itch Causes: Why does it occur in the first place?
Ringworm fungi thrive in moist areas of the skin and the groin is one region of the body where there is plenty of moisture. Athletes, in particular, are prone to ringworm of the groin since they tend to wear tight and sweaty clothes for long periods of time. Others might catch ringworm from infected persons as well as pet animals. (So, if you are in the habit of sleeping next to a pet dog or cat having ringworm, you must stop this practice immediately.)
Other places where the Tinea ringworm organisms thrive are: contaminated wet floors near showers, swimming pools, in gym locker rooms etc. Men are naturally more prone to ringworm of the groin, but the same fungus that causes it can also be seen in women under the breasts, or other parts of the female body.
Symptoms of Jock Itch
Majority of the symptoms of Jock itch go away on their own within a few days of treatment. Some symptoms do tend to come back after a while especially if one does not take necessary precautions which we will discuss subsequently in this guide. Typical symptoms are:
- Itchy, burning scaly patches in the groin region
- The rash is typically round or circular and appears to spread.
- The penis and scrotum are usually not affected by Jock’ s itch
- Groin ringworm rash may even be seen in the folds of the skin between the genital and the thighs.
What to do if Jock Itch won’t go away?
If you have noticed these symptoms of Jock itch you must start applying anti-fungal creams on it as soon as it occurs. This will prevent the rash from spreading and worsening. You also need to apply the cream on the rash at least 4 times a day.
If despite this, the Jock Itch does not go away or keeps coming back every few months, you must talk to your doctor. You may need prescription anti-fungal drugs in the form of oral anti fungal medicines. In low doses, these drugs may even be taken for up to a month to see positive results.
Remember that heat and moisture are the two main culprits of Jock itch that won’t go away. Ensure keeping the groin area clean and free of moisture. You can use products containing pyrithione zinc as it can keep the upper torso dry and devoid of moisture. Apply the cream all over the thighs, around the genitals and even the trunks and abdomen. Do not use tight underwear at night when sleeping and opt for comfortable cotton pajamas instead.
Jock itch treatment and prevention
Additionally, it is very important to follow these precautions to keep the ringworm of the groin from recurring:
- Wear clean underwear. Wash all infected clothing in hot water with little bleach where possible.
- Do not share personal items like towels, socks, combs, footwear and brushes etc with others.
- Keep the groin area clean and dry using tips and products given above. After bathing, apply the antifungal cream as prescribed by your doctor. There are also many OTC ringworm creams which you can use safely.
- Continue taking the oral antifungal pills as prescribed even if you start feeling better. Failure to complete the prescribed dosage might bring the infection back.
Remember that Jock itch that won’t go away often indicates a hospitable environment for the fungus. The state of your general health naturally determines what kind of a host you are for the dermatophytes causing the Jock’s itch. Many times, an underlying illness may also be responsible for recurring ringworm infections. If you have been taking antibiotics for a while, your body’s natural balance of bacteria and fungi can also get upset causing certain microorganisms to proliferate more than normal. It is a good idea to take a probiotic supplement or include probiotic foods if this is the case. Discuss all medicines and your diet with your healthcare provider.