Can women get jock itch? It's commonly thought of as a man's ailment, but female athletes can get jock itch too. Formerly known as tinea cruris, jock itch is a fungus that grows in warm moist areas of skin folds in the body. Men are more likely to develop it simply because of their groin's anatomy. But fashionable, tight-fitting women's exercise gear and bras set up the perfect environment. (Read up on some hygiene tips.)
What Is That Itch?
Jock itch is a red itchy patch with raised papules that can spread from the groin to the buttocks, anal and thighs areas. Trichophyton rubrum, the same fungus that causes athlete's foot, is the most common form of jock itch fungus. The infection may have spread from the feet to the groin.
What to Do and Not to Do
In this fast-paced world of trying to get it all done, it's easy to stay in your workout clothes while you scurry from one activity to the next. But next time you think you simply don't have time to change, remember you're setting up the perfect environment for fungus to grow. Here are some grooming tips to remember after your next workout:
- If showering at the gym, wear flip-flops to prevent athlete's foot. If you pick up a fungus off the shower floor, it can be accidently transfered to your underwear while you are getting dressed.
- If you wait to shower when you get home, shower as soon as you get there.
- Pay special attention to the areas under your breasts.
- Dry off completely and air dry if you can.
- Do not share towels or other personal items with others.
- Avoid having sex if your partner has symptoms of a genital rash.
- Wear loose clothes, especially in summer.
- Change exercise clothes daily and wash them after exercising.
- Change underwear daily.
How to Treat Jock Itch
According to WebMD, jock itch is easily treated with prescription-strength, over-the-counter anti-fungal cream, lotion, spray or gel. The itching may go away in a few days, but you should continue to use your product for four weeks to completely eradicate the problem. If the symptoms don't improve within a week, you may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotic treatment. This would be the time to check in with your doctor.
Keeping Jock Itch Away
It's important to keep the skin dry in the groin area after showering or bathing. If chafing is common, wear loose fitting clothes and use an anti-chafing balm. If it keeps reoccurring, ask your doctor if you may use an antifungal cream on a regular basis.
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