Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a fungus, the same one that causes athlete's foot and scalp ringworm. The groin area is the perfect place for the fungi to grow and cause a fungal infection because it is moist, warm and dark.
Jock itch is contagious and can be spread from person to person if they share a towel or engage in sex. The microscopic organisms, the fungi, are always present in our skin and don't cause problems unless they find themselves in an ideal environment, such as the warm, dark recesses of the groin area, and in those circumstances the fungi will thrive and grow and cause intense itching.
According to Healthhype.com (see References), groin rashes, which cause the itching, can be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, the fungus candida albicans, bacteria (staphylococcus aureus), Herpes, inverted psoriasis, allergies, intertrigo, pemphigus, which is Hailey-Hailey disease and/or Darier's disease.
Compromised Immune System
If your immune system is already compromised, jock itch can cause serious health problems, according to Ohiohealth.com (see References). According to Menswork.us (see References), it is unusual for a fungal infection to spread beneath the surface of the skin but it can happen, especially if you have HIV/AIDS or diabetes. If your health is already compromised and you believe you have jock itch or any kind of fungal infection, consult with your physician.
Origin of the Name
This condition got its name because people who sweat a lot, such as athletes, tend to have this problem. If you're overweight you may be prone to suffering from jock itch. The condition isn't exclusive to men; women can get it, too.
Jock itch may result in a red, itchy, ring-shaped rash on your rear end, inner thighs and genitalia. An individual who is suffering from this may find that his skin is peeling, cracking and flaking in the groin area. Experiencing a burning sensation in the area or areas that are affected is typical.
Avoid Tight Clothing
The condition may worsen if you wear tight clothing and especially if your underwear is tight. Men should consider wearing boxers instead of briefs. Exercising, or even walking, can exacerbate the condition and make you itch more than ever.
Some people are particularly sensitive when it comes to jock itch because they have a skin disease, called atopic dermatitis, which is characterized by inflamed, itchy skin. If an individual has this to begin with he will be more susceptible to jock itch because the skin barriers, which normally ward off fungal and bacterial infections, have been weakened and compromised and can't protect him.