A yeast infection of the groin is a common form of vaginitis caused by an overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus normally present in the vaginal mucosa. While a yeast infection can occur anywhere on the skin, a yeast infection of the groin has characteristic symptoms that include itching and burning, inflammation of the area round the vagina, and thick white vaginal discharge that is described as having a "cottage cheese" texture. Once identified, treating a yeast infection of the groin can be simple--as long as you know what medication is effective.
Yeast infections of the groin can be effectively treated through the use of over-the-counter creams and suppositories that contain clotrimazole, butoconazole, miconazole nitrate, or tioconazole. Look for these brand names at your drugstore: Gyne-Lotrimin, Femstat, Monistat and Vagistat. These products come packaged with the right amount of anti-fungal medication and applicators, making it easy to treat yeast infections at home.
Your doctor might prescribe an oral medication called fluconazole, which goes by the trade name Diflucan. While an over-the-counter topical anti-fungal is cheaper, oral medication eliminates the "messiness" factor that goes along with using vaginal creams or suppositories.
A number of home remedies purport to cure yeast infections. These include vinegar douches, tea tree oil and vaginal suppositories containing garlic or boric acid. These remedies are supported by anecdotal evidence at best and have not been proved effective through clinical research. According to the Mayo Clinic, Lactobacillus acidophilus may be an exception; one study showed that this reduced symptoms of yeast infections; however, other studies of Lactobacillus acidophilus found that it had little benefit. The Mayo Clinic advises that yeast infections be treated with conventional anti-fungal creams and suppositories that are proven to be effective.
Use vaginal creams and suppositories at night; during the day they can leak out of the vagina, so use of a pantyliner is a good idea. If you're using an anti-fungal cream or suppository, follow the directions exactly. Not following through with the treatment may not result in a permanent cure. Most importantly, if this is the first time you've experienced symptoms of a yeast infection in your groin, see your doctor. Using an anti-fungal treatment for a condition that's not a yeast infection may make your symptoms worse.
If you have a history of recurrent yeast infections, there are certain preventive measures that you can employ. The Mayo Clinic advises taking showers and avoiding baths, hot tubs and whirlpool spas. Soap should be completely rinsed off the genitals and the area well-dried after showering. Scented tampons and pads should also be avoided, as should douching. Also, wear cotton underwear or pantyhose with a cotton crotch.