Jock itch is a superficial fungal infection (Tinea cruris) on the skin of the groin area. Jock itch is typically caused by the fungus Trichophyton rubrum. There are many over-the-counter treatments, some of which might work for you. It is important to be informed as to which medicine and treatment option you are using because some of these products have different components. If one treatment option does not work, it is vital that you know which active ingredients are present in the medication.
"Jock itch is best treated with topical creams or ointments, since the fungus only affects the top layer of skin," say dermatologists reporting to allabout.com. By applying an anti-fungal cream or spray on the affected area twice per day, the infection is likely to clear up in about five days. Doctors recommend continuing the treatment for an additional four to five days after all outward signs of infection have passed. There are four main over-the-counter antifungal treatments widely available in grocery stores, as well as pharmacies.
If your rash looks infected or has blisters, it might be necessary to use a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone in addition to the antifungal treatment. Hydrocortisone alone is not a treatment for jock itch.
The following is a list of medications with active ingredients:
Tinactin -- tolnaftate
Micatin -- miconazole
Lotromin -- clotrimazole
Lamisil - terinafine
If these topical sprays and creams are not effective, it might be appropriate for you to see your physician. In these cases oral medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and fluconazole (Diflucan) might be prescribed, however they might have side effects. See your physician before taking any of these.
Fungus thrives in warm dark places such as the groin, feet, toes and inner thighs. The best defense is to remain cool and dry. Try to wear loose clothes, especially when working out. After showering, make sure your skin is completely dry before you get dressed. If you suspect you have jock itch, do not share towels. Medicated antifungal powders are available for daily use.
Doctors on e-medicine say recurring fungal infections might lead to chronic bacterial infection on top of the Tinea cruris if left untreated. It is imperative to treat quickly and see a doctor if it doesn't clear up within five days.
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