Also scientifically referred to as tinea cruris, jock itch women is a ringworm infection that concentrates mostly on the groin of women. Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin. It thrives in moist, dark and warm environments and has a very high contingency rate among people. Treatment of any type of fungal infection including jock itch involves the use of topical anti-fungal applications and medications. Jock itch is mainly associated with men, but it is also common in women, mostly plus size women who are more likely to contract the infection.
Appearance of Jock Itch infection
Most ringworm infection appears in a circular rash. The rash looks like a ring which has elevated edges with the center of the patch appearing to have normal skin. The circular patch can sometimes have peeled skin or flaking, and in some cases of jock itch in the groin area, the infected area may crack. The rash is usually red and inflamed. At times instead of the classic ring-shaped rash that comes with a ringworm infection, the infected area for some females may appear to be a small red patch with irritated edges. The infected groin area may also experience some pubic hair loss. The hair falls off directly from the follicle or at times, breaks off causing stubble. Other women may notice that the infected area lightens or darkens more as compared to the rest of the surrounding areas.
Causes and Risk Factors of Jock Itch Infection in Women
Just like the case in men, jock itch in women is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi thrive in a dark, moist and warm environment. The groin area, therefore, makes the perfect conducive place for the infection. Irritation and itching are caused by the fungi eating away at the dead skin.
Although the infection is not classifieds a sexually transmitted infection, a woman can get it from her partner through the skin to skin contact if their partner already has the infection.
Women who work out frequently are also prone to this infection since their garments get moist and warm due to constant sweating. This environment is perfect for the fungi to breed. Sharing the gym lockers can also help spread the infection or sharing gym garments with an infected person. This case also applies to sharing of public swimming pools.
Other than in the gym, sharing of garments in any situation can also spread the infection easily. Women are advised to be very careful by ensuring that they use cotton materials for their undergarments and shower after workouts. Changing the swimwear and the gym attire immediately the sessions are over is also a good way to stop the spread of the fungi. Women should also ensure that their groin area is dried thoroughly after showers or after swimming.
Symptoms of Jock Itch Women
The following are some of the symptoms that can help a woman differentiate jock itch from other groin infections:
> The most common sign is a circle shaped rash on the groin area that has elevated edges. The middle shin of the rash appears to be normal skin. This can be easily confused with bikini razor rash.
> The infected area is very itchy and might be painful at times
> Sometimes, the area, has a burning sensation
> The infection can noticeably spread to other parts of the inner thighs or anal section
> Redness and inflammation is also experienced
> The rash may be accompanied by cracking or flaking of the skin.
This infection is usually diagnosed based on the location and the appearance of the infection. It is important to keep in mind that there is quite some other infection that may resemble jock itch, especially for women. In case a woman is not certain of the kind of rash they have, they should seek medical advice from their doctor. Basically, the doctor will ask about the patient’s medical history and the symptoms they are experiencing before performing a physical examination. In other cases, the doctor can request a lab test on the affected area of the skin. These type of tests involves scraping at the skin, then taking the scrapings for a microscopic viewing or for culturing.
Treatment and Medication
Treatment for this condition can be achieved in some ways. The infection can be controlled with home remedies when spotted early enough. The home remedies include a warm bath soak in a mixture of oatmeal and water or Epsom salts. Application of honey on the rash can also help.
In case the symptoms persist, there are other methods to treat the condition which include the use of topical products. Topical products should be strictly used as per the prescription. If the topical products also fail, then other stronger method of treatment should be opted for which in most cases is through topical and oral medication.
In case a woman notices some oozing from the rash, they should seek medical attention immediately. This is an indication that the rash has been infected with bacteria secondarily. If the doctor confirms that this is the case, the woman will be put under antibiotic medication and close observation.
Jock Itch Prevention Measures
The following steps should be adhered to prevent the contraction of jock itch women infection
> Regular Showering
> Showering after exercises or after other physical activities that cause perspiration
> Thorough drying of the groin area after showers and swimming
> Applying an absorbent powder after taking a shower to keep the groin area dry
> Wearing loose fitting garments and costumes
> Wearing breathable clothing and cotton material undergarment
> Completely avoiding garments that chafe the groin area
> Constantly laundering athletic supporters and undergarments before they are used again
> Not sharing clothing and towels
> Wearing swimwear for a short time
> Not storing damp clothing in the gym lockers or bags.
Jock itch women infection is a very common infection with half of the cases being due to fungus infection, and the rest are caused by irritation, moisture, and overgrowth of bacteria. The condition primarily affects males, but it is also seen in some females, most especially older adults, and often healthy people. The condition is easy to cure, and in some cases, it resolves itself without any form of treatments. Resistant jock itch may require antibiotic or anti-fungal medication to clear, although the condition is often treated with anti-fugal creams. Jock itch can be easily controlled and prevented through proper skin hygiene.