The Causes Cures And Prevention Of Jock Itch
Fungal infections are a common occurrence, and have been since the beginning of time. There are a whole range of microbes, both bacteria and fungi, that live permanently on the outside of our skin, just waiting for the opportunity to thrive. Once you have an infection, they can be hard to eradicate, and then prevention is important to stop their return.
The Same Two Fungi Cause Many Skin Infections And Jock Itch
There are two types of fungi that like to inhabit the groin area, one is called Tinea cruris and the other Candida albicans. They're very similar in their symptoms, Candida is more likely to infect an area where skin overlaps or rubs together, while Tinea will attack skin that doesn't have any contact with other skin, but either can imitate the other.
Candida is usually easier to get rid of, but the treatments are typically the same. And preventative measures for one are good for the other as well. Since Tinea is so hard to get rid of, the best thing to do is use prevention permanently, after you've won the battle to kill the infection.
The Signs And Symptoms Are Similar To Many Fungal Infections
There will be intense itching in the groin area, the center of the infection may be oozing clear fluid, while the edges are red and constantly expanding. The skin may have turned dark prior to the outbreak, appearing to be from the dye of your undershorts, which is misleading.
Sometimes the very center of the infection will also develop blisters, that then burst with the smell of yeast, and ooze plenty of fluids throughout the day. The infection is most common either on the scrotum, inner thighs, or the fold between the thigh and crotch.
There Can Be Underlying Causes
Although just having a warm moist area exposed to chafing can be reason enough for a fungal infection, especially jock itch, there are many times other causes that can accentuate the problem. Taking antibiotics can kill the normal beneficial bacteria of the skin, which then allows the fungus to thrive.
Tight, or poorly fitted clothing, that causes chafing and exposed raw skin, is also a common precursor to infection. The outer layers of skin are there to protect the inner layers from exposure to microbes, mostly bacteria and fungi, and when it's chafed off, infection can result.
Having a fungus infection elsewhere can also help the infection spread, just scratching one spot after the other will spread the spores and can cause infection. You should also be cautious of touching others with fungal infections, making sure you wash your hands well after each exposure.
Common Sense Is The Best Prevention
Keeping the groin area dry is the best prevention there is, but doing so isn't always easy. Shower regularly, dry off using a fresh, unused towel, and wear only loose fitting cotton underwear that you change frequently. Don't share clothes with other people, and if you have an infection, make sure you use bleach to wash your undergarments.
If you do experience dampness from sweating, it's a good idea to use medicated powder containing zinc oxide or other anti-fungal ingredients. Most good medicated diaper rash powders will work, and they'll help reduce any chafing caused by your clothing as well.
There Are Good Home Based Treatments To Cure The Infection
Lemons are especially good at killing fungal infections. When dealing with Jock itch you'll want to apply it several times per day. You can make a strong lemon treatment by taking the juice from half of a lemon and mixing it with a cup of water. Then take a clean wash cloth, soak it in the lemon mixture and apply to the entire area in and around the infection.
Don't rinse the mixture off, allow it to dry in place so it can continue to work as you go about your day. Be sure and wash your hands well anytime you touch the infection as you can spread it to other areas. Reapply the lemon several times a day using a fresh washcloth each time.
Rubbing Alcohol Can Also Be An Easy Home Remedy
The best thing about using alcohol on your Jock itch is that it tends to dry fairly quickly and leaves the skin dry as well. Alcohol will kill nearly all bacteria, fungi, and viruses, so you don't need to worry so much about the diagnosis. All you have to do, is make sure the affected area, and all around it, are thoroughly clean, then apply the alcohol all around.
Make sure you allow the area to completely dry before adding medicated powder, and putting on your clothes. Repeat this process several times per day, always using fresh washcloths and change undergarments frequently.
Change Your Diet And Observe What's Been Different Lately
There are different foods that can cause a person to become more susceptible to fungal infections. Diets high in yeast, beer, alcohol and sugar other can make your sweat sweeter and more beneficial to fungi. There are also people that report drinking coffee to excess seems to make them prone to fungal infections, but there may be other triggers that are different for you.
Think back over the past month and try to remember if you've made some changes to your diet, like binge eating something, and if you've noticed more dandruff, flaky skin, or eczema. These can all help the opportunistic fungi get a start in any dark, moist section of your skin. Letting your body run low on vitamins and minerals can also allow an infection to gain a foothold.
If you have a persistent infection that seems to defy treatment, you should take the time to go to a dermatologist and get a diagnosis. However, there are over the counter anti-fungal medications that you can buy that are slightly better than a home remedy, but cost quite a bit more.
Once you have your infection cured, it's a good idea to focus on prevention rather than treatment, keeping the area dry, with fresh underwear made from cotton, will ensure that it won't return. Also, any time you take a long walk, or do any prolonged sports, take a good shower, dry with a clean towel, and use plenty of medicated talcum powder.
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