Jock Itch (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Jock itch facts
- What is jock itch? What does jock itch look like?
- What causes jock itch?
- Who gets jock itch?
- What are jock itch symptoms and signs?
- Does jock itch affect the entire body?
- How is jock itch diagnosed?
- Is jock itch curable? Is jock itch contagious?
- What are possible complications of jock itch?
- What is the treatment for jock itch?
- What home remedy can I use for jock itch?
- What holistic jock itch treatments are available?
- How do I treat fungal jock itch?
- How do I treat bacterial jock itch?
- How is itching from jock itch treated?
- What is the best drug for jock itch?
- Why is my groin still discolored?
- What is the prognosis with jock itch?
- When should someone call a doctor about jock itch?
- Is it possible to prevent jock itch?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
How is jock itch diagnosed?
The diagnosis of jock itch is usually based on the symptoms and skin appearance.
Occasionally, a small skin biopsy may be used to help the doctor confirm the diagnosis. Skin biopsy (surgically taking a small piece of skin using local numbing medicine) with histopathological (exam of tissue under the microscope) evaluation may also be useful in atypical or widespread cases. Sometimes skin biopsies help to exclude other possible diagnosis. Other times, a skin swab or culture may be taken and sent to the lab to detect an infectious cause of the jock itch. Imaging studies like X-rays or CT scans are not useful. A bacterial culture may be useful to check for bacteria like Staphylococcus on the skin. An examination with a special ultraviolet light, a Wood’s light and a microscopic examination of skin scrapings using potassium hydroxide may help to identify a fungal cause of jock itch. A few other medical conditions may look just like jock itch and can be examined more closely by a dermatologist.
Other medical conditions can mimic jock itch. Some possible mimics include
- ringworm, also called tinea cruris,
- atopic dermatitis,
- irritant or contact dermatitis,
- heat rash,
- dry skin (xerosis),
- inverse psoriasis.
Jock itch may be caused by athlete's foot, also called tinea pedis. The same fungus that causes athlete's foot in a person may actually spread to the groin in some cases. It is important to always check the feet for rashes in people with jock itch. Spread of the fungus usually occurs when fungal particles pass onto the crotch of the pants while actually getting dressed. Any foot infection must be treated in order to avoid recurrence of the jock itch.
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