Jock Itch Women

Jock itch is a fungal infection of the skin that normally occurs in the genital area. While it is most common in men, jock itch in women can also occur in that area, the thighs, breasts, or buttocks.

What is jock itch?

Jock itch, or Tinea crurisis, a fungal infection of the skin. It is often placed into the same category as ringworm by those who study it. Jock itch forms a rash on the skin, normally in the genital region, and causes itching, pain, and an unpleasant odor. It can be caused by wearing undergarments that are too tight or that rub the genital area, as well as by an overgrowth of bacteria brought on by poor hygiene and excessive sweating.

Jock itch is most common in men, but can also be found in women.

Causes of jock itch in women

As mentioned previously, one of the biggest contributing factors to jock itch in women is poor hygiene. The fungus begins to grow in places that are overly sweaty and full of bacteria, which is why this particular fungus prefers areas like the genitals and groin.

Jock itch in women can also be caused by wearing underwear that is too tight and does not breathe on a regular basis, as this allows sweat and bacteria to become trapped in the area. The fungus then takes root and begins to grow, feeding off of the bacteria present.

Jock itch in women is most often seen in women who are overweight or obese. Excess skin folds give the fungus more places to hide and create more spaces for sweat and bacteria to become trapped.

Some other causes of jock itch in women can include:

  • wearing wet clothing
  • wearing dirty clothing
  • sharing towels or clothes with someone infected with jock itch
  • not showering frequently enough
  • not cleaning oneself properly after working out
  • not changing underwear often enough
  • not taking proper care of one’s body in the hot summer months

Symptoms of jock itch in women

The symptoms of jock itch in women are very similar to those that are presented in males with this condition. Signs of jock itch include a rash that is itchy and sometimes painful. This rash is most usually red, but can also be brown or tan. It can also be scaly and feel rough to the touch. This rash normally begins in the genital area and can spread to the labia, buttocks, thighs, and legs. The rash has defined edges, and although it is related to ringworm, it does not limit itself to presenting in a circular pattern.

This rash can itch, burn and be very painful, and is often exacerbated by wearing tight clothing and/or exercising. If left untreated, it can lead to hair loss in the genital region. Women with advanced jock itch may find that their pubic hair begins to either break or fall out completely, and the skin around the area may darken.

How to treat jock itch in women

As one can tell from the description and symptoms, jock itch is not an enviable condition. It is very painful, uncomfortable, and embarrassing, and women who contract it want nothing more than to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Luckily, this condition is very treatable. There are some medications that can be used to eliminate the fungal infection, as well as some home remedies that may help ease the symptoms. Here is a look at both approaches, as well as some other tried and true cures for this bothersome condition:

  • Anti-fungal creams – These over-the-counter anti-fungal creams can usually take care of the infection. They work to kill the fungus and stop its growth and spread. Some of them even contain a pain reliever to reduce inflammation and make it easier to ride out the infection.
  • Anti-fungal spray – These serve the same purpose as the creams, but have been shown to be less effective at combatting the infection. A cream that one can rub in with one’s hands is preferred, but a spray can also work in a pinch.
  • Oral medications – Oral medications are often prescribed by doctors to heal jock itch in both men and women. These medications work to eliminate the infection from the inside out. Oral medications are often available only by prescription, so in order to utilize this method, one must make a visit to a doctor first.
  • Garlic paste – This home remedy might sound a bit far-fetched (and smelly), but it has been shown to be a great help in treating jock itch. Garlic has anti-fungal properties, which make it ideal for treating this infection. Simply create a garlic paste with smashed garlic and a bit of olive oil, and apply it to the skin without rubbing it in. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then wash off. Be aware, though, that the garlic paste may cause a burning sensation on sensitive skin.
  • Onion paste – If garlic is not available, one can also make a paste using smashed onions. Onions have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, so this remedy can attack the rash from many different angles. Leave on for 30 minutes, then wash off with water.
  • Mouthwash (Listerine) – Listerine mouthwash is not just for keeping infections and inflammation from causing problems in the mouth. Its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties can also be used to combat jock itch in both men and women. Simply place a bit of the mouthwash on a cotton ball, then apply to the infected area. Let it dry, then reapply two to three times a day for best results. There is no need to wash this off after application.

Jock itch prevention

These remedies are all well and good, but it is preferable to prevent this jock itch problem from occurring in the first place. One of the best ways for women to keep from getting jock itch (or to keep it from reappearing once it is gone) is to wear loose, clean, breathable clothing, especially in the genital region. Underwear should be changed frequently if one finds that they sweat a lot in that area, and showers after a workout session are a must. Cleaning the area once or twice a day, preferably with a pH-balanced soap, can go a long way toward keeping this infection from occurring or recurring, as can maintaining proper personal hygiene.

If one is infected or prone to this infection, they should also avoid eating too much spicy or sugary food, as this can also contribute to jock itch. The most important thing to remember, though, is to keep the area dry at all costs.