Tinea Cruris or Jock Itch
Tinea is a group of fungal infections caused by fungus of different varieties. Particular varieties of fungus have a preference for specific areas of the body. Tinea cruris is usually found in the crotch, or warm, moist areas of the body.
Commonly known as jock itch this type of Tinea is actually a ringworm infection of the groin, which is most commonly caused, by a yeast infection. The problem is more common in men than women and may be found on both of the upper inner thighs. Tinea cruris is most commonly caused by Epidermophyton floccosum or T. rubrum.
The ailment typically has a ringed lesion clearly visible on the skin with raised edges and may spread backwards to the anal area. Both sides of the groin may be affected. Sometimes the rash is further complicated by an infection caused by bacteria or candida. This also has to be treated.
Jock itch as the name suggests is usually very itchy and can re-occur particularly in summer when the patient perspires more easily. Inflammation, softening of the skin and in some cases scaling are factors to be considered with Tinea cruris. The patient may cause a form of dermatitis because of continually scratching the rash.
People who wear tight fitting clothing and who are over-weight seem to be more susceptible to the infection.
As with all conditions your Doctor should be consulted to diagnose and treat this condition. Ask your Doctor about the latest advice on this ailment.
• It is important to always have a healthy diet which is high in wholesome foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, lean protein etc., and low in fatty, sugary foods which are generally high in calories and low in nutritional value.
• Some dietary measures can be taken to minimise the growth of yeast in the bowel, which, in turn, reduces the likelihood of yeast infections such as Tinea cruris.
• Sugar provides the right environment in the bowel for candida albicans to thrive. If a person has a yeast infection it is advisable to avoid sugary foods including honey, soft drinks, lollies, chocolates, sweet desserts, cakes, biscuits etc.
• Eat acidophilus yoghurt regularly and take a course of acidophilus capsules after a course of antibiotics to help eradicate yeast organisms and re-establish a healthy balance of organisms in the bowel.
• The diet should be high in foods, which are good sources of fibre such as wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables. Eating only 2-3 pieces of fruit daily due to the high sugar content.
• Garlic has been shown to have anti-fungal activity and can be included in the diet every day. It is best to have garlic at a separate time to acidophilus as the antibiotic activity of garlic may interfere with the acidophilus organism.
Supplements may only be of value if dietary intake is inadequate.
• The essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity.
• Applying tea tree oil directly to the skin or diluted in a sorbolene cream base may help to destroy Tinea cruris. It is advisable to first apply a single drop of tea tree oil to a patch of skin to determine sensitivity. A slight stinging sensation is to be expected. Do not take tea tree oil internally.
• Probiotic supplements containing acidophilus and bifidus cultures help to restore the normal, healthy flora in the bowel that form a barrier to harmful bacteria. An acidophilus supplement may help to boost the immune system and improve the body's resistance to fungal infections.
• Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil and flaxseed oil) and Omega-6 fatty acids (found in evening primrose oil and starflower oil) are thought to have anti-inflammatory effects. This may be beneficial in cases of Tinea cruris, particularly if dermatitis has also occurred due to scratching.
• Fungal infections may indicate low immune function and an oversupply of harmful molecules (free radicals) may be present in the body. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, zinc, grape seed extract, coenzyme Q10 and selenium help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body.
• Vitamin E and vitamin C play important roles in maintaining the health of the skin. These vitamins strengthen the integrity of skin, promote the regeneration of damaged skin cells and help to prevent scarring. Vitamin C may be taken internally and vitamin E may also be taken internally and applied directly to unbroken skin.
• Calendula is a herb with anti-inflammatory properties. This herb may be used internally or externally as a sterile, cool compress to relieve soreness and inflammation of the skin or in the form of a cream to by used only on unbroken skin.
Ask your MedAux Pharmacist for advice.
1. Always wear cotton underpants to allow the skin to breathe.
2. Use a powder after bathing to help keep the area dry. Your Pharmacist may recommend an antifungal powder.
3. Antifungal creams and lotions are also available.
4. Follow the Diet Hints.
5. If the diet is inadequate consider some nutritional supplements.