The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Can jock itch or a fungal infection cause slight burning or aching?

Answer

Jock itch is a fungal infection in the skin. It generally looks like red areas with distinct edges. Depending on the type of organism infecting the skin, there might even be a pimple in the middle of the red areas or it might appear to be scaly. The rash is irritating and itches. In more severe cases, it might begin to break down the skin which would cause it to feel like a burning or aching. The red areas usually appear in areas that stay moist for an extended period of time, such as the genital area, feet, under waistbands, and in folds of skin.

If you suspect you have jock itch, an over-the-counter medication should take care of the problem. Be sure to follow the directions in the package. Often time men stop using the product once the obvious symptoms disappear. However, because the fungus buries itself in the skin, you usually have to use a product for a period of time even after the visible symptoms are gone to make sure it doesn't come back.

If you experience swelling or lumps, sores, or spreading of the rash you need to see a doctor. You might have something else. Anti-fungal medications only take care of fungus. It won't help with problems caused by a bacteria or a virus. Also see a doctor if your rash doesn't improve within two weeks of treatment.

Since the fungus needs moisture to survive, you can speed treatment and prevent future outbreaks by wearing loose fitting garments that allow moisture to evaporate. After showering, give your skin time to thoroughly dry before you get dressed. Instead of wearing underwear 24-hours a day, wear loose pajama pants or shorts at night without anything underneath. Be sure to change your underwear daily to prevent reintroducing fungus spores to your skin. Don't wear shoes all day long. Give your feet a chance to dry-out periodically. Finally, avoid sharing towels or clothing without washings between usage. You might end up sharing the fungus. All of these suggestions are aimed to allow the skin to dry for periods of time during a 24-hour day and to prevent reintroducing spores to your skin.