Fungal skin infections can occur at different parts of the body – even the groin. So if you’ve begun to feel pain or an itch in your groin, the chances are that it’s an infection.
A groin area infection – also known as Tinea Cruris, Dhobie itch or Jock itch – occurs when temperature and humidity are raised.
More commonly found in men than women, groin area infection occurs when some types of fungal germs, which are found on human skin and usually do no harm, ‘invade’ the skin, multiply and cause infection.
You may, for example, not be drying your groin thoroughly enough – particularly in the skin folds. This makes your damp groin an ideal site for fungal germs to multiply. If you have a hairy groin, try using a hairdryer to dry yourself fully.
In most cases, your groin becomes itchy and a bit sore – primarily in the crease between the top of the leg and the genitals.
Red to red brown, slightly scaly skin then develops in the groin, generally with a definite edge or border.
The rash, which is symmetrical, appears clear from the centre, becoming redder at the edge and spreads outwards. It then often spreads a short way down the inside of both thighs.
In some cases, lesions affect the groins and the upper parts of the thighs.
This photo below (top left) shows the typical appearance of fungal groin infection (tinea cruris) and shows how it is treated with terbinafine cream until it is almost gone.
At Toome Pharmacy, our pharmacists are fully trained to be able to consult with you and prescribe medication to treat your groin area infection.
Under the Minor Ailment scheme, four medications can be prescribed:
Clotrimazole cream – this is applied to the affected area 2-3 times a day and continued for at least 4 weeks after the affected area has healed
Miconazole cream – applied to the affected area twice a day and continued for 10 days after all lesions are healed
Terbinafine gel – this is only prescribed for adults – and is applied thinly to the affected area once or twice a day for 7-14 days
Miconazole & HC cream – this is prescribed for skin that is severely inflamed.
There also seems to be some correlation between groin area infection and athlete's foot. Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection of the toes. The skin between the toes becomes itchy and flaky - especially between the outer two toes and the fungi from athlete's foot may spread to the groin. The same creams are used to treat athlete's foot and fungal groin infection.
During your consultation, our pharmacist may discuss with you the best way to avoid a recurrence of your groin area infection. They may, for example, suggest that you:
Wash your groin daily, then dry thoroughly – particularly in the skin folds. The damp groin is then an ideal site for fungal germs (fungi) to multiply. (A hairdryer is useful if you have hairy groins.)
Change your underwear daily since the fungi may multiply in flakes of skin in unwashed underwear.
Check for athlete’s foot. Many sufferers of groin area infection also have coexisting Athlete’s Foot, which should be treated to help prevent reinfection. During your consultation, our pharmacist will also be able to advise if athlete’s foot is present and will also be able to prescribe, if appropriate.
Do not share towels with people in communal changing rooms. Wash towels frequently.
Keep your own towel when you have a fungal skin infection to reduce the chance of passing on the fungus to others.