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Fungal Infections of the Skin

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How Is Athlete's Foot Treated?

Athlete's foot is treated with topical antifungal medication (a drug placed directly on the skin) in most cases. Severe cases may require oral drugs (those taken by mouth). The feet must be kept clean and dry since the fungus thrives in moist environments.

How Is Athlete's Foot Prevented?

Steps to prevent athlete's foot include wearing shower sandals in public showering areas, wearing shoes that allow the feet to breathe, and daily washing of the feet with soap and water. Drying the feet thoroughly and using a quality foot powder can also help prevent athlete's foot.

Jock Itch

Jock itch, also called tinea cruris, is a common skin infection that is caused by a type of fungus called tinea. The fungus thrives in warm, moist areas of the body and as a result, infection can affect the genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks. Infections occur more frequently in the summer or in warm, wet climates.

Jock itch appears as a red, itchy rash that is often ring-shaped.

Is Jock Itch Contagious?

Jock itch is only mildly contagious. The condition can be spread from person to person through direct contact or indirectly from objects carrying the fungus.

What Are the Symptoms of Jock Itch?

Symptoms of jock itch include: 

  • Itching, chafing, or burning in the groin or thigh
  • A circular, red, raised rash with elevated edges
  • Redness in the groin or thigh
  • Flaking, peeling, or cracking skin

How Is Jock Itch Diagnosed?

In most cases, jock itch can be diagnosed based on the appearance and location of the rash. If you are not certain that the condition is jock itch, contact your doctor. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and will perform a physical exam. A microscopic exam of the scales of skin can confirm the diagnosis.

How Is Jock Itch Treated?

In most cases, treatment of jock itch involves keeping the affected area clean and dry and applying topical antifungal medications. Jock itch usually responds to over-the-counter antifungal creams and sprays. However, prescription antifungal creams are sometimes necessary. During treatment of jock itch, be sure to: 

  • Wash and dry the affected area with a clean towel
  • Apply the antifungal cream, powder, or spray as directed
  • Change clothes -- especially underwear -- everyday
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