Not sure if you are suffering from jock itch or something more sinister? Read on for a look at the 10 most common skin irritations.
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the human body? It has a total surface of about 2 square yards. It is an organ that separates the inside part of the body from the outside world. Skin also protects the human body from different bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but also regulates the body temperature. That’s cool huh? And worth protecting!
Different medical conditions and irritants can cause all kinds of various and unfriendly skin irritations including jock itch. There are a lot of different skin conditions, but chances are that you are suffering from one of the ones listed below. These are the 10 most common skin problems that affect both men and women:
Impetigo skin condition – What is impetigo?
Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection that usually occurs in infants and children (but can actually still occur on the skin of adults as well, though this is definitely less common!).
It is characterised by red sores located on the face around the nose and the mouth, which can totally be a potential date killer – think acne on steroids! Impetigo can also appear on the hands and feet. The sores burst with time and then serious crusts develop.
Treatment of impetigo typically means using antibiotic drugs in order to treat this skin infection. Children affected with impetigo should most definitely stay at home for a couple of days in order to prevent the spread of this infection to other children and adults. If you have Impetigo, there is good news! Impetigo is actually no longer contagious once the antibiotic treatment is started. This usually kicks in after the first 24 hours of the antibiotic treatment being started.
Intertrigo skin condition – What is Intertrigo?
Intertrigo is a nasty skin condition caused from friction.
Typically this friction is of the skin – to – skin kind. Intertrigo is usually located in warm and moist areas of the body, such as in the skin folds, on the inner thighs, under armpits, in the groin area, under the breasts, etc. (in this respect intertrigo is very similar to jock itch!).
In the affected areas the skin is more sensitive and sometimes even painful. In severe cases, it can result in oozing sores and cracked skin. Sometimes bleeding sores also occur – not a pretty picture! Intertrigo presents a good environment for any bacterial or fungal infections of the skin, essentially it creates an environment on the skin where bacteria will be lining up around the corner to grow on.
If the affected area is maintained clean and dry as much as possible, this skin condition will typically resolve itself! However, in cases when skin infections occur, drug treatment is necessary, this can be in the form of creams and cleansers.
Psoriasis skin condition – What is Psoriasis?
Psoriais is a super common skin problem that affects both men and women.
This skin condition changes the normal life cycle of the skin cells making them to grow rapidly. These extra skin cells form a thick, itchy, scaly texture which looks like dry skin with red patches, sometimes psoriasis can also be very painful. It is a persistent and chronic disease characterized also by periods of a total remission.
The real cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is believed that it results from problems of the immune system. There are different types of psoriasis known, like scalp psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, nail psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, erythrodermic psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, etc.
The treatment aims to stop the formation and a quick growth of the new skin cells. There is no cure for psoriasis, but with certain treatments, a significant relief of its signs and symptoms can be achieved. There is no doubt that psoriasis can be particularly nasty.
Rosacea skin condition – What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin condition affecting mostly adults. It affects the skin of the face which tends to get red especially on the forehead, chin, cheeks and nose. The real cause of rosacea is not known. There is no treatment for rosacea, even though sometimes antibiotics can help minimize its signs and symptoms.
Atopic dermatitis skin condition – What is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic Dermatitis is also known by its more common name of eczema. Eczema is a skin condition characterised by redness and itchiness of the skin. This skin condition is more common among children, but it can occur at almost any age, and in fact is still a leading skin condition in adults too.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that tends to get worse at certain times, followed by periods of sweet, peaceful, remission (before being plunged back into a world of dry skin and itchiness). Children having this skin condition have also problems with asthma or hay fever.
The exact cause of atopic dermatitis is not known (who would have thought the skin could be such a mystery!). However, it is believed that a mix of various factors contributes. Some of the known factors that can lead to atopic dermatitis include environmental conditions, certain types of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, a gene variation that affects the normal barrier function of the skin, dysfunctions of the immune system, etc.
The signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis vary from one person to another. Characteristic signs and symptoms include: itchiness of the skin, especially at night, red patches on the skin, usually located on the feet, hands, ankles, wrists, neck, eyelids as well as in the upper chest. Sometimes even small and raised bumps on the skin may appear which tend to leak fluid and crust over if scratched.
The skin also tends to get thick, cracked and even dry. Even today, no cure has been found for atopic dermatitis. But worry not! Self care measures combined with certain types of medications can help relieve the skin rash and itchiness, as well as prevent the new outbreaks. This is one of the most common causes of skin irritation but with the right treatment can be mitigated successfully.
Contact Dermatitis skin condition – What is Contact Dermatitis?
Contact Dermatitis is a skin condition caused by any irritating substance that touches the skin (a good example of contact dermatitis is poison ivy).
Contact dermatitis is characterised by redness of the skin, skin bumps, blisters, crusts, and sores. Itchiness is super dooper common. Treatment usually includes washing the skin, steroid medications, anti – histaminic drugs. The most important thing is to avoid the substance that irritates the skin, as this is the actual causer of contact dermatitis (so no more rolling around in the hay ok! Yep, we ruin all the fun).
Heat rash skin condition – What is Heat Rash?
Also known as miliaria (not to be confused with milaria), is a skin condition characterized by small and itchy rashes that often pop up in the warmer seasons. For this reason heat rash is actually most common during the summer months. Heat rash can affect people of any age, but it is more common among children and infants. This is due to the fact that their sweat glands are underdeveloped and therefore cannot release the sweat the body needs to release in order to cool down. Heat rash tends to resolve itself on its own, but avoiding excessive heat, humidity and wearing light and comfortable clothes can help resolve this skin condition much faster. In this way it is very similar to jock itch.
Hives skin condition – What are Hives?
Hives are also known by a name that is much more difficult to pronounce and much less cute. Hives go by the name urticaria, and is a skin irritation that comes suddenly due to an allergic reaction to a certain type of food or drugs. Allergic people are more likely to have hives than people who aren’t susceptible to allergies.
However, there is likely no person in the world who has never had hives in his/her life. So don’t think for a second you are wallowing in your hives skin condition on your own, you are not! Hives tends to resolve itself on its own, but in serious cases medical assistance is necessary.
Shingles skin condition – What is shingles?
The disastrous shingles is a skin and neurologic disorder caused by a reactivation of varicella – zoster virus (VZV). The VZV virus is the same that causes chickenpox.
People who have once had chickenpox in their life can have shingles many years later as the virus remains dormant in the nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. The signs and symptoms of shingles usually occur on one side of the body, never crossing the medial line. Characteristic signs and symptoms of shingles include pain in the affected area, a burning sensation, numbness and even a tingling sensation.
The affected area has a higher sensitivity to touch. Redness and skin rash starts a few days after the pain, accompanied also by fluid – filled blisters that tend to break and crusts develop. Itchiness of the affected area is also very common as well as high fever, fatigue, headache, etc. There is no cure for shingles, but antiviral medications and symptomatic treatment tend to relieve its signs and symptoms as soon as possible, also preventing possible complications. Shingles is a very serious condition, so if you think you may have shingles you should definitely take yourself off to the doctor immediately!
Lichen Planus skin condition – What is Lichen Planus?
It is a common skin problem, characterised by lesions or bumps on the skin. The skin lesions tend to spread over a few weeks and moths all over the body. Itchiness is common in the affected areas. This skin condition tends to resolve within 6 to 16 months.
Oh, and lets not forget the mother of all horrible, painful and embarrassment inducing skin conditions….drum roll please…. The one, the only, jock itch.
You didn’t think we had forgotten jock itch did you?
Jock itch, otherwise known as tinea cruris (yes jock itch and tinea cruris are the same thing!) can be a complete bummer but at least you can take comfort in the fact that you are not suffering from jock itch alone.
Did you know that as much as 7/10 men suffer jock itch symptoms at least once, it’s super common. And whatever you do, don’t let the name fool you, you definitely don’t need to be a jock to get yourself some crotchy itch!
That being said, Tinea Cruris is common with athletes, sportspeople and anyone who sweats consistently. Jock itch is definitely more common in the male side of the species but women can get jock itch too (the underside of the boob is a common spot – what would that be called? Boob itch?).
Jock itch occurs more in people of an overweight variety as there is more skin chafing and general sweating, and man boobs (aka. Meatloaf!).
So what causes Jock itch?
Well, it can be caused by even the most simple things.
- Hot and humid weather (suddenly that holiday to Thailand ain’t looking so good!)
- Friction. This can come from wearing tight clothes (especially wet bathing suits).
Obesity and diabetes have been proven to soften your immune system. This can increase your chances of being susceptible to the danger down under.
How do you know if you have jock itch?
Jock itch symptoms include:
- Redness of the skin in groin, thigh and bum areas
- A chaffing, burning and/or itching
- Red, raised rash that is elevated from unaffected skin
- Flaking, cracked skin that is easy to peel away.
How do I get rid of it? What is the jock itch cure?
Ahh, the million dollar question!
Do you want the good news, or the better news? Ok, good news first. The good new is that jock itch can be treated with self care, that’s right, just a lil’ bit of TLC from yourself to…yourself.
Creams, sprays and powders that you can purchase over the counter will definitely be able to help you clear up the red ball revolution going on in your pants.
Head over to our comparison table where we have put the best jock itch medications head to head for your benefit.
If natural remedies are more your go then check out “top 10 natural jock itch cures” here.
Is your jock itch worth going to the doctor for?
As a rule, you should most likely go to the doctor. It is always best to get an educated opinion from the doctor. You might find out that you have a rare strain of irritation and the medical journals want to study you and pay you millions of dollars to do so. Not likely, but you know, anything can happen.
Jock itch doesn’t usually have to be escalated to a doctor, however if you are really suffering badly then a doctor may have to prescribe you a stronger course of medications. Don’t worry though…they’ve seen it all before.
Take a look at our Jock Itch remedies here!