What is Jock Itch?
Jock itch is a fungal rash that can appear on the groin, thighs, or buttocks. Jock itch itself isn’t particularly harmful, even if it is uncomfortable. It is not an STD, but rather a fungus that forms on moist areas of the body that accumulate a lot of sweat. That’s why athletes in particular are at risk for developing it or other fungal conditions like athlete’s foot.
Symptoms of Jock Itch
Jock itch rashes are red, itchy, and can contain ridges of small blisters. Also, individuals with jock itch may experience peeling or flaking skin. Jock itch is similar to other fungal conditions such as ringworm.
Is Jock Itch Contagious?
Jock itch can spread from person-to-person through skin-to-skin contact. Or, it can also spread by wearing the unwashed clothes (or using a towel) of someone who has jock itch. Anyone can get jock itch, but it does not spread like an STD, and though sexual activity can act as a conduit to spread jock itch, you can develop jock itch without having sex.
Jock Itch vs Herpes
While genital herpes (HSV-2) can cause inflammation on the skin (rashes), it most often manifests in other ways such as small bumps on or around the genitals. These pustules resemble pimples and zits more so than jock itch, though. And most of the time herpes symptoms are mild, nonexistent, or difficult to notice.
The STD that also bears a close resemblance to jock itch is syphilis. If left untreated, syphilis will progress through three distinct phases, the second of which is characterized by a rash or rashes. Unlike jock itch, which is restricted to the groin region, a syphilis rash can appear anywhere on the body –– often on the hands or feet. In addition, syphilis rashes don’t itch and may be faint. Other symptoms of second-stage syphilis include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and headaches. Note here that syphilis rashes will go away with or without treatment. Even if you stop experiencing outward symptoms, it doesn’t mean the STD has left your system!
How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Jock Itch?
There are a number of over-the-counter medicines that can treat jock itch. Normally, it takes anywhere from two-to-four weeks for over-the-counter methods to treat and cure jock itch. If you’re still experiencing symptoms after that time period, you can also ask your doctor for more potent antifungal medication.