Groin rash can be irritating and at times embarrassing. While commonly known as jock itch, that is only one type of groin rash. Other causes range from conditions like contact dermatitis, inflammatory conditions or symptoms that may result from yeast or other infections.
Tinea cruris, also known as jock itch because it is common among athletes and others who perspire a lot, is a fungal infection that develops a red, itchy rash on the genitals, buttocks and inner thighs. Treatment usually includes topical antifungal medications and necessitates keeping the groin area dry and clean.
Jock itch can be spread from person to person by using a contaminated towel, shared clothing, or direct contact through intercourse.
Another itchy groin rash associated with sweating is heat rash. The tiny bumps that make up this rash are not limited to the groin area, but may develop on other clothed parts of the body. It most often develops during bouts of hot weather and is most often found on active people, babies, and people who are bedridden. This condition can most often be remedied by staying in a cooler environment.
Other Groin Rash Causes
While jock itch and heat rash are common, groin rashes have many different causes. The following causes need medical intervention for treatment:
- Childhood diseases: Includes rubella, roseola, measles, chickenpox and fifth disease.
- Erythrasma: This chronic superficial bacterial is found in skin folds.
- HIV: About two to four weeks following infection with the HIV virus, a number of symptoms including fever, vomiting, headaches, rash and more are often displayed.
- Molluscum contagoisum: A viral skin infection spread person-to-person or by contact with contaminated objects.
- Pubic lice: Pubic lice latch on to pubic hair and feed on blood. Symptoms include itching, rash and in some cases skin discoloration.
- Scabies: Scabies is caused by the infestation of the itch mite. The resulting symptoms include itching and a pimply rash that may also blister and scale. While the rash affects the penis and buttocks areas, it isn't limited to the groin. It may also manifest on other areas of the body including:
- Webbing between the fingers
- Shingles: Shingles is another rash not limited to the groin area. It often appears on the truck of the body or buttocks. Anyone who has had chickenpox is susceptible to developing shingles. Symptoms may start with a slight burning, tingling, or sensitivity. This is followed by a rash that develops into painful blisters. The rash lasts for approximately two weeks. In most cases pain and numbness disappear with the rash, but for some people these symptoms can last for months or years. Doctors use a number of prescriptions and topical agents to help treat this condition.
Allergic Reactions and Skin Conditions
Along with the above causes of groin rash, other considerations for such rashes include allergic reactions to allergens such as poison ivy or oak, or skin conditions including dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis.
Intertrigo is a skin condition that leads to inflammation of folds in the skin. This condition is more prevalent in overweight people and people who have diabetes. Symptoms can produce a reddish-brown groin rash, but this rash may appear anywhere on the body where skin rubs again skin or where moisture is trapped. Along with the groin other common areas that exhibit intertrigo include:
- Between toes
- Underside of the belly
- Underside of breasts
- Neck crease
- Skin between the buttocks
Don't Self Diagnose
The itching of groin rash may seem like a minor inconvenience, but symptoms may be a signal of something more serious that requires your doctor's attention. Don't self-diagnose your problem. If you have a rash in the groin area, call and talk to your doctor. He'll be able to determine whether or not you should come in for an office visit or suggest a remedy to relieve your symptoms.