All men can recognize the signs of a fungal infection called tinea cruris, which is scary. In addition to itching in the genital area, inner thighs, and anus, a prominent rash, which begins to disappear in the middle area, forming a characteristic ring-like appearance, will also appear. Since you won't want to waste time scratching yourself all day, tinea cruris needs to be cured as soon as possible. Try the following treatment methods, and take steps to prevent tinea cruris from recurring.
Part 1 of 2: Treating Tinea Cruris
Step 1. Use an antifungal cream
The best choices include Lamisil, Lotrimin Ultra, and/or Naftin. These products are more expensive, but can cure tinea cruris quickly. Choose Lotrimin Ultra which contains butenafine hydrochloride over regular Lotrimin AF which only contains clotrimazole. Studies have shown that butenafine works faster and is more effective than clotrimazole. In addition, generic clotrimazole costs much less than Lotrimin AF (which contains clotrimazole).
- Less expensive clotrimazole or miconazole cream may also be used. These products take longer to cure tinea cruris, although they are effective.
- Even if the symptoms have disappeared, the cream still needs to be applied to the genital area for the duration of time stated on the package. Just like taking antibiotics until they run out, this cream must also be used until the time that has been set.
- Also treat tinea pedis at the same time if you have it. This method reduces the risk of the disease reappearing.
Step 2. Keep skin clean and dry
Be sure to dry yourself properly after showering as fungi thrive in warm and humid environments. When you can, don't wear underwear or go naked to expose the area of skin affected by tinea cruris to air. When you can't, at least wear boxer shorts instead of a brief.
Step 3. Don't wear clothes that rub or irritate the genital area
Don't wear underwear or tights of any kind.
Step 4. Don't scratch
Scratching will only exacerbate the irritation and risk causing skin tears that increase the chance of infection.
- Trim your fingernails if you can't stop scratching. Wear gloves when sleeping at night.
- Soak in cold water to relieve irritation. Sprinkle your bathwater with raw oatmeal, baking soda, or an ingredient called colloidal oatmeal (the Aveeno brand is a great choice) that's made specifically for mixing in bathwater. Just make sure you dry the genital area properly after you're done bathing.
Step 5. See a doctor if the red scales don't go away within two weeks, get worse, or turn yellow and ooze pus
Your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications:
Creams that must be purchased by prescription:
your doctor may prescribe strong antifungal creams, such as econazole and oxyconazole.
If tinea cruris becomes infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
Oral antifungal drugs:
Sporanox, Diflucan, or Lamisil are products that your doctor may prescribe. Gastrointestinal (digestive) disorders or impaired liver function may occur. If you are taking antacids or warfarin, oral antifungal drugs should not be taken. Another alternative, Grifulvin V, takes a long time to cure tinea cruris, but is safe for patients who are allergic to other antifungal drugs or have medical conditions that make taking other drugs dangerous.
Part 2 of 2: Preventing Tinea Cruris
Step 1. Take a shower every day
Don't delay bathing after sweating or exercising. Use mild soap and water. Do not use antibacterial soap or deodorant.
Step 2. Keep the genital area clean and dry at all times
If you are prone to tinea cruris, use antifungal powder or dryer on the genital area or athletic cup after bathing/bathing.
Step 3. Don't wear clothes or underwear that can exacerbate irritation
Choose loose clothing made of soft fabrics. Wear boxer briefs instead of briefs.
Step 4. Wash underwear and athletic cups frequently
Also, never share towels or clothes with other people. Tinea cruris can be spread by contact with clothing or athletic cups that are not washed properly.
Step 5. Wear socks before underwear if you have tinea pedis
This method prevents the fungus from spreading from the feet to the genital area.
Step 6. Immediately remove wet swim trunks and put on dry pants
Step 7. Do not store wet/damp clothes from water or sweat in a gym bag or locker
Instead, wash your workout clothes immediately after each use.
- Consider changing the gym if you have frequent tinea cruris or tinea pedis. You should of course look for a gym with a cleaner environment.
- If you have a compromised immune system, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or atopic dermatitis (a chronic genetic skin disease of itchy and inflamed skin associated with asthma and seasonal allergies), you may be more susceptible to developing tinea cruris. This is because the skin's protective system, which under normal conditions is able to protect the body from viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, is impaired. Take extra measures to prevent and treat tinea cruris. In addition, be aware of all the complications that may occur when experiencing tinea cruris.
- Reduce sugar intake because sugar is food for yeast, fungi, and bacteria.
- When you have tinea cruris, take two or more baths or showers each day, and change your underwear after each shower.
- Although tinea cruris is usually very easy to treat, sometimes complications, such as permanent skin discoloration, a secondary bacterial infection that requires the use of antibiotics, or side effects from the drugs used, can occur.
- Go to the emergency department immediately if the rash is accompanied by any of the following symptoms: fever, weakness, vomiting, widespread rash (especially to the trunk), swollen glands, lumps in the genital area, oozing pus, ulcers or open sores, furuncles, rash in the area of the penis or vagina, or difficulty urinating.