Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Is crotch rot a fungal infection?"
I have crotch rot. Is this bacterial? Fungal? What is it?
Crotch rot is a slang term for the condition that also goes by jock itch, gym itch, or crotch itch among others. The formal medical term for the condition is tinea cruris and it is caused by a fungal infection of the skin. It is caused by fungi termed dermatophytes, which is a generic name for a group of contagious fungi that can spread from person to person or through contaminated objects. When the infection occurs on the feet it is usually called athlete’s foot or more formally tinea pedis and when it occurs elsewhere on the body it is known as tinea corporis. Though certain diseases such diabetes increase the risk for fungal skin infections, they are quite common among healthy adolescents and young men, and jock itch frequently spreads among locker rooms and gyms. The most common symptoms are a rash and itching. Frequently the areas of skin folds can have the worst itching with a red, moist rash that usually does not involve the penis or scrotum as in your case. Depending on how long you’ve had the condition the rash can change in appearance. Your primary care physician can usually diagnose it by exam, though occasionally skin scrapings may be taken to look at under a microscope. There are a large variety of antifungal medications, though it is frequently necessary to take both oral medications and topical creams to clear the infection. Your primary care physician can best evaluate your symptoms and help find solutions that will work for you. Good luck!
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