ZocdocAnswersHow can I tell if I have jock itch or crabs?

Question

How can I tell if I have jock itch or crabs?

Are they the same? Is jock itch an STD? The itching is really bad.

Answer

Jock itch and crabs are actually two completely different things. Jock itch is caused by a fungal infection of the skin that happens to be in the groin area. The other name for jock itch is tinea cruris. Jock itch usually causes irritation and redness of the skin and can itch really bad. The treatment for jock itch includes keeping that area dry and clean, and the use of topical antifungal medications when necessary. Crabs are a type of hair lice called pediculosis pubis. They are small parasites that live in pubic hair and can be transmitted through intimate contact, towels and shared clothing. They also itch badly, but they don't cause redness of the skin. Of course the scratching itself can cause irritation which sometimes can make it difficult to tell what is causing the problem. The treatment for pediculosis pubis is a medicated cream that kills the parasites. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). He or she can take a close look at your groin area and determine what you have. From there, you can get the appropriate treatment fast so that you feel better as soon as possible. Good luck.

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