How To Deal With Crotch Itch
If there is a burning in your underpants and your crotch has been consumed by an itch that simply won’t go away, there’s a good chance you have what is commonly known as the curse of the sports junkie.
Not to put too finer point on it, the damp, warm sweaty conditions inside your pants can create the perfect breeding ground for the fungal infection ‘tinea curis’ – AKA, jock itch. And you don’t have to have the CV of a super athlete to get it.
Sweat, tight-fitting clothing, friction and warmth can all create the ideal environment for the fungal infection to take hold. The first sign is often a stubborn itch, accompanied by a burning sensation and a red, scaly rash. Left untreated jock itch can really take hold, and eventually cover the whole of the groin area, driving the poor individual to scratch distraction. However, the good news is that jock itch is easily treatable as well as preventable.
We’ve scratched beneath the surface to come up with a do-it-yourself plan to tackle a pesky crotch itch. Here are our 10 ways to kick jock itch out of the ballpark:
1. Don’t Scratch!
When an intimate itch takes hold, the desire to scratch can be overwhelming, but try to resist the urge. The short-term relief you may get is really not worth it and could actually make your itchy crotch even worse. Scratching can break the already irritated skin and increase the risk of infection. And if the cause of your jock itch is a fungal infection, there’s a good chance you’ll spread the infection to other parts of your body. Instead of a good old scratch when the burn gets too much, run a cool bath instead. And trim your fingernails right down to reduce any skin damage if you find you’re having the odd illicit scratch.
2. Wear Clean Underwear
This essential tip is part of jock itch prevention as well as cure. The moisture and bacteria in less than fresh underpants only add to crotch irritation and can contribute to any infections down below. Not only should you wear clean underwear every day but change to a fresh pair of workout underwear after any excessive sweating say from a tough session at the gym. Your choice of underpants also counts towards preventing or irritating an itchy crotch. Choose loose-fitting boxer briefs rather than those ‘tightie-whities’ and make sure they are made from soft, natural material such as cotton to reduce any friction, heat build-up and sweating. Underwear that rubs your crotch can also irritate the follicles in your pubic hair, leading to unsightly and uncomfortable in-growing hairs. Not a good look.
3. Avoid Irritants
We’re not talking Bob from Accounts here, and the way he tells really bad jokes at the watercooler, but chemical-based irritants that can cause your crotch itch to really flare up. If you are prone to rashes and itchy skin around your delicate parts, then avoid any grooming products that contain harsh chemicals, perfumes and dyes which could quite literally be getting under your skin. And check your washing powder and fabric conditioner too as they may also be contributing to that flaming feeling inside your pants.
4. Shower Immediately After Getting Physical
We’re sorry if this sounds like an order from your mom, but make sure you shower daily and especially after every gym or sport session. The longer you leave that sweat on your body, the easier it is for bacteria to take hold and cause a whole heap of itchy trouble down below. Use a mild soap or body wash and avoid harsh anti-bacterial or deodorizing soaps like the plague. And never share a towel with anyone else.
5. Keep The Area Dry
Yukky stuff likes to take hold in damp, warm conditions so take control of your itchy crotch by keeping the whole groin area clean and dry. Dry well with a fresh towel after your shower or bath then make sure the towel goes straight into the laundry basket and use a new towel for the rest of your body. Go naked every day (within the bounds of decency, of course) and let the air get at your irritated parts to cool and soothe. And if you’re a swimmer, never hang around in your damp swim shorts after getting out of the pool but take them off immediately, then wash and thoroughly dry them before wearing again.
6. Irritation-Free Shaving
You may not realize it, but your pubic hair grooming could be causing the irritation inside your pants. Shaving your pubes or keeping them closely cropped can help with your intimate hygiene as well as keeping your nether region neat, comfortable and cool but the way you trim could be making the jock itch worse. If you do manscape your crotch then here’s a few ways to keep any skin irritation and in-growing hairs at bay:
- Always use a new razor with a clean blade, or a pubic hair trimmer
- Trim long hairs with sharp scissors before shaving
- Soak the area first with warm water to soften the hairs
- Lather up with an unscented soap before shaving in the direction of the hair growth
- Pat the skin dry – do not rub
7. Use A Soothing Powder
If the itch is starting to drive you to distraction, reach for a bond powder instead of going in for a power scratch. A gently medicated powder will have a soothing effect on red and irritated skin, giving you some welcome relief from all that crotch heat. Many powders also contain baking powder or similar compounds which help dry up any moisture that can make your jock itch worse. Choose a talc-free formula for gentle soothing and calming to take the edge off a stubborn itch.
8. Chat To Your Local Pharmacist
A quick visit to your local drugstore can also offer a host of topical solutions to soothe the burning issue of your crotch itch. Over-the-counter (OTC) hydrocortisone creams can be used to treat minor irritation and itching, although they shouldn’t be used on broken skin. An anti-fungal cream can also help if there’s a mild skin infection to send your jock itch packing, while antihistamines can help to relieve itching, especially if your crotch flare up is due to an allergic skin reaction.
9. Look To Your Feet
It may sound like daft advice to look to your feet, but if you have an itchy crotch, it’s important to treat any other fungal infections you may have such as athletes’ foot to prevent cross-contamination. A quick tip to prevent any infection spreading from your feet upwards is to put your socks on before you put on your underwear or any other clothing. And never use the same towel to dry both your feet and crotch after a shower or swim.
10. When To See A Doctor
If despite your best efforts, your itchy crotch remains stubborn and has lasted for more than a week or you are starting to see the signs of infection, such as a fever, aches and pains, you and your crotch need to see the doctor pronto.
The doc can examine you to see if your irritation is actually caused by another condition, such as scabies, dermatitis or psoriasis. Even if it is a simple case of jock itch, it may also need more targeted treatment, such as antibiotics, oral anti-fungal medication or prescription-strength creams to take the burn out of that pesky crotch itch once and for all.
- All About Jock Itch – WebMD