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Itchy Skin in the Groin Area

Itchy Skin in the Groin Area

Overview

Your groin is the part of your body where your legs meet your torso and is marked by two skin creases that sit on either side of your genitals. Under certain circumstances, you can develop itching symptoms in your groin skin. Potential causes for this type of itching include jock itch, a rash called intertrigo and a skin disorder called lichen simplex chronicus.

Jock Itch

Jock itch, formally known as tinea cruris, is a specific form of the contagious fungal infection called ringworm, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus. Ringworm flourishes easily in moist, warm environments such as those found in the groins of men and teenage boys. You can trigger jock itch by wearing clothes that rub against your groin; the condition can also develop as a consequence of the prolonged presence of sweat or other moisture in your groin area. While jock itch typically causes less severe symptoms that other forms of ringworm, it often lingers for extended periods of time.

Intertrigo

You can develop intertrigo anywhere on your body where your skin is moist or creases and rubs together, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Potential sources of this non-contagious rash include fungal, bacterial and yeast infections. Most individuals who develop intertrigo have diabetes or are significantly overweight. In addition to itching and the presence of a reddish-brown rash, potential symptoms of intertrigo include raw, oozing, cracked or bleeding skin and the presence of a foul odor.

Lichen Simplex Chronicus

Lichen simplex chronicus is commonly associated with another itch-related skin condition called eczema, Medline Plus reports. It can also occur in individuals who have the skin condition psoriasis, as well as in individuals who have psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. The condition commonly occurs in children, who have a tendency to repeatedly scratch areas of irritated skin. If you have lichen simplex chronicus, scratching of your affected skin can lead to even more intense itching symptoms. Eventually, this itch-scratch cycle can lead to the formation of skin lesions or patches with a distinctive, leathery texture.

Treatments

You can treat mild cases of jock itch with nonprescription products that contain medications called allylamines or medications called azoles, the Mayo Clinic reports. If you have severe jock itch, your doctor may prescribe stronger topical or oral medications. If you have mild intertrigo, try to keep your skin aerated and dry. Your doctor may prescribe antifungal or antibiotic creams if you have a more serious case of the disorder. If you have lichen simplex chronicus, the most important step is to stop scratching your affected skin. Potential healing medications include salicylic acid ointments and lotions or soaps that contain coal tar.

Considerations

You can also develop groin itching if you have pubic lice or come in contact with certain chemical irritants, Medline Plus explains. Individuals with compromised immune systems can have a hard time resolving jock itch symptoms, the Mayo Clinic notes. Lichen simplex chronicus can recur after treatment or develop in a new spot on your skin.

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