Why My Scrotum Itches Like Crazy
“””I’m sorry to bother you,”” says my wife as she walks into our bedroom one night after I’ve just come home from work. “”Is your scrotum itchy?””
My eyes instantly go wide with surprise. “”Yes!”” I say without hesitation. In fact, my left testicle has been itching for days now and I’d almost forgotten about it — until this moment when my wife suddenly brought it back up to mind.
She then proceeds to explain to me what’s going on with my left testicle. Apparently, it’s swollen and itchy. She asks if there’s any discharge coming out of it. There isn’t anything at all. And yet, the more I think about it, the worse my irritation seems to get.
After she gets off the phone, I sit down next to her on our bed and take a closer look at my left testicle. Sure enough, there does appear to be some sort of round growth emerging on the underside of it. When I touch the spot where I think it might be located, it feels kind of bumpy. Curious, I decide to dig deeper and see exactly what’s happening under the surface of my skin. Surprisingly, I find that the area underneath my skin looks similar to something growing inside of a mushroom.
It turns out I have jock itch (also known as tinea cruris). Jock itch is actually an infection caused by a type of fungi called dermatophytes. These types of molds are found most commonly on the pubic region, especially near the genitals. One particular species of dermatophyte called T. mentagrophytes is responsible for causing jock itch, which affects both men and women equally. This fungal infection can also occur elsewhere on the body but usually only appears in specific regions due to their high moisture content.
The symptoms of jock itch vary depending upon the severity of the disease. Generally speaking though, people who suffer from it will experience a number of different sensations including rashes, sores and intense itching. Some may even feel burning pain and discomfort. But no matter how severe the itching becomes, it typically goes away within a few weeks once treated properly.
Now that we know what jock itch is, let’s talk more about why it occurs in the first place.
Jock Itch Causes
When talking about the cause of jock itch, it helps to understand that the condition takes its name from the muscles surrounding the male genitalia. Specifically, they refer to the crevices between the inner thigh and the lower abdominal wall. Those crevices tend to become ideal environments for the fungus to thrive in. Basically, the fungus lives on the sweaty, dark places you don’t want to visit during regular day-to-day activities.
Dermatophytes love to live in warm, humid climates. That means that the crotch is perfect environment for them. They’re able to grow quickly because of the high amount of sweat present in the area. Also, since it tends to be so hot in this part of the body, bacteria doesn’t stick around for long, meaning that the skin is constantly being washed clean of germs. As a result, the areas surrounding the groin are prone to becoming infected with jock itch.
Of course, not every man experiences jock itch. For those guys, the problem lies somewhere else. Typically, the infection takes hold in other parts of the body such as the armpits, buttocks, thighs and feet. If you ever notice a reddish patch popping up anywhere on your body, make sure to consult a doctor immediately. You could be suffering from another type of bacterial or fungal infection.
Treating Jock Itch
So, how do you treat jock itch? Well, it depends on how bad the situation is. If you’re experiencing mild irritation, over-the-counter anti-fungal medications should help clear things up. However, if the irritation persists longer than a week or two, it’s probably time to seek medical attention.
A physician may prescribe topical anti-fungal medication designed specifically to fight against the offending germ. A prescription ointment works best at treating jock itch. Topical treatments are applied directly onto the affected area and allow the medicine to soak in faster than oral medications. Oral medications work well too. Just keep in mind that taking certain antibiotics will increase the risk of developing jock itch. So, if you think you’ve already taken one recently, you should avoid taking another one.
Overall, it’s important to remember that jock itch is pretty easy to treat. With proper care and treatment, most cases resolve themselves within a short period of time.”