Jock itch is a contagious fungal infection that can be easily spread to other parts of a person’s body.
So how does a fungal infection spread on the outer layer of a person’s skin and manifest itself for example in the groin or feet? To understand this it is necessary to understand what causes fungal infections in the first place.
Fungi are present everywhere in our environment and fungi that cause infection in humans are known as dermatophytes. Dermatophytes are particularly attracted to a type of tissue known as keratin – a protein that makes up our skin, hair and nails.
Dermatophytes are tiny microscopic fungal spores which are invisible to the naked eye. These spores usually do no harm. However if conditions are right they can invade the skin, multiply and cause infection. The conditions fungi like best are warm, moist and airless areas of the skin.
Dermatophyte spores can be spread in a number of different ways:
- Coming into direct physical contact with an infected person for example when having sex;
- Petting or stroking an infected animal;
- Infected persons can leave traces of fungal spores on objects for example towels, clothing, bed linen or hair brushes; or
- Infected persons can leave traces of fungal spores on surfaces for example communal floors.
Jock Itch Treatment
When treating jock itch you should always bear in mind that it’s contagious. So when applying antifungal creams to your groin ensure to wash your hands before and after each application to avoid spreading fungal spores to other parts of your body. Try not to scratch the infected area, and if you do, wash your hands immediately. During your jock itch treatment ensure to change your underwear on a daily basis (as it is likely to contain fungal spores). Wash bed linen and towels and where possible try and wear loose clothing to allow the moisture from your skin to evaporate.
Once you have got rid of jock itch it is crucially important that you observe basic hygiene, and try to ensure that you don’t provide conditions that allow fungi to thrive. Wash daily, don’t share towels, and wear loose clothing and cotton underwear.
By observing basic hygiene this may help prevent you from contracting a fungal infection in the future.