How can I make skin discoloration from a fungus (presumably) go away?
June 18, 2005 10:26 PM   Subscribe

How can I make skin discoloration from a fungus (presumably) go away? details inside so those who don't want to be confronted with the state of my groin aren't.

For some years now I've had patches of darker skin on the inside of my thighs. They're somewhat irregularly shaped and have distinct edges (not a smooth transition from discolored to not discolored). I don't recall it ever itching, which is why I'm not sure it's jock itch or one of those fungi, as itching seems to be one of the main symptoms for those. Perhaps I've just forgotten it though, and it's just the skin discoloration that is left and the infection that is gone (browsing the web seems to suggest this can happen).

I'm not heading straight for the doctor here as that is expensive and it is just a cosmetic thing. It's a quite embarrassing cosmetic thing in those situations where the area comes into attention though. Can anyone give advice on how to get rid of it, I'm willing to try folk remedies, and anything not requiring a prescription would be good. Of course, a get-yee-to-a-doctor is welcomed too if that's the only thing for it.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Sorry if I'm totally off, but if it's between your thighs, are you sure it's not just darkening because that's where the skin rubs when you walk?
posted by IndigoRain at 11:00 PM on June 18, 2005

They make
OTC skin creams with a low-grade bleaching agent
that should lighten minor problems. Ask the druggist. (The one I vaguely recall was "Nadinola").
posted by RavinDave at 11:46 PM on June 18, 2005

Could it be this? If so go to your GP and ask for some Lamisil.
posted by 517 at 12:28 AM on June 19, 2005

Assuming it's because you're overweight and your thighs chafe when you walk, the FAQ about Physical Resources for Big Folks might have your answer.
posted by callmejay at 7:50 AM on June 19, 2005

Personally, I always think it's worth it to get it checked out if you're fortunate enough to have insurance. Then again, I'm a medical student and I think I have every disease I learn about.

517 could be right, but tinea versicolor doesn't usually present primarily in the groin (AFAIK)--it's usually on the chest or back. If it *is* tinea versicolor, the treatment is some selsun blue shampoo: the active ingredient, selenium sulfide, kills the fungus.
posted by gramcracker at 8:22 AM on June 19, 2005

Some of the fungi (ringworm/jock itch/etc) can in fact produce this sort of discoloration without noticeable itching. You don't mention having tried any of the over-the-counter anti-fungals. If you haven't, I'd get a tube of tolnaftate, clotrimazole, or some such and apply it daily for a week or two. If it's fungal, you'll probably see results pretty quickly.
posted by tdismukes at 12:38 PM on June 19, 2005

I've had just such discoloration in patches on my back for the past few years, and they're just as you describe. (I have friends and family with same condition -- some on their neck, some on their face, some on their things, etc.) My dermatologist explained that everybody has a bacteria that lives on their skin and that sometimes it's somewhat more successful than it ought to be. I was given a cream, and I apply it every time I get blotches. They disappear within a couple of days.
posted by waldo at 6:57 PM on June 19, 2005

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