Can I pass jock itch to a sexual partner?
April 5, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Is tinea cruris easily sexually transmissible?

(Male, USA, mid-40's)

I had what I thought was just irritable skin on my inner thighs so I typically wear bike-short like "performance" nylon-lycra boxer briefs for hiking so my thighs don't rub together. Three days ago, I walked 3 miles in jeans and got badly chafed.

I'm seeing the doctor on the 13th. In the meantime, I'm treating with over the counter 1% hydrocortisone cream and a clotrimazole spray. I also have an infection in a toenail, so I'm going to ask about an oral antifungal which I hope would knock out everything.

The pictures of tinea I'd seen before had little red dots, but this is big patches like Wikipedia's pictures. It doesn't itch, but when rubbed from walking just hurts like I'd expect skin rubbed raw to. That's why I didn't treat for tinea before. Also my dad & son have eczema. I have a tendency, but not as strong. My dad was treated as a teenager for athlete's foot repeatedly to no avail (made it worse really). My (pre-teen) son had eczema and athlete's foot at the same time between his toes which was treated effectively with prescription steroid cream and antifungal cream

I have a date this weekend. Am I putting her at risk of a yeast infection or jock itch if we have sex?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
I bet you've been googling and already found this, but just in case you missed it:
Tinea cruris is not often considered to be a sexually transmitted disease, but skin-to-skin genital contact could lead to inoculation in the partner's groin. While the condition is not as common in females, it can occur due to sexual transfer, and simultaneous treatment for the male partner should also be recommended to prevent reinoculation.
Your date will probably notice, so why not discuss it?
posted by Houstonian at 1:04 PM on April 5, 2012

I get the same chaffing when I am not wearing my lyrca shorts and never considered it anything but chaffing. Yes, the rash is similar to those photos in the wikipedia article. But they also are similar to other forms of eczema or other skin maladies. In my case the chaffing appears lower on the thigh than pictured, away from folds in the skin, no redder border, and without the itch. If you do a very NSFW and NSFL google image search of jock itch pictures, you'll see most of the photos are not similar to what you see in chaffing. The problem is it doesn't present itself the same in everyone so looking at pictures on the internet is not a suitable diagnosis. Obviously, only a professional examining your rash can make the call that it is definitely jock itch.

And if it is jock itch then yes, as Houstonian cites, it can be transmitted during sexy time.
posted by birdherder at 1:26 PM on April 5, 2012

Get some SHAKE (not spray) powder for feet (they don't make it for yer junk). Any of the usual brands will do. Shake a tablespoon into your hands after you've put on your drawers, and powder the area heavily. Do this 3/day. Soothing, healing, and anti-chafe all in one!

(A dermatologist friend also had me wash - gently - with Hibiclense in the shower. Just on your inner thighs, though, not your junk.)
posted by notsnot at 1:52 PM on April 5, 2012

If you have oral sex, the one performing the sex can get it on their lips, especially the corners of the mouth. Don't ask me how I know :P
posted by fifilaru at 3:46 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

At the very very least, "Don't worry, that's not ringworm, it's probably just some kind of eczema" is not a sexy phrase. Probably better dial back your plans for the evening.
posted by ErikaB at 4:00 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah to second ErikaB here, if your date is with anyone except a committed girlfriend, I'm gonna suggest getting this taken care of before you undress with her. If I were your date, I would want absolutely no part of anything that you so much as suspect should be treated with clotrimazole. Fungal infections of all sorts suck, and I would decline another date with anyone who knowingly put me at risk of potentially catching a potential fungal infection.
posted by ootandaboot at 5:05 PM on April 5, 2012

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