Jock itch gone too long
October 12, 2021 5:49 AM   Subscribe

I gained some weight and now have itchy groin problems. I'd love your help getting my skin to heal.

Background: I have male genitals. during pandemic I began bodybuilding, mostly through Olympic weights, including squats. I've put on a lot of muscle, including thighs.

Never having thick thighs before, I noticed they started to rub together a bit. Sometimes it would be a little uncomfortable. So, I bought some gold-bond-friction defense stick. I put it on my thighs and groin. I was also walking 20k steps per day.

I used it daily for 3 months or so. And then, I developed a bad itching problem. It was worst in the crease of my leg and groin, but it effected the whole groin area.

I determined the issue could be jock itch, so I bought a cream and a spray-powder. They seem to work well to alleviate the itching. I also use a hair dryer to dry the area. After all this time, I think it could have been trapped moisture in the area, not fungal or chafing related. My excessive scrubbing and cleaning probably made it worse, not better. But, it's still having trouble healing:

Now, after itching and trapping moisture in those creases, the skin feels weak, raw, and tender. It also still itches when I sweat! I feel like my creases need to heal, but I'm not sure how to let them heal while also keeping them dry.

Does anyone have any advice? Does anyone know what condition (chafed skin in a fold for months) I might have that I could Google for myself?

Thanks so much
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A&D ointment works well to heal, protect and sooth the skin after these kinds of issues. It's not dry... but it creates a protective layer, and won't contribute to moisture related issues. I've used it for the same problems you are having. I do get my skin as dry as possible before applying.
posted by kimdog at 5:56 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]

See a dermatologist! That's what they're for. If you do have an infection of some kind, you need to treat it, and you need to treat the actual infection you have, rather than whatever the handiest product at the drugstore treats.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:56 AM on October 12 [15 favorites]

It's probably thrush (yeast.) You can treat it with Clotrimazole.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:04 AM on October 12 [7 favorites]

This is very common with Type 2 diabetes patients like me.
Cotton underwear. Try to let air get to the area when at home, like at bed time.
Talk to your HCP. And best of luck!
posted by markbrendanawitzmissesus at 6:48 AM on October 12

I agree that the first step is to check there's no infection. If not, then A&D is your friend.
posted by essexjan at 8:30 AM on October 12

When you go to the doctor make sure they check your blood sugar. Chronic yeast infection that doesn't go away (or reoccurs) after treatment can be the result of high blood glucose. Yeast thrives in such conditions. I (type 2 diabetic) had a yeast infection that Would. Not. Fuck. Off. in spite of tube after tube of OTC cream, until getting on Metformin and insulin finally brought my blood sugar into line.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:48 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]

Nthing see a doctor, a dermatologist if possible. I had something similar that I was attempting to treat with OTC stuff, which helped a little but never fully took care of the problem. My primary care doc prescribed multiple rounds of antibiotic creams and antifungal meds; these cleared up the problem superficially, but my skin never quite got back to normal and the infections would soon return. It eventually spread to other body parts and progressed to the point where I was bedridden at times.

I was then referred to a dermatologist, who after examining me for approximately 8-10 seconds diagnosed me with a rare skin disease (later confirmed by biopsy). Not saying you have the same thing by any means, but the speed with which the specialist figured out my deal was truly astonishing. I want to cry when I think about the all the effort, expense, and time spent in pain and discomfort that I could have avoided if I'd been seen sooner.
posted by purplemonkie at 12:35 PM on October 12

i get something like this a lot. officially diagnosed as intertrigo. prevention is key. if i'm about to do a sweaty activity, i slather myself in diaper rash cream in the creases to keep things from rubbing together too much (underwear elastic can HURT!). i prefer balmex as it doesn't reek of cod liver oil like desitin does. if you're in canada or uk, sudocrem is also great. to heal it after it gets bad, i use a topical prescription steroid ointment. it usually heals in about 1-1.5 weeks, but the skin does always feel much thinner and fragile.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:47 PM on October 12

I certainly agree with seeing a dermatologist. Your treatment and attention may have created a skin problem different from jock itch. Don't see your GP because a dermatologist will be more familiar with the appearance of different skin problems.

But knowing that men (I'm one) can be stubborn about seeing doctors, let me add my two-cents about jock itch.

Don't use deodorant soap on the area. Deodorant soup is anti-bacterial but not anti-fungal. Once the bacteria have been knocked down, the fungus has more to eat.

Use any anti-fungal creams or sprays in an area that is at least 1 inch larger than where you feel the infection.

I have found it useful to use anti-dandruff shampoo on the area. Dandruff is caused by a fungus which is ubiquitous but only some people respond to the fungus by sluffing off small tags of dead skin: dandruff. So anti-dandruff shampoos have two active ingredients: salicylic acid which helps shed the dead skin AND an anti-fungal ingredient, typically formulated with zinc or selenium.

And, I joke to myself, if it doesn't help the jock itch, at least it leaves my pubic hair soft and manageable.
posted by tmdonahue at 12:48 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

I occasionally get a fungal rash in my armpits in the summer. I have noticed that just using antifungal creams or sprays (I use Lotrimin) is not that effective because I sweat so much of it off that it doesn't get to sink in and do its job, even at night. But if I apply the antifungal and then cover the antifungal in a diaper rash ointment containing zinc oxide (highly recommend Triple Paste - note this stuff is a bit sticky & messy but highly effective, don't wear it with clothes you care about as it's formulated to go on under, you know, diapers), it stays on and does its thing for hours. I apply this combo before bed for a couple nights and it knocks the rash out completely. I can even wear deodorant as usual during the day

If you do indeed have a fungal rash, which I suspect you may, topical steroid creams will make it worse (so if you happen to have tried a topical steroid, and it didn't help, that's a point in favor of this dx). Ultimately I agree you should probably see a dermatologist but if you are trying to avoid it for whatever reason I highly recommend giving my Lotrimin + diaper rash ointment combo a try. It took me a lot of trial and error to hit on it and I'd be thrilled if it helped someone else.
posted by potrzebie at 3:43 PM on October 12

It could be all kinds of things but if it is the same sort of thing I suffer(ed) from (and it certainly sounds like it to me), simply using vaseline after showering could solve your problem. Everything else I tried failed.
posted by Kosmob0t at 4:09 PM on October 12

Daily wash with an anti-dandruff shampoo with 2% pyrithione zinc on a washcloth, followed by careful drying, followed by application of a little pure raw coconut oil (the kind that solidifies in the jar below about 30°C) is what's been keeping my creases from going that way.

The coconut oil soothes and lubricates and is itself an anti-fungal agent. Plus, it smells good.

Also, freshly washed cotton underpants every day.
posted by flabdablet at 3:30 AM on October 13

Another thought: I keep socks that are waiting to be washed in a separate hamper from everything else. Most fungal infections are picked up on the feet, and making harder for them to leave their nasty little spores on the rest of my clothing seems like a good idea to me.
posted by flabdablet at 8:52 PM on October 13

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