Treatment of Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris)

Hi Friends,

This time I come back to you with a little obscure topic for the majority but a matter of grave concern for the minority victims! Yes, you read it right. Jock itch and its treatment.

You may be thinking that till date you’ve read so many articles, blog posts, medical advises on how to completely get rid of this problem but none has really helped. I agree, I had the same view during my days of torture! Well, I shall try to demystify the myths, beliefs, practices on this disease and will finally delve into what worked for me and what not!!! Few points of caution here I would like to mention before you continue further:

  • I’m neither a medical practitioner and nor do I claim to be one. I’m a 36 year old very normal guy living in one of the very hot & humid countries i.e. India and has suffered from this problem for almost 5 years, yes, those dreaded 5 long years!!!
  • I do not guarantee this approach will certainly work for you, but the biggest positive I found in this approach is no side effects. I do not end up eating medicines, use of steroids etc.
  • Please do consult your doctor before you act!!!

What is Jock Itch?

As per the definition from Mayoclinic.org,

Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a fungal infection that affects the skin of your genitals, inner thighs and buttocks. Jock itch causes an itchy, red, often ring-shaped rash in these warm, moist areas of your body. Jock itch gets its name because it is common in people who sweat a lot, as do athletes. It also is more likely to occur in people who are overweight. Although often uncomfortable and bothersome, jock itch usually isn’t serious. Keeping your groin area clean and dry and applying topical antifungal medications usually are sufficient to treat jock itch.

Key words in above definition are fungal infection and occurs in warm, moist areas of your body. Well, it can happen to anybody and not just to athletes. I’ve not been one all my life, and nor I’m overweight!!! You would find all the causes, symptoms etc on the linked page above if you would like to read more about this ailment!!!

This is one problem I feel could happen to anybody and is a nightmare. It started with me one fine day when it resulted into unbearable, excessive, never ending itch in my genitals, or rather to be precise in and around scrotum. I was caught unaware and left shocked when I realized that the itch isn’t just going away. I tried bathing more often than usual, keeping myself clean, applying various over-the-counter anti-fungal creams etc. but the policing against this villain was leading me to nowhere. I literally stopped being patient and started becoming one!!! My problem was so bad that it resulting in skin flaking, aggravation of redness, bleeding etc.

I even started reading all about it, the causes, symptoms, the medications, the treatments and being Indian even tried those home-therapies that promised to alleviate this problem. But honestly nothing helped.

I thought of visiting ‘a’ dermatologist to find a cure. But it wasn’t sooner but later did I realise that I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life by letting myself enter into this vicious circle of medical business. For 5 long and dreadful years I met every so called best dermatologist in Delhi. No doubt there was progress. But the progress I made was on learning names of new ointments/steroids, new tablets I would need to gulp in daily and newer areas of the city I would visit. Sadly, the problem of jock itch, or rather tinea cruris never went away, it only went along.

Finally, one day, I happened to meet a doctor/dermatologist who showed me the path!!! The doctor after having done the initial examination, diagnosed that my body was intolerant to milk, milk products and foods with high energy composition like almonds, figs, cashew, walnuts etc. The doctor mentioned that he would not like me to eat any medicine, nor he would like me to use any anti-fungal creams, or have steroid filled medicines/ointments etc. He said just I need to give up on the list of food items he’s going to pen down for me and assured me I would never face this problem again ever!!! Believe me, after having visited a dozen doctors, this doctor seemed funny in his approach and I thought another effort of going to a new doctor has gone down the drain. But my wife persisted and mentioned what is the harm in trying his approach? I’ve already tried the western approach of having all sorts of medicines and that has not yielded any results!!!

The list of items he asked me to avoid were as follows:-

Milk, milk products including all forms of cheese, curd, yogurt, paneer, lassi, tea, coffee etc. Among other products he asked me not to eat included banana, dry-fruits including figs, walnuts, almonds, cashews; gram flour, garlic, ginger,cornflour etc.

I got curious and mentioned to him that I understand to not eat foods items that generate natural warmth/have high energy content, but why milk or milk products? He said,”Have you ever seen a young one of any animal other than humans drink milk all their lives?” He mentioned it is only the humans and milk industry in itself thrive on people fallacies and that is the root cause of all the problems.

As I was so much in love with all the prohibited items, he told me it will be difficult but it will be worth the ride. I still asked him the following two questions:-

  • What SOS medicine should I keep handy in case the trouble comes back and hit me real hard?
  • Is there a permanent solution to the problem where I get to eat everything and the problem just go away?

His answer.

  • Have Atarax-10mg (Link here) only on SOS basis: As per, drugs.com, Atarax (hydroxyzine hydrochloride) reduces activity in the central nervous system. It also acts as an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Piece of advise: Please consult your doctor/pharmacist before any such medicine consumption and do your research/study as mentioned in the page link given above. My views are personal and cannot be construed as a professional advise!!! Only consume it on the prescription by your doctor.
  • Please bear in mind this was advised to me as SOS medicine and its biggest negative for me as a side effect is that it is results in excessive drowsiness for hours and affect your thinking capabilities.
  • The only permanent solution he mentioned was immunotherapy for which I wasn’t ready then and not interested now.

Moving on, I stopped all the earlier nuisance as prescribed by earlier doctors and started following his advise. And things took a turn and turned for GOOD!!! By avoiding all the food items he mentioned, my problem reduced drastically and I realized that the fungus was on its journey towards its annihilation.

I know the question comes in your mind how do you balance your nutrients intake as I cant have most of the items. Let me tell you, to further your worries, I have been eggatarian (vegetarian who have eggs) all my life. So, the doctor asked me to try new things in life like soy/soya milk, soya chunks, tofu, olive oil for cooking, Neem tea, Green tea, lemons, fruits, eggs etc!!! This was the time he made me realize that this beautiful nature do provide us with all that is needed to sustain this body!!! One just need a wandering eye with an open mind!!! As usual, I’ve linked all the things mentioned above for you to easily start the same.

I started this new journey by giving up on all food items. Once my condition stabilized, I started experimenting though in very less quantities the food my body can tolerate which I had stopped completely. Today, I can eat paneer (Indian cheese), bananas etc but have not been able to go beyond these items from the excluded list.

Another few important points I would like to advise:-

  • Keep your inner areas clean and dry. Hot/humid/wet environments are the real culprits.
  • Wear airy/only cotton underwear/inner-wear. The ones I would strongly recommend are here (go for one size higher than your usual size in this brand).
  • Trim pubic hair periodically.

Hope the above helps. It’s been 4 healthy years for me and I’ve been very happy since then!!! All the very best!!!

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