Scrotal dermatitis is a very common condition in a tropical environment. Prime cause is a fungus, called a dermatophyte, that causes the infection called jock itch. This fungus thrives in warm, moist areas and occurs mostly in adult men and teenage boys. It can be triggered by friction from clothes and prolonged wetness in the groin area from sweating. While benign in most cases, it is contagious as it can be passed from one person to another by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing, such as bathing suits.
Like dermatophytes, there are many fungi that are almost invisible to the naked eye. Fungi usually live in giant colonies that are also barely visible, even when they’re living on your body. Fungal infections can easily develop around intimate areas if you have unprotected sex or poor hygiene.
Though fungi is responsible for jock itch, there are a number factors that can cause the itch too. One being dryness resulting from lack of moisture in the skin. The symptoms of skin dryness are quite varied. You may notice peeling skin on the surface layer, a rough appearance, redness or dry patches.
Symptoms of dryness are often associated with itching, a feeling of tightness in the skin and occasionally a painful or burning sensation. Skin irritation can be caused by several things. In some cases it may be the result of chafing, but it could also be an allergy to a chemical substance such as shower gels, soap, washing powder, fragrance or latex.
Chronic inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis, may be specifically located in the genital area. These diseases are usually long-term but not contagious. If the irritation around the groin area continues and does not go away within a couple of days, or if skin lesions develop, get medical advice from a dermatologist. The right treatment depends on what’s causing your symptoms.
As a precaution, the best thing you can do is have good hygiene. Here are a few key tips to help prevent jock itch:
Shower or take a bath daily, especially after playing sports
Keep the area dry by using a clean towel after showering or swimming
Avoid sharing towels
Try to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing and undergarments
Wash athletic supporters often
Change undergarments daily
If you have a fungal infection somewhere else on your body, like athlete’s foot or ringworm, be sure to treat it to help prevent the fungus from spreading to your groin area. There are some things you can do to prevent the spread. Make sure you don’t touch or scratch your groin area after touching your feet.
There are several home remedies from applying anti-fungal powder or aloe vera in the affected area as a cure, you may give Colour Therapy a try. It is simple and harmless, and well-researched by the Ayurveda Acupressure Institute. The solution is simple: apply light blue colour (see pic) as per the diagram. One can also take a ribbon of light blue colour and wrap around the fingers (see pic). To keep these in place, use pieces of cellophane or medical tape. The light spectrum associated with light blue colour fights fungus and is also a skin coolant to soothe the discomfort.