Healthy Living

How Long Can Jock Itch Last?

How Long Can Jock Itch Last?

Key Takeaways

  • If jock itch is left untreated, the condition is likely to spread to surrounding tissues, creating a host of complications.
  • The inability for the skin condition to clear within a few days of using antifungal topical creams and oral medication, indicates that these medicines need to be continued for at least a two week duration. 
  • The importance of treatment

Jock Itch is an infection that usually targets the groin. It spreads over the skin of the thighs, near the genitals and the buttocks in men and women. It is mostly caused by a Dermatophyte fungus and the Candida Albicans yeast. The result is extreme redness of the skin, severe rashes, and itching, inflammation, and sores. It is mostly treated through topical antifungal medicine supplemented with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers depending on the severity of the condition. This raises the question, exactly how much time does it take to get over jock itch?

People ignore jock itch and pay the price through extended treatment programs

The problem with jock itch is the embarrassment that accompanies the infection, particularly the fact that it is occurring in the groin. There is also the fear that one could transmit the infection to a partner which can affect the emotional stability of a relationship.

Many people wait it out hoping that washing the area with disinfectant solutions and a more careful personal hygiene routine will make a difference. But, by the time the dermatologist gets to see the infection, it might become chronic creating multiple complications.  

The price of jock itch beyond the two week infection period

Any jock itch infection lasting two weeks or more deserves medical attention, and should never be ignored. The main reason is that if it is left untreated, the condition is likely to spread to surrounding tissues, creating a host of complications.

  • The skin hardens and cracks exposing underlying tissues to bacteria and fungi. Once infection enters the blood stream, the body reacts strongly with an immune response that triggers inflammation and pain.
  • The rashes spread to the cheeks of the buttocks, more particularly the sensitive area surrounding the anal opening. This can cause pain during motion in the affected areas.
  • The vagina can develop a yeast infection causing a pungent smell and a creamy white discharge. In men, the glans or head of the penis develop the infection, and if the foreskin is uncircumcised, that too becomes infected making urination more painful.
  • The area surrounding the genitals may become either pale or dark due to prolonged infection. Sometimes the discoloration becomes a permanent side affect.
  • The discomfort in the genital area becomes so acute that it begins to hamper mobility.
  • The rashes solidify and develop cracks from which pus oozes out. The urge to itch becomes unbearable, and scratching worsens the problem besides spreading the infection to other areas.

Treatment effectively tackles jock itch within days or a week at most

The dermatologist immediately confirms the fungal origin of the condition. The type of treatment recommended and the time taken to heal the infection depends on several factors:

  • The immediate health parameters of the patient and how effectively their immune system responds to an infection. An otherwise healthy patient may overcome the condition within days or a week at the most.
  • Patients with genetic immune disorders may take two to four months to heal from skin infections.
  • Jock itch takes longer than two weeks to heal in patients that do not practice genital hygiene, and who do not scrub and shower as often as much as healthy skin requires.
  • People active in sporting events need to take medications longer as they are constantly exposed to infectious microbes that are transmitted through body contact, shared items, and toiletries.

The inability for the skin condition to clear within a few days of using antifungal topical creams and oral medication, indicates that these medicines need to be continued for at least a two week duration.