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Causes of Ringworm in the Genital Area

author image Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams began her freelance writing career in 2009, teaching others about medical conditions and promoting wellness by writing on online health and fitness publications. She is educated and licensed as a registered nurse, having received her degree from North Georgia College and State University.
Causes of Ringworm in the Genital Area
Men is a locker room. Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images


Ringworm is a fungal infection on the skin and may infect different areas of the body. If the fungi infect the area around the groin, referred to as jock itch or tinea cruris, an individual may experience symptoms such as red, scaly patches of skin and itching on the upper thigh, groin and lower abdomen. Treatment for jock itch includes using an antifungal cream on the rash as well as keeping the area clean and dry. Knowing the ways to contract ringworm in the genital area is important for preventing the spread of the condition.

Unhygienic Conditions

Jock itch occurs in the groin because the fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. The fungus that causes the infection grows naturally on the skin. Sweaty, dirty conditions may allow the fungus to grow out of control, causing the infection, according to MayoClinic.com. Tight clothing, jock straps and synthetic fabrics may trap moisture in the groin and encourage the growth of the fungus. Warm weather increases the risk of developing jock itch because of sweating and friction from clothing in the heat.

Direct Contact from another Person

Coming into direct contact with a person with a ringworm infection may cause the fungi to transfer another person. Sexual contact with an active infection may transfer the fungus. The condition is more common for males than females, according to SkinSight.

Transfer from Other Body Locations

A ringworm infection may occur in other areas of the body such as the feet, scalp and body. Scratching another infection and touching the groin area may transfer the contagious fungus to the area. The infection may also spread from one area of the groin to another.

Indirect Contact

Sharing bedding or towels with other people who have an active fungal infection may cause the transfer of the fungus. Using the same unwashed clothing after an individual with jock itch may pass along the infection, according to MedlinePlus. Individuals who are overweight, diabetic or have a compromised immune system have an increased risk of developing a fungal infection and may contract the fungus with indirect contact easier than a person with a healthy immune system.

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