Ringworm is a fungal infection involving the skin and can affect various parts of the body, including the scalp, groin, foot and body. Common among athletes, jock itch, also referred to as tinea cruris, is a ringworm infection in the groin. Ringworm spreads in warm, moist environments and is easily transmitted between people. Treatment for the condition may include the use topical anti-fungal medications, sprays or ointments. Although the name jock itch typically conjures images of a men's locker room, women are also susceptible to contracting the fungal infection and should familiarize themselves the causes, symptoms and risks.
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The most common symptom of ringworm infection is a circular, red rash. Often, this rash is found in the crease of the groin and can spread to the upper thigh. The circular rash may also cause the skin to flake or peel and, in some cases, crack open in certain areas of the groin.
Itching And Pain
Itching occurs in the affected areas and may cause the skin to experience a burning sensation. For women specifically, the rash and itch may spread to the labia and the buttocks. In addition to the intense itch and discomfort, the condition may cause pain, according to the Merck Manual of Medical Information. Treating the infection with anti-fungal medication helps alleviate the irritated skin, easing the symptoms to more tolerable levels.
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Redness And Irritation
The ringworm infection may cause the skin to experience levels of inflammation, causing redness. For some women, the inflammation causes flaking, irritated edges to the rash, rather than the classic ring shape associated with this type of fungal infection.
Hair Loss And Skin-Coloring Changes
Ringworm infections in the groin may cause hair loss for any pubic hair in the affected area. The hair may fall out at the follicle or it may break off easily, causing stubble. Some women may experience a lightening or darkening of the skin in the area of the jock itch, according to Medline Plus.
Wearing tight undergarments or tight, synthetic fabrics may cause additional irritation of the jock itch in women. Additional behaviors, such as exercising and walking, may increase the symptoms of the fungal rash, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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