Scrotal eczema vs jock itch, what is the difference? When it comes to itchiness down there, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between jock itch and scrotal eczema so you can get the relief you need.
Table of Contents
What is Scrotal Eczema
Scrotal eczema (dermatitis) is a skin condition that causes an itchy, red rash on the scrotum (the sac that contains the testicles). The rash is often accompanied by dry, flaky skin.
Although scrotal eczema can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, it is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another. Scrotal eczema can be triggered by sweating, tight-fitting clothing, certain medications, and stress.
What is Jock Itch?
Jock itch (aka tinea cruris) is a fungal infection that commonly affects the groin area. It is often characterized by a red rash with raised edges that may spread from the genitals to the inner thighs and buttocks. Jock itch is contagious.
Jock itch is caused by a fungus called Trichophyton rubrum. This fungus thrives in warm, moist environments like locker rooms and gym showers. This is why jock itch is more common in the summer months.
These fungi are microscopic organisms that live on the dead tissue of the skin, hair, and nails. They’re also responsible for other common skin conditions like athlete’s foot, ringworm, and nail fungus.
The fungus can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing contaminated clothing or towels. It can also be contracted by coming into contact with surfaces that have been contaminated with the fungus, such as locker room floors or benches.
Scrotal Eczema Symptoms
The most common symptom of scrotal eczema is itchiness. You may also notice that your scrotum looks red or inflamed, or that the skin appears dry, cracked, or scaly. In some cases, fluid-filled blisters can form on the affected skin. Here is a list of the commonly observed scrotal eczema symptoms:
- Cracking skin
- Scaling or flaking skin
- Scrotum pain
Jock Itch Symptoms
Jock itch is a type of skin infection that can cause a rash in the groin area. The most common symptom is a red, itchy rash, but sometimes the skin may be cracked or scaly. Here is a list of possible jock itch symptoms:
- Itching in the groin area
- Redness and swelling in the groin, thigh, or buttocks
- Rash on the groin area
- Burning or stinging sensation in the groin, thigh, or buttocks
Scrotal Eczema vs Jock Itch: How To Tell The Difference
The best way to tell the difference between scrotal eczema and jock itch is to look for subtle differences in the rash itself. When discussing scrotal eczema versus jock itch, the jock itch rash will be redder and irritated-looking, while eczema will have more bumps and might be scaly.
Jock itch is also more likely to spread to the inner thighs, while eczema stays around the groin area. If you’re not sure which one you have, see a doctor so they can give you a proper diagnosis.
Can you have scrotal eczema and jock itch at the same time?
Yes, you can have both scrotal eczema and jock itch at the same time. They are often mistaken for one another because they share many of the same symptoms.
Treatment is important for both jock itch and eczema. Left untreated, your quality of life may diminish as you are battling unpleasant symptoms every day. Additionally, jock itch can be spread to others who you are in close contact with, or share the same spaces like a locker room or bathroom.
Scrotal Eczema Treatment
Scrotal eczema can be a frustrating condition, but thankfully there are plenty of treatment options available. If you’re struggling with scrotal eczema, talk to your doctor about what treatment option may be right for you. With the right care, you can find relief from your symptoms and get back to living your life normally.
Steroid Creams or Ointments
The most common type of medication used to treat eczema is typically a steroid cream or ointment. Steroids help reduce inflammation and itching. You can buy steroid creams over the counter or by prescription.
Be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully and only use them for the amount of time recommended, as steroid creams can cause side effects when used for too long.
Antihistamines are often used to treat conditions like allergies, but they can also be effective for treating eczema. These medications work by blocking histamine, a substance in your body that causes itching. You can buy antihistamines over the counter or by prescription.
Be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully and only use them for the amount of time recommended, as antihistamines can cause side effects when used for too long.
Corticosteroid injections are another way to reduce inflammation caused by eczema. This treatment is usually only used when other treatments haven’t worked or when the eczema is severe. Corticosteroid injections are given by a healthcare professional, in a professional medical setting.
If you’re experiencing itching or burning from scrotal eczema, an oatmeal bath is an excellent way to soothe the skin. To prepare one, start by grinding oats into a powder. Then, add the powder to your bathtub while filling it with water. Let yourself soak in the tub for 20 minutes.
Looking to skip the grinding of oats for your bath? Consider these premade sachets. You can find them on Amazon.
A cold compress, or ice pack, may help relieve the symptoms of scrotal eczema by soothing the skin and reducing inflammation. It can also aid in the reduction of itching and burning.
Light therapy uses ultraviolet light to help heal the skin and reduce symptoms of eczema. This type of therapy is usually done in a healthcare setting but some devices can be used at home with a doctor’s supervision.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting light therapy as it can cause side effects like burns, blistering, and redness of the skin.
Medications taken by mouth are sometimes prescribed to treat eczema when other treatments haven’t worked or when the eczema is severe. These medications work by reducing inflammation from the inside out and are taken daily until eczema symptoms clear up.
Oral medications can cause side effects like stomach upset, so be sure to talk to your doctor before starting this treatment option.
Topical medications are applied directly to the skin and work by reducing inflammation from the outside in. These medications come in many forms including creams, ointments, lotions, gels, and foams. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any topical medication as some can cause side effects when used for too long.
There are a few more options for treating eczema without steroids that you may find beneficial.
Jock Itch Treatment
Jock itch is most common in teenage boys and young men, but anyone can get it. Although it’s often uncomfortable and annoying, jock itch is usually not serious. With proper treatment, it typically clears up within a couple of weeks.
Topical Antifungal Creams
A topical antifungal cream is one of the most effective treatments for jock itch. These creams are available over-the-counter and they work by killing the fungus that causes jock itch. Be sure to apply the cream as directed and use it for the entire length of time recommended by the manufacturer.
Some common topical antifungals used to treat jock itch include clotrimazole (Mycelex), miconazole (Monistat), and terbinafine (Lamisil).
The best I have Found on Amazon
The best (affordable, good ratings, actually works) cream I have been able to find is Lotrimin Ultra® Antifungal Jock Itch Cream.
Oral Antifungal Medications
If your case of jock itch is more severe, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication. These medications are taken by mouth and they work by killing the fungus from the inside out.
In addition to medication, there are several things you can do at home to help treat your jock itch. Be sure to keep the affected area clean and dry. Apply a cool compress to the affected area several times daily to help soothe itching and irritation. And try wearing loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton.
- Keep the affected area clean and dry
- Wash the area regularly with soap and water and dry thoroughly
- Wear clean underwear every day
If your symptoms don’t improve after 2-3 weeks of home treatment or if they get worse, see your doctor for prescription antifungal medication.
How to Prevent Scrotal Eczema
There are a few things to consider when preventing scrotal eczema flare-ups. Of course, the best option would be to know your triggers and avoid them (if possible). Besides avoidance, try these prevention techniques.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
If you have eczema, it’s important to keep your skin moisturized. This can help prevent the skin from becoming dry, cracked, and irritated. Use a gentle, unscented moisturizer often, (like eczema honey), especially after bathing.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Chemicals can be brutal to your skin. Avoiding chemicals, or even switching to a more natural soap might just be what your body needs to keep flare-ups at bay.
- Industrial chemicals
- Scented soaps
- Shaving cream
Avoid Irritating Activities
You should avoid partaking in irritating activities as these can make your condition worse. Some examples of irritating activities that should be avoided are shaving in the area and scratching. Don’t scratch!
How To Prevent Jock Itch
To minimize jock itch, there are techniques and lifestyle changes you can implement which will aid in preventing jock itch.
Dry the genital area completely
Jock itch is a fungus, and fungus loves to be in dark, damp, warm areas. Your private parts (genitals) are the perfect place to thrive if your genitals are not completely dry after a shower or workout. By removing the dampness you are taking away one of the fungus requirements, moisture.
Wear clean clothes
If you want to prevent jock itch, you should wear clean clothes. Wearing dirty clothes, pants, and underwear specifically, could contain the fungus that causes jock itch.
Wear loose-fitting clothing
Wearing breathable, loose-fitting clothing can help prevent jock itch. This is because when you sweat, the moisture stays close to your skin and provides an environment in which fungus can grow. Wearing clothes that allow your skin to breathe will help keep the area dry and free of fungus.
Avoid sharing towels, clothing, or personal items
Sharing items like towels, clothes, and sports gear, increases your risk of contracting jock itch. If you have jock itch and you share these items with someone else, you are now putting them at risk for contracting jock itch.
Wash your hands regularly
It is important to wash your hands with soap and water to avoid getting jock itch. Jock itch is a fungal infection that can be spread by contact with someone who has it or by touching something that has the fungus on it. By washing your hands regularly, you can help prevent yourself from getting this infection.
Shower after contact with contaminated surfaces
It is important to shower after having contact with a jock itch-infected surface because the fungus that causes jock itch thrives in moist environments. Showering can help to remove the fungus from your skin and prevent the infection from spreading.
What Makes Jock Itch Worse?
Jock itch is a fungus, and fungus can spread. Here are the major contributors that make jock itch worse.
- Tight clothing
- Wearing the same clothes day after day
- Sweating a lot
- Not drying off properly after a shower
- Sharing clothing or towels
- Poor personal hygiene
These are the most frequently asked questions about scrotal eczema vs jock itch.
What is the difference between jock itch and dermatitis?
Jock itch is caused by a fungus that can spread to others. Dermatitis is a skin condition caused by the immune system, genetics, or environmental factors, and does not spread to others.
Will eczema cream help jock itch?
Maybe. For example, an anti-itch cream will stop the itching from both conditions, but may not kill the fungus that is causing the jock itch. To cure the jock itch, you will need a certain antifungal cream.
Is jock itch contagious?
Yes, jock itch is a fungus that can be passed from person to person, and through items that have been exposed to the fungus.
Is scrotal eczema contagious?
No, scrotal eczema is an inflammation of the skin. This inflammation
cannot spread to others.
Can jock itch cause eczema?
No, jock itch cannot cause eczema, jock itch is caused by a fungus.
Can eczema cause jock itch?
No, eczema is caused by the immune system, genetics, and other environmental factors. Jock itch is caused by the fungus Trichophyton rubrum.
Scrotal Eczema vs Jock Itch Final Thoughts
If you have an itch in your groin area, chances are it is either scrotal eczema or jock itch. Both conditions are very common and relatively easy to treat with over-the-counter medication. However, it’s important to see your doctor if the itching persists or gets worse, as it could be a sign of a more serious condition.
Still unsure? These may help: