Ringworm of the Leg

Ringworm of the Leg

Tinea cruris is a contagious fungal infection that causes a red, itchy rash in the groin area. This yeast infection is common in people who sweat a lot, especially men or athletes.

Fungus easily grows in areas of the skin that are moist, warm, and sweaty, such as the groin. Apart from the groin, tinea cruris can spread to the thighs, buttocks, to the anus, but rarely occurs in the scrotum or penis.

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Although it often causes discomfort and is quite annoying, itching due to tinea cruris is usually not a serious condition.

Causes of Tinea Cruris

Tinea cruris is caused by the fungus Trichophyton rubrum which grows in the groin or groin area. This groin fungus can appear as a result of:

  • The groin skin often experiences friction with clothing
  • The skin of the groin is too moist due to excessive sweating
  • Water fleas  that spread to the groin
  • Direct physical contact with the patient's skin, or contact with the patient's clothes that have not been washed

There are several factors that make a person more at risk of experiencing tinea cruris, namely:

  • Male gender
  • Excessive sweating
  • Frequent use of tight underwear
  • Having excess body weight
  • Have  diabetes
  • Have a weak immune system, for example due to AIDS
  • Share the use of towels with other people

Symptoms of Tinea Cruris

The main symptom of tinea cruris is itching in the groin that worsens with activity or exercise. Itching is accompanied by changes in the skin in the groin area in the form of:

  • A reddish rash with a circular shape like a ring and around the edges there are small blisters
  • Scaly, cracked, and flaky skin
  • Skin color becomes lighter or darker
  • The skin in the groin area also feels sore like it's on fire, usually due to peeling skin due to scratching

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if the area of ​​rash infection in the groin gets wider or develops into ulcers, especially if accompanied by fever. Also check with your doctor if the rash does not improve after taking self-medication for 7 days.

Diagnosis of Ringworm of the Leg

Doctors can diagnose tinea cruris based on the symptoms experienced by the patient and visible changes in the skin of the groin. However, if there is a suspicion that the symptoms are caused by other conditions, the doctor will carry out the following tests to make sure:

  • Skin scraping test.
    In this examination, the doctor will scrape or scrape the problematic skin surface. The scrapings will be put into a solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) before being examined under a microscope.
  • Fungal culture
    This test is performed to examine the fungus that grows from a sample of skin scrapings, by cultivating the fungus in certain media.
  • Skin biopsy
    The doctor will take a sample of the patient's skin tissue to be examined under a microscope, to see the type of skin disorder that occurs.

Treatment of Tinea Cruris

Tinea cruris can be treated independently without the need to see a doctor. Self-handling that can be done to treat tinea cruris includes:

  • Clean the groin skin with soap and warm water, then dry it
  • Using over-the-counter antifungal creams, for example those containing terbinafine, tolnaftate, clotrimazole , or miconazole
  • Also treat the skin in other areas that have fungal infections, such as athlete 's foot
  • Don't scratch your groin too often, because it can cause skin damage that triggers other germ infections

Consult a doctor if your symptoms do not improve after trying the above treatments. Doctors can prescribe antifungal drugs, such as itraconazole or fluconazole in tablet form.

Tinea Cruris Complications

Tinea cruris rarely causes complications, but this groin yeast infection can extend to the thighs and buttocks. If it continues to be rubbed or scratched, this infection has the risk of causing cellulitis .

In addition, scars from cured fungal infections can cause hyperpigmentation, which is a darker discoloration of the skin.

Prevention of tinea cruris

Maintaining personal hygiene is the most important thing in preventing tinea cruris. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Wash hands with soap after outdoor activities.
  • Take a shower every day, especially after exercising.
  • Dry all parts of the body with a towel after bathing.
  • Change your clothes immediately if you feel damp or wet.
  • Do not use unwashed clothes.
  • Use cotton underwear and change it regularly.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight.
  • Wear loose clothing in hot or humid weather.
  • Do not share personal items, such as clothes and towels, with other people.
  • Treat athlete's foot as soon as possible to prevent the spread of fungal infections to the groin.
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