All right. It’s time to bust out an embarrassing topic. Can women get jock itch? After all, it’s something that you hear guys talking about and it has something to do with wearing a cup or unclean gear or something, right?
Well, those facts may be somewhat true, but guess what? Ladies can get jock itch. How do I know? Because I got it.
Does this make me a real athlete?
So what is jock itch? Officially known as tinea cruris, it’s a fungal infection that kind of looks like a rash with some blisters and then some peeling. It’s not the same thing as athlete’s foot, but the two are related. And untreated athlete’s foot can cause jock itch and vice versa if the fungus makes its way from one place to the other (via towels, I assume, not via nude yoga).
Where does it grow? Warm and moist areas of the body. When you’re an athlete, that’s pretty much all of your body, but most of those areas cool off and dry off relatively quickly. What doesn’t? Inner thighs, around your sports bra, in any chub rolls that may form thanks to the compression of your workout gear.
When I started to suspect that it was jock itch, I started doing research to see if this was common in women. It’s not, but women can get it. So I thought that it was time to stand up for the ladies. Women, we too can get jock itch!
Now, I could tell you that I got jock itch around my bra. That’s not embarrassing, right? But nope. I got it on my inner thighs. And let me tell you, that is not a place you want to see a blistery rash. I thought it was just really terrible razor burn at first, but quickly I realized the truth. I lucked out in that I discovered it pretty quickly (red bumps on pale pale skin really stand out) so it wasn’t incredibly itchy or painful by the time I started treatment.
How did I get it? I’m not entirely sure, but I’m guessing it was likely from wearing some workout gear a little too long. You know, it happens to the best of us. Apparently, people who are immuno-suppressed are more susceptible, and in the weeks leading up to this discovery, I had really run my body into the ground, so I’m sure that didn’t help.
The treatment? Easy peasy. Just some cream that I picked up at the drugstore. The treatment takes around two weeks, which is annoying, but it really wasn’t a big deal. Also, since women don’t often get jock itch, I wasn’t too mortified about buying the cream. Anyone who saw me with it probably thought it was for my boyfriend/husband/son. None of which I have, but the strangers don’t know that. (Actually, strangers at the drugstore couldn’t care less what I’m buying, but that’s not the point.)
Now, how to prevent this? Step one is staying dry. Which isn’t easy when working out. I sweat like a fiend. Sure, powders like Anti-Monkey Butt (one of my faves) will help, but nothing is going to stop me from becoming a sweaty mess.
So the solution there is to get out of gross workout clothes sooner rather than later. I’m not sure exactly when I spent too much time in my workout gear. I’ve certainly spent longer in triathlon gear post-race than I did in any gear recently (which is why I suspect being run down contributed). But either way, changing is now a priority. I’ve also read that tight clothes are also bad, but well, I can’t exactly swim or bike in loose, flowing gear.
Other tips I found online were to change your underwear daily (umm, yes) and only wear workout clothes once between washes. While I may have reworn workout gear (while on my own treadmill, never in public), I feel like these tips might be geared towards teenage boys.
So there you have it. All you never wanted to know about women getting jock itch.