Q: How do you cure jock itch if it spreads to the woman’s personal parts?
A: Jock itch is a name for a fungal infection that is more common among males but can affect females, too – including a woman’s vulva. The word “vulva” refers to a woman’s external genital parts such as the labia, clitoris, and mons pubis.
According to the Mayo Clinic, jock itch is particularly common among people who sweat a lot, and thus is common among athletes (hence the name “jock itch”). It is also more common among people who are overweight or obese, who have diabetes, are a teenager or young adult, or who wear tight underwear.
Often, keeping the genitals, thighs, and buttocks clean and dry is sufficient to treat jock itch, though some people also benefit from using anti-fungal medications recommended by their doctor or nurse. Common steps you can take to prevent or treat jock itch include drying off well after a shower or bath, wearing clean underwear, washing workout clothes after each use, wearing clothes that fit you well and aren’t too tight, and not sharing towels with other people.
Instead of Scratching the Itch
All that said, I’d encourage any woman who has genital irritation or persistent redness, itching, or pain to check in with a healthcare provider. That’s because many people mis-diagnose themselves at home. This is particularly common with conditions affecting the vulva and vagina. There are so many different things that can affect the genitals including yeast infections, bacterial infections, skin conditions that cause itching and inflammation, and sexually transmitted infections, that it often requires a skilled healthcare provider to examine the area and recommend appropriate treatment. Sometimes when people think they have a certain condition, they apply creams or ointments in hope of improving the situation, only to make the vulva or vagina more irritated, inflamed, or red. It’s better to see a healthcare provider who can help recommend treatments to use and also suggest things to avoid that might make things worse.
To find a provider in your area who specializes in vaginal and vulvar health, contact the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease or the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health.