Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

An Uncomfortable Itch

Monday, 30 November 2009 09:11 AM

Question: I have an itch in the area of my crotch that I can’t get rid of. I have tried different soaps and I want to shower every six to nine hours because of odor and itch.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Itching in the groin area is very common, and it is often related to excessive sweating, allergy, infection or the trapping of moisture. The odor, irritation and distribution strongly suggest an infection may be present. Most patients will try a simple topical antifungal powder or cream before seeing their doctor, but be aware that topical cortisone preparations may fuel any infectious process. Your doctor is skilled in recognizing problems in this area, and I encourage you to seek consultation. If there is any doubt, a KOH smear and culture will identify fungal involvement that is often slower to clear than a bacterial infection which responds to oral/topical antibiotic therapy.

The groin area is very prone to the growth of bacteria and fungi that thrive in warm, moist conditions, and treatment is shorter and easier when started before the skin develops chronic skin changes. Some patients, especially those who are obese, diabetics, and others with conditions that suppress the immune system seem to develop intertrigo (skin disorders where opposing surfaces, such as creases in the groin, touch and rub) more often than others. Your best solution includes avoiding synthetic underwear and wearing fabrics that breathe well and help keep you dry, such as cotton. Often a medicated powder will be used. If your doctor determines there is an infection, you will be provided with an appropriate anti-bacterial or anti-fungal medication. Sometimes a cream and powder need to be combined for effective rapid resolution and an oral antibiotic or antifungal may also be required.

© HealthDay

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