Jock Itch or Genital Herpes?

You have a rash in your genital area. You're inclined to believe that it's Jock Itch, after all, you've been putting in two-a-day practices in anticipation of the big game Sunday. What else would it be?

What is Jock Itch?

Athlete's foot is caused by a fungal infection. The same fungus can cause jock itch. If you suffer from one infection, it's possible for it to travel to the groin area from the feet and vice versa. Athletes and overweight people are most commonly affected, but anyone whose genital area is warm and moist for extended periods of time risks infection.

Jock itch can also be transferred during sexual intercourse, in public showers and locker rooms. Jock itch is characterized by a red itchiness, that may be accompanied by inflamed, cracked, flaking and/or peeling skin on the inner thighs, genitals, and anal area. Even though jock itch can be vexing, its not a serious, life-changing situation.

For mild cases, over the counter medications will clear up the infection. Persistent cases that are unresponsive to OTC topicals may require a doctor's intervention, but eventually the jock itch will be cured. Genital herpes, on the other hand, is more complex.

What is Genital Herpes?

The Herpes Simplex virus cause genital herpes. This highly contagious, sexually transmitted disease can infect men or women. Like jock itch, genital herpes will be painful or itchy and be apparent in the genital area. Herpes, however, may also include open sores, red bumps, or blisters. Additionally, when you first contract herpes, you may experience symptoms similar to the flu. The ulcers on your genitals, and the flu-like feelings will eventually clear, but the virus remains in your body.

Recurrent outbreaks are possible. These can be triggered by stress, sickness, sexual friction, or fatigue. Testing for genital herpes and other STDs is of vital importance to yourself and your sexual partner as many people may carry the herpes virus and not even be aware of it. While jock itch can be easily cured, genital herpes can not. It can be treated and outbreaks can be lessoned.

Treatment for Genital Herpes

Your physician may prescribe antiviral medications such as Zovirax or Valtrex. Taken orally, these med's are sometimes helpful in controlling future outbreaks, but they will not eliminate the disease. Prescription medications can have side effects that are severe. When you're trying to fix one problem, you don't need to replace it with a variety of others ranging from diarrhea and vomiting to skin rashes and migraines. It may be worth trying a natural supplement that does not have side effects.

Photo Credit: Gym Class Magazine

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