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Is jock itch infectious?
Dec 17, 1996

Are fungal infections like jock itch transmitted sexually? While treating tinea cruris with chlotrimazole antifungal cream USP, 1% would it be better to find something else for you and your partner to do for a couple weeks besides sex? How do you know when it's cured completely?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

"Jock Itch", caused by a fungus called Tinea cruris, is not usually thought of as a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). It is transmitted by direct or indirect contact with the infected skin area of an infected person. Indirect contact includes contaminated floors, shower stalls etc. "Jock Itch" is found almost always in males. This infection closely resembles a Candida (yeast) infection. It's important to determine if "Jock Itch" is actually a yeast infection, since the treatment differs between the two (a doctor can make the diagnosis for you).

This infection is communicable as long as lesions are present. It can be aggravated by perspiration in the area, friction, and when environmental temperatures and humidity are high. This is a curable infection. Symptoms include itching, redness, and irritation in the area. When the infection is cured, the symptoms go away.

While you are symptomatic for this infection, if your partner (especially a male partner) is directly exposed to this infection, and the fungus is directly exposed to his groin or perianal area, they may also be at risk of infection. But this is not normally considered an STD, so the decision to abstain or not, rests with you. But at the very least, have your partner avoid contact with the symptomatic area.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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