Winter is not prime jock itch season, but the itchy penis that results from this infection can still occur even when the weather is frosty. Some men are especially prone to jock itch, so taking steps to avoid and treat it is essential for them. Proper penis care routines definitely help in this area, but are there steps being overlooked? For example, some people recommend the use of probiotics for treating this common male issue.
What is jock itch?
The term jock itch is often applied to any genital rash that creates itching; however, the term really applies to a rash with a specific cause: the tinea cruris fungus. Like other fungi, tinea cruris thrives in moist, warm environments – which explains why the groin is a favorite target. The heat in the area, combined with the sweat that is common near the penis, creates the perfect conditions for it to live and multiply. When it strikes, a very itchy penis tends to result.
Jock itch is easily spread, unfortunately. Direct skin-to-skin contact is the easiest route of transmission, but it can also spread in more indirect ways. For example, if fabric comes into contact with the rash, it can be spread. That’s why it’s important that a man doesn’t borrow another guy’s used towel. (Needless to say, the same goes for underwear.)
What are probiotics?
Probiotics refers to a form of live bacteria and yeasts that are reputed to have substantial health benefits. Although bacteria tend to have a bad rap, being thought of as something that causes disease, many bacteria are helpful and necessary. Probiotics are in this class, especially when it comes to digestion.
Many doctors and alternative health specialists believe that probiotics can be quite helpful in treating a range of digestive issues, including irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease.
Some also believe that probiotics have benefits beyond the digestive tract. They may play a role in treating colds and allergies; they may also improve urinary health. There is evidence that probiotics are beneficial in treating skin issues, and it is here that they may come into play where jock itch is concerned.
Jock itch connection
Although probiotics have not been studied specifically in relation to jock itch, there has been some research into treating vaginal yeast infections with probiotics. These studies found a positive effect between the use of probiotics and the improvement of such infections.
How does this relate to men? Vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida, which is a fungus. So the theory is that jock itch should respond in a similarly positive fashion to probiotics.
How to get probiotics
Where are probiotics found? Well, the body naturally creates a certain amount of probiotics. However, for treatment purposes, more probiotics may be needed. Sometimes probiotics can be obtained from a supplement, but most practitioners recommend making dietary changes to obtain more probiotics.
Many foods are especially good sources for probiotics. For example, live-cultured yogurt is a very popular source. Sauerkraut is also a good one, as are dark chocolate, miso soup and pickles.
More research still needs to be done to verify that probiotics have a definite effect on jock itch; although probiotics are generally considered very healthy, checking with a doctor before altering one’s diet is always recommended.