Dhobie Itch

Everything you need to know about Dhobie Itch

Dhobie itch is a form of fungal infection on the skin.  It primarily affects the groin however it can spread to the buttocks and thigh area.  The infection not only presents itching but burning as well.  The visual recognition of the dhobie itch is shades of red, brown and tan on the affected area accompanied with peeling, flaking or sometimes cracking of the skin.  It can often turn to more of a rash with scaly patches and sharp borders that are well defined producing blisters.  It is essentially a form of ringworm that affects moist parts of your body.

Dhobie itch is an opportunistic infection, meaning it can be caused by a weakened immune system.  It is very common in athletes especially men from constant sweating due to physical activity.  A damp environment with a raised body temperature creates a warm and moist location, allowing the fungus to cultivate.  Tight, rubbing clothing such as a jockstrap can really antagonize this.

The irritating dhobie itch can be prevented by keeping the groin area dry or as dry as possible with the use of antifungal powders and drying off promptly and thoroughly after bathing, swimming or perspiring.  You should also not share towels or clothing with others and whenever possible avoid tight fitting clothing that will hold moisture in the area.  Loose cotton underwear and baggy workout gear is recommended.  When sleeping, if possible avoid wearing underwear at all or boxers at most and try to increase the air flow by sleeping next to a fan.  Exposing the area to wind and sun can also be quite helpful.

Dhobi itch is commonly treated with the use of antifungal drugs.  Creams that have ingredients such as Oxiconazole, Tolnaftate, Naftifine, Terbinafine, Clotrimazole and Miconazole have often been used but a new drug Butenafine has become the most popular remedy.  These antifungal creams work by not allowing the fungi to produce ergosterol.  This substance is a key element in the membranes of fungal cells.  Once the ergosterol synthesis is stopped even partially, the cell cannot connect with its membrane and eventually kills the fungus.

Glucocorticoid steroids are combined with antifungal drugs when there is sever itching present.  This combination helps to prevent further irritation and minimizes the risk of a secondary bacterial infection from occurring which can be caused from scratching.  Steroids should never be used alone without the antifungal drug.  This will only worsen the problem by hurting your body’s immune system.

There are some home remedies for dhobie itch that you may also want to give a try that in some cases can work as well as antifungal treatments.  Tea tree oil and anti-dandruff shampoos have been known to work very well.  Garlic is also at the top of the list.  Consuming garlic is beneficial because it has antifungal effect but also making a paste out of honey and minced garlic and applying to the affected area can be helpful.  Stay away from alcohol, sugar and greasy foods since there is usually the presence of yeast in them.

If dhobie itch is left untreated for a long period of time it can in some cases turn into something more serious.  The infected area can become quite large with oozing pus.  It is not a condition that will generally remedy itself if left untreated nor is it a condition to be embarrassed about.  Don’t’ be afraid to consult your physician, they see cases such as this all of the time and it is a positive thing that you are more than likely an athlete and are doing something healthy for yourself.  If you think you have dhobie itch don’t leave it untreated, start making changes immediately to remedy the situation.