Jock itch. It’s not a welcome visitor for any guy. Even when a dude is really cautious and careful about his penis health, doing everything he can to avoid an itchy penis, he might still end up with a lousy case of jock itch. And while guys all know about the itchiness and discomfort that come with this condition, not all are aware that jock itch also has the potential to affect a guy’s sex drive – and not in a positive way either.
What it is
Known among the medical community by the name tinea cruris, jock itch is a common fungal infection that affects areas of the body covered by or in close proximity to, the area where an athletic supporter is commonly worn. In other words, the penis, balls, inner thighs and buttocks are the most common sites to be afflicted by jock itch.
It presents as a red, itchy rash; frequently the rash is ring-shaped and raised around the circumference. Often it is redder on the edges and a lighter red on the interior of the ring. Sometimes the ring will have a half-moon shape rather than being round.
Fortunately, jock itch is not serious; however, it can bring forth an itchy penis that is extremely annoying. In some cases, a man can scratch the itch so ferociously that the area can become infected.
Jock itch is highly contagious and caused by the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot. So, for example, a man may get it from sharing a towel or clothing of a man with the fungus (either in the form of jock itch or athlete’s foot).
The sex drive connection
A man with jock itch may find that it has a negative effect on his sex drive. Often the reason for this is psychological. When a man has an itchy penis or scrotal area that sports examples of tinea cruris, it may deter any potential partners from engaging with him. It may also make a man feel self-conscious and worried that his formerly glorious penis has become diseased-looking and unattractive. This can in turn make him feel unappealing, a sentiment that may stay with him even after visible signs of the condition have disappeared. His sex drive may suffer as a result.
However, sometimes the decrease in sex drive may be due to the treatment employed to rid himself of his jock itch.
Many doctors recommend the use antifungal powders or creams as a means of treatment. These are often very effective. But at least two common antifungal medications – clotrimazole and ketoconazole, which are found in many medications – can be lower sex drive culprits.
Why? Although large scale studies have not been conducted, animal studies do indicate that use of these ingredients in males can lower testosterone levels. Testosterone is created mostly in the testicles and plays a significant role in bone density, muscle development, fat distribution and, of course, sex drive. Essentially, the more testosterone a man produces, the heartier his sexual appetite.
Fortunately, the effects of these medications on testosterone are temporary; after discontinuation of the treatment, a man should see his sex drive return to normal – and, of course, not all men will see an appreciable difference.
Treating jock itch is crucial, even if the sex drive is temporarily affected. The itchiness associated with jock itch is often alleviated through the use of a superior penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) with a combination of a high-end emollient (such as Shea butter) and a natural hydrator (such as vitamin E). These two ingredients hydrate the skin and create a moisture lock which helps reduce common itching. Keeping the penis skin healthy through the use of a powerful antioxidant is also advised. A crème with the antioxidant alpha lipoic acid is well poised to fight the free radicals that cause oxidative stress in penis skin cells.