Maintaining one’s health is important, especially when dealing with the complications of Type-1 Diabetes. T1D has enough side effects and complications on its own without adding to the burden. But the truth is, maintaining one’s fitness comes at a price, as well. Between pulled muscles, aches, pains, sores, excessive sweating and dehydration, there are many issues that working out can carry. And although all things are best in moderation, anyone who’s read my posts already knows that my opinion on fitness is that it SHOULD involve blood, sweat and tears in order to reach one’s fitness goals.
There’s one issue that faces a lot of athletes and people who work out that most don’t talk about. It’s a real pain, it’s annoying and it can be unseemly because of the effect it causes. I’m talking about jock itch. Although named because it’s often associated with athletes who sweat a lot (and because it’s pre-dominantly occurs on the inner thighs and near the groin), jock itch is actually a fungal infection that develops a red, itchy rash around the warm, moist areas of the body. So it would make sense that it would occur in the inner thighs, as most people tend to keep that area covered up when doing cardio and working out, since exercising nude in public is frowned upon. Prudes.
Realistically, despite its name, jock itch isn’t JUST experienced by athletes. It can develop in non-active individuals who may sweat excessively, have excess body weight or who are simply experiencing the rigours of the summer heat. According to a post by The Mayo Clinic, jock itch is uncomfortable and bothersome but usually isn’t serious. The treatment often involves keeping the area clean and dry and potentially using an anti-fungal cream to help clear it up. The awkward part comes from the fact that given the itchy nature of jock itch, it may look like you’re compulsively scratching your groin, which can be awkward.
The article goes on to explain that you can be at greater risk of jock itch if you are male, wear tight underwear, are overweight or sweat excessively, have a weakened immune system or have Diabetes. Great. Lovely. those last two should give you a bit of a hint about how I came to write this post. But jock itch is usually caused by the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot, which is why it’s so important to ensure that you stay clean, stay dry and change out your underwear and treat athlete’s foot, should you have it, in order to prevent its spread to the groin.
Given that I’m citing some facts from the Mayo Clinic’s website, which is one of my favourite sources of medical information, I’ll point out that another of my favourite sites, WebMD, reflects the information I’ve shared here, almost word for word. The only exception is that it states that you don’t need to be male or an athlete in order to get it. If it doesn’t clear up on its own after a few days of daily cleaning, staying dry and changing out your underwear, over-the-counter anti-fungals from your local pharmacy can help move things along and clear it up faster.
Yes, it’s pretty gross but it’s the reality of fitness and wellbeing and in some cases, even if you aren’t active. The anti-fungals I mentioned come in a variety of types, including ointments, sprays and powders. It can be tough to stay on top of, especially if you have an intense workout followed by sitting in your own sweat for an hour or two until you’re able to get to a shower. Planning ahead can help. Keep a small container fo talcum or baby powder in your gym bag and give your “areas” a sprinkle before your workout to prevent unwanted friction while running and to keep the area cool and dry. Then, give it another sprinkling AFTER the workout to help dry things up until you reach a shower.
Using baby powder in your fitness shoes can be a great help, as well. preventing athlete’s foot is almost as important as treating jock itch, since one can lead to the other. It can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition, especially since one’s daily life won’t allow for one to constantly be scratching one’s groin. But proper prevention and treatment can go a long way towards ensuring that jock itch will be one less problem you’ll have to deal with while travelling on your fitness journey. ☯️