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Have itchy skin in genital area, noticed smelly and burning scrotum. Is it a fungal infection?

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Practicing since : 2005
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hi I have a small red itchy area between my upper legs and my genitals, also my balls are unusually sweaty and smelly , I have also noticed that my scrotum is smelly as well and do feel some itchiness there as well.

the itchiness is not that bad but the smell is really annoying. this started 4-5 months ago. I also do feel a slight burning sensation on my balls which I didn't have before. I shower and apply baby powder and sort of try to control the problem this way but by the end of the next day I can feel it coming again probably because the effect of the shower and the baby powder wear off.

A couple of things happened before I started having the symptoms:
1.I shaved the area(not something I used to do before) and applied a body lotion after the shave - Could I have caused this from the shave or shouldn't have applied the lotion on this area?
2. I used the same towel as the previous day. - I had and still have a very mild athlete foot odour so could I have transfered a fungal to this area as well from the towel?
3. I had a one night stand on the same day(4-5 hrs after the shave/shower) with a woman other than my partner but that was protected. I did have STDs test though when the symptoms started and it was clean. I've never been with any other than my partner before. Could I I have a fungal transmited from this woman that wouldn't appear on the STD screening?

Is it a fungal infection?

will I transfer it to my partner? we didn't have sex since this started and also for some time before so I know she doesn't have it.

Is it curable?
Posted Sun, 2 Dec 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 3 hours later
Thanks for writing in.

The descritption given by you suits the diagnosis of fungal infection.

The predisposing factors for this type of infection are hot, humid environment
sweating,using unwashed towels/underwears.

These are not related to sexual exposure or STD.It is not transmitted from you to your partner.
It is definitely curable.Treatment consists of oral and topical antifungals.

However if you can upload photos of the affected area ,it will be of great help in predicting in the condition.

Also I would like to know-
How frequently it itches?
Does it have demarcated border?
Does it cause burning?

Answer the above questions to help you better.

Meanwhile you can apply Lamisil cream over the area twice daily.
Wash your towel and undergarments in warm water with antiseptic added to it.
Also add a little antiseptic to your bathing water.

This will help a lot.

Upload the images and we can continue the discussion here.
I will be available for follow up.

MD Dermatology.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have itchy skin in genital area, noticed smelly and burning scrotum. Is it a fungal infection? 3 hours later
Hi and many thanks for the quick response.

I will a send a picture later when i find a good time to take one.

on the mean time though let me answer your questions to help you get a better idea.

How frequenly it itches?:
The itch never goes. It's mild. It was stronger at the beginning but now its mild. It stops when i have the shower and apply the baby powder. Then it comes backs when the baby powder wears off and i start feeling the sweat on both my balls and anus. But as i said it,s mild and also it seems to vary depending on the shower gel i use.

Does it have demarcated border?
It is like a red area between 0.5-1.0 centimeter wide and between 2.0-5.0 centimeter long and can clearly define it but its not always the same size and that's why the large variation on the length. Some days it's smaller than others. It is not swallen or anything. Ocassionaly i may see some peeling of the skin.

Does it cause burning?
Yes it does. My balls did have a strong burning sensation at the beginning. Now this is milder but never left completely or i learnt leaving with it as it is milder. i do also feel a very mild burning sensation and sweat on my anus. These are symptoms i never had before in my life and the smell keeps coming back together with the sweat.

Please let me know if that is helpful information.

Also if it is a fungal infection how long does it take to cure when i start the therapy?

Many thanks
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 9 hours later
Hi Again,

Thanks for the details.
The description suits the diagnosis of tinea cruris with intertrigo.

You need to Apply lamisil cream over the area twice a day.It is a good antifungal agent.Will give you good relief in 15 days.It is available over the counter medication.

Oral antifungals may be needed.They consist of terbinafine/fluconazole.But they are prescription medications.
Even after the skin has become normal ,application of cream should be continued for 15 more days to avoid the recurrence of fungal infection.

Hope this helps.

I will be available for follow up.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have itchy skin in genital area, noticed smelly and burning scrotum. Is it a fungal infection? 9 hours later
Hi and thanks again for the responses so far. They have been really helpful.

I went to see my GP today and although he didn't refer me to a dermatologist he checked the area and he also suggested that it is a fungal infection.

He prescribed Dactacort cream(miconazole 2% and hydrocortisone 1%) and suggested I use it twice a day for 2-3 weeks. Do you think that will do the job?

The suggestion you made about antiseptic made me concerned. Are you suggesting that the washing machine may not necesarily kill these things from the garments? So should I apply antiseptic on all trousers and underwear before putting them in the washing machine?

Many Thanks

Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 2 hours later
Hi again,
Its good to know that diagnosis has been confirmed by GP.
Datacort cream is good for treating you,it will help a lot.

Regarding antiseptic it was for bad odour .If you are not facing the problem now the antiseptic would not be required. Only adding the antiseptic to bathing water would be helpful.
A few drops of savlon like antiseptic to washing machine can also be helpful.

Hope this helps.
If you are satisfied with the answer accept it and rate it at the end.

Dr Sudarshan
MD dermatology.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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