With summer ending, more and more men are heading back to college and starting (or resuming) campus life. For those living in dorms, this may well mean spending a lot of time with other guys, and that could possibly have some implications for their penis health, specifically in the area of jock itch. Because the truth is, wherever you have a big gathering of guys living together – even in coed dorms in which there is a significant female presence – there’s likely to be an increased risk of jock itch.
What it is
Sure, almost every guy has heard of jock itch, and most have likely experienced it at some time or another. But lots of men don’t know exactly what it is. Let’s take care of that right now.
Jock itch is the common name given to the condition known as tinea cruris, which is a kind of ringworm. But don’t get nervous – ringworm is not actually a worm at all. Instead, it’s a fungal infection, which presents as an oval-ish patch with a red color. The outer edge of the patch is usually redder and bumpier than the interior. Sometimes it presents as just one patch, sometimes as many patches, like a rash. Not surprisingly, jock itch really does itch. A lot.
Jock itch is typically located on or around the penis and balls. Sometimes it can be found on the thighs, and sometimes on the buttocks.
Despite the name, a guy doesn’t have to be an athlete to get jock itch, although people who hang out in gyms are more likely to get it. That’s because fungi thrive in places that are hot and humid, like a gym, locker room – or like a college dorm bathroom. The fungus that causes jock itch is easily spread through skin-on-skin contact, as well as contact with contaminated areas (such as shower room floors) or towels and clothing used by guys with jock itch.
Because guys living (and showering) in close proximity to each other make it easy for jock itch to thrive and spread, a college campus is a hotbed for tinea cruris. That is why students should take precautions, such as:
– Protecting the feet. Walking barefoot around a dorm or bathroom leaves the foot vulnerable to picking up the fungus that creates athlete’s foot – which can in turn create jock itch. Wearing flip flops or waterproof slippers in common areas is advised.
– Don’t share towels. Unless a towel has been freshly laundered, don’t borrow one from a roomie or pal. If he has jock itch and has dried his equipment with it, the towel can transmit it to an unwitting user.
– Or razors. Manscaping is in, but borrowing another dude’s razor for the purpose is out. Again, if he has ringworm and already shaved his junk, it’s a bad idea to let that razor near anyone else’s penis.
– Or underwear. This really should go without saying, but borrowing a bro’s boxers or briefs is just not hygienically safe. Even if he doesn’t have jock itch, it’s best to keep another guy’s underwear at a safe distance.
– Stick with personal soap – and other things. By the same token, sharing soap is a good way to share fungus. And the same goes for more personal items, such as lube and sex toys like cock rings, penis sleeves and dildos.