Testicle itching, although rather uncomfortable and possibly embarrassing, is often not a huge cause for alarm. An itchy testicle or groin area can be caused by a number of things, some of which are serious, but many of which are quite harmless. Some of the most common causes of testicle itching are a fungal infection, allergies, and certain types of bugs.
Tinea cruris, commonly known as jock itch, is typically caused by a fungus called Trichophyton rubrum. This type of fungus also causes athletes foot and thrives in warm, moist areas. Although it mostly happens among athletic men, women can also suffer from this kind of fungal infection.
Symptoms of this condition include intense crotch itch, especially on the testicles, inner thighs, and anus, accompanied by a red rash with scaly edges. The rash usually starts in the folds of the skin and spreads from there. Many times, all that's needed to get rid of jock itch is an over-the-counter topical spray or cream. If these do not clear up the itching and irritation, a visit to a physician's office is most likely in order.
If over-the-counter anti-fungal creams don't work, the testicle itching could be caused by a yeast infection, which is usually caused by Candida albicans, which is a type of fungus. Many people may not know it, but women are not the only ones who can get a yeast infection. Men can get one through sexual contact with an infected partner or from using antibiotics that kill off good bacteria. Symptoms of a male yeast infection include irritation, burning, itching, and pain in the groin area. Treatment usually consists of a topical anti-fungal cream and, possibly, an oral medication.
Another common cause of testicle itching is contact dermatitis. Symptoms of this condition often include discomfort, a rash, and itching in the groin area, including the scrotum. It is typically caused by direct contact with either an irritant or an allergen.
Irritant contact dermatitis is usually caused by an irritating substance, such as a strong chemical. It is generally more painful than allergic contact dermatitis and less itchy. Allergic contact dermatitis is quite common in individuals with other allergies, and can be caused by a number of things, including fragrance or dye in soaps, or certain plants, such as poison ivy. In this case, any known allergens should be avoided as much as possible.
Phthirus pubis, more commonly known as pubic lice or crabs, is an insect that feeds on human blood, especially in the genital regions. In men, the bites from these insects can cause intense testicle itching. These parasites are typically spread through sexual contact, but can also be passed on to a person via infested bedding, towels, or clothes. Many times, over-the-counter creams and soaps can be purchased to get rid of them, but sometimes, in severe cases, a prescription may be required.
Scabies is an itchy rash caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, or the itch mite. As these parasites seem to seek out warm folds in the skin, the genitalia is a common spot for infestation. Like with pubic lice, the bites and products of these insects can cause intense testicle itching.
Jock Itch on Testicles
If your testicular itching is the result of jock itch, there are a few potential causes that may be to blame. The fungus that’s responsible for jock itch can easily be spread by close contact with another person who has the fungus on their skin. This can happen during a sexual encounter, but it can also happen in gyms, showers, and other areas where people are in close proximity.
Like many other causes of itchy testicles, it can also be spread by sharing towels, clothes, bedding, and other linens that the fungus may cling to. The best way to prevent jock itch is to maintain good hygiene and avoid sharing personal items with other people.
There are several treatment options that can be used to alleviate the itching associated with jock itch. An over-the-counter antifungal cream such as clotrimazole or miconazole can effectively kill the fungal growth and eradicate its symptoms. These medications may also be available in a spray formula that’s easy to apply to the testicles. If over-the-counter treatments do not work, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication such as fluconazole.
Itchy Testicles at Night
Some men who suffer from itchy testicles notice that the problem worsens at night. This can be particularly troublesome when you’re trying to get to sleep. There are a few potential explanations that might cause nighttime itching to flare up, including an increase in sweating.
You may sweat more than usual if the temperature is warm, if your clothes are tight, or if you’re simply prone to night sweats. This worsens itching because the fungus that causes jock itch — the aforementioned Trichophyton rubrum — thrives in moist environments. When you sweat at night, the fungus may proliferate, causing your itching to worsen exponentially.
It should be noted, though, that if itching worsens considerably at night, this may point to a culprit other than jock itch. Scabies is often associated with nighttime itching because it is exacerbated by warmth. Your skin is typically warmer at night, so the itching associated with the infection will likely worsen.
Fungal Infection on Testicles
Fungal infections on testicles can usually be diagnosed by a doctor or by confirming your own symptoms. If you are experiencing itching, redness, and an area of irritation on and around your testicles, there’s a good chance you are experiencing a fungal infection. You can try any of the aforementioned treatment options to alleviate itching and kill the fungus.
If you go to a doctor, they may diagnose the problem based on several methods of assessment. A blood test may be done in order to detect any fungus that may have spread to the blood. More commonly, though, a doctor will simply collect a sample of cells from the part of your testicles where you are experiencing itching. The sample will then be examined under a microscope to see whether fungal growth is present. In most cases, though, a doctor will be able to confirm whether you are experiencing a fungal infection simply via visual assessment.