What is the pathogenesis of tinea cruris (jock itch)?

Updated: Feb 22, 2018
  • Author: Michael Wiederkehr, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The most common etiologic agents for tinea cruris include Trichophyton rubrum and Epidermophyton floccosum; less commonly Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton verrucosum are involved. Tinea cruris is a contagious infection transmitted by fomites, such as contaminated towels or hotel bedroom sheets, or by autoinoculation from a reservoir on the hands or feet (tinea manuum, tinea pedis, tinea unguium). The etiologic agents in tinea cruris produce keratinases, which allow invasion of the cornified cell layer of the epidermis. The host immune response may prevent deeper invasion. Risk factors for initial tinea cruris infection or reinfection include wearing tight-fitting or wet clothing or undergarments.


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