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Steroid Cream (Jock Itch) Scare
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Steroid Cream (Jock Itch) Scare

Over the summer, I had a case of what I thought was jock itch (only affected the scrotum).  My symptoms were a burning, itching sensation on my scrotum, but no rash.  I tried to treat with Equate Athlete's Foot Cream or Tolnaftate Cream USP, 1% Antifungal.  I probably used the product once a day for 3 to 4 weeks, even though twice a day is recommended for 2 weeks.  As you might guess, symptoms improved, but the jock itch remained, especially after I discontinued the treatment.  I do not know whether the jock itch remained due to my non-compliance or the efficacy of the medication, or both.

I made a visit to my Internist who didn't hesitate to prescribe Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream USP based off the symptoms I describe to him, i.e. didn't bother to look at affected area.  Little did I know that this was the most potent topical steroid on the market.  Had I known, it wouldn't have even made a difference anyway because I didn't know the side effects of steroids either.  I was not given any instructions on how to use it, imagine that, and I forgot to ask, not really my job either because I am entrusting a Dr.  But, I took matters into my own hands and read the package insert and learned to apply twice a day and you should not use the cream longer than two weeks for jock itch.  This time I was loyal to the twice a day regimen for 15 days; an extra day just to knock this thing out.  That seemed to have done the trick until a few months later, back comes the itch.  So, what do I do?  Use the prescription cream again for three or four days until my scrotum becomes BEET red.  I had to do something because the itch was terrible.  So, I discontinue treatment and seek advice from a Dermatologist who gets angry at me for walking into his office with an itch but without a rash.  He tells me even I did have Jock Itch, he would NEVER EVER treat it with Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream USP (prescription cream) because it can cause SEVERE thinning of the skin.  He goes on to tell me that he wouldn't even use it on athlete's foot.  Finally, he tells me maybe I should see a Psychiatrist because the itch is all in my head.

My questions are these.  After the completion of all of these treatments, I have obviously learned that one of the side effects of these types of medications can be a thinning of the skin and skin redness.  Besides the obvious, what does this mean and how could it adversely affect someone?  Is this a temporary condition or permanent?  Will the redness go away and why did my Internist prescribe this stuff in the first place assuming the Dermatologist is right about the Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream USP?  I don't think this stuff is all in my head, how is that possible?  I have an open mind, but come on.

Moreover, the reason I am also concerned is my COMBINED use of all of these creams, i.e. the Tolnaftate Cream USP, 1% Antifungal for about 3 to 4 weeks, albeit intermittently, and the Clotrimazole and Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream USP for 15 days. This would make my total treatment time 5 to 6 weeks exceeding the 2 week limit in the labeling of both medications.  Then, you can tack on the final three to four days of the prescription cream until the BEET redness appeared on my scrotum.  It looks like a sunburn because you can see EXACTLY where the cream was applied.  After talking to the Derm, I'm scared to death.

In short, have I messed myself up with this stuff permanently and what exactly is going on with this itch??  The Derm doesn't believe it really exists.

Thank you in advance for your response.  I know I have asked a ton of questions, but your help would be much appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
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Avatar_n_tn
Did anyone post a reply to your question or did you ask the Doctor about your problem.  I had almost the same thing happen to me and I still have the problem almost two months later.  My dermotologist currently has me taking Methlprednlsolone and an antibiotic.  He did say it was from the steriods my family doctor had given me.  He was not very clear on when or if it was going to go away.  Currently, I am red not BEET red and am uncormfortable when sitting.                  DD127
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Avatar_m_tn
still have the same problem?
My balls have been red for over nine months now. Doctor has no clue. Tgsbd
Don't use cortisone on your sack. Just 1% or less. The skin will turn red and get thin. also not good for you. This hasn't done permanent damage yet. your skin will recover. But the real problem will come back. Your going to be the millionth customer to the red scrotum club. Chronic red sore scrotum for life. Prescriptions don't work so doctor says it's in your head. Your making your scrotum turn red.
Take a look through the history of this site. Would you ever believe that their are that many guys out there with the same problem.
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Avatar_n_tn
There are many types of fungal infections and it doesn't necessarily have to be from jock itch (ringworm). The doctors are looking for classic jock itch, and doctors generally feel that only immune compromised patients get the other types of fungal infections on their skin.
If the itch gets worse when sitting for a while, especially in warmer weather, sweating, or when moist from sweat then it is probably jock itch or another type of fungal infection. Try a non-medicated powder talc-based powder. If keeping it dry makes it feel better, then get the anti-fungal powder. Generally the anti-fungal powders are only for feet and they tend to come in sprays. The feet labelled sprays can be used on your jock itch, but they tend to have alcohol, perfumes, and other ingredients that will irritate the skin (which is why they are labelled only for feet). If you look around at different drug stores or walmart you should be able to find a spray labelled for jock itch. I had less success with the creams because they keep the area moist.. which is counter-productive.
I've had the same problem, finishing a 4 week cream and still having the itch. Sprays worked well although the irritation tended to stay until after stopping the spray, but then after some weeks the symptoms came back.
I never had much success with these but they might make the problem go away for a month or two until it comes back. Fungus is hard to eradicate. Also, you will need to throw out all of your underwear before the last week of your treatment. I don't know how important things like pants or jeans are to get rid of, but if you can afford it go right ahead. You need to do this before the treatment ends.
Yes you have to apply the sprays and creams twice a day, you need to keep the medication on the skin 24 hours a day (the purpose of twice a day). After a shower is the best time for the first treatment, and then probably before you go to sleep.
One of the key methods to diagnose a fungal infection is whether the area feels moist to the touch (without excessive heat or sweating). On a nice cool day (and especially during winter) your scrotum should not normally feel moist after a few hours into the day.. it should be dry to the touch..
Another useful trick, swim in pools and dry off well afterwards. The chlorine in the pool will help a little also. Tan naked - direct sunlight kills fungus. Eat one piece of a garlic clove each day with a meal.. garlic is a strong antifungal. If it is a fungal infection, any of these may improve your symptoms.
As a last resort, if some of these methods have helped diagnose it as a fungal infection you can ask your doctor for oral Lamasil tablets. Oral lamasil can put a heavy load on the liver so other things should be tried first and it should be determined that it is in fact fungal first. Oral lamisil is the final solution though, it will kill it off permanently. I still recommend you keep the area dry with a talc-based powder or something while on lamisil.
I don't recommend corn-starch based powders... they are for women and babies because of specific health scares that don't apply to adult men..
I hope some of this information helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
Since this is on the scrotum rather than thighs it may not be a yeast infection at all. It could also be a yeast infection that would be treated differently. Tests are called for.
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Avatar_n_tn
topical steroid only make the fungal worst. it innitially make the symptoms look like its gone but actually they are burried deep under your skin. once you stop the topical steroid, all symptoms will come back n appear even worst than the last time.
i suggest go and get cream or spray without steroid or its pure antifungal. consult a really good dermatologist too.
check on a condition called tinea incognito.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dude, I'm so sorry.  I had the same thing happen to me.  I used the stuff fort 10 days and it's permanent.  You may be lucky, since you only used it for 3-4 days.  I had to go to the emergency room the reaction was so bad.  My sac looked like it had been dunked in a deep fryer.  It's going on 4 years and the thinning is still horrible. The damn doctors who gave me this mutilated me.  Summer time and after working out at the gym are the worst, when you notice the thinning the most and the skin becomes sticky, red and wrinkled.  Honestly I wish I could die.
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