Jock Itch

It seems like, around the globe, not washing one’s jeans is a very popular thing to do! Many celebrities have been quite vocal on this practice of theirs over the decades; as to how they go about their lives wearing the same jeans over and over again, over periods of up to six months without even a single wash! The practice seems to have evolved having the best interests for their pair of jeans at heart in terms of longevity and good looks. Many advocate this practice and some don’t even use soap to wash them and prefer just water along with a bit of air drying to get the job done as they believe that their jeans would get damaged otherwise. Designer Tommy Hilfiger was in the news recently when he confessed to the press that he hardly ever washed his pair of Levi’s jeans! Though all these seem very convenient and acceptable in the modern society, the practice of repeatedly wearing the same pair of jeans or say any form of clothing over long periods come with huge health risks, especially in tropical countries like India where the air isn’t very dry at all.

In the West and in continental Europe, the weather scenario is quite different from that of India. The air is much drier and this absence of moisture doesn’t harbor the growth of micro-organisms in clothes as much as it does in a place like India. Though this doesn’t make the habit of no washing any healthier in the west, it is fair to say that health risks are much lower as the low humidity causes the sweat to evaporate readily and, of course, the low temperatures also help.

Jock itch

Jock itch is one of those common skin conditions prevalent in India brought on by the lack of care towards one’s clothing. It manifests as an itchy rash in the groin area โ€“ a red or pink rash involving the skin folds of the groin and genitals. The itch’s intensity can get very severe to a point of causing social embarrassment. Though the condition can happen on both the genders, it is observed to be more common amongst men. Jock itch can spread to the inner thighs and also to the genitals and anus. It is frequently known to occur in people who are healthy otherwise though people suffering from diabetes and obesity are more susceptible.


The condition could be brought on by sweat, abrasion from rough underwear, excessive moisture and skin rubbing. It could also result from a fungus/yeast infection or a bacterial overgrowth. The treatment of jock itch that results from fungal activity is treated with anti-fungal creams or combinations of it. Rarely does the need arise for one to consume anti-fungal pills to get the job done. It helps a great deal to wear well-dried clothes to keep jock itch at bay. Repeatedly wearing the same clothes after profuse sweating multiplies the chances of jock itch setting in. Care must be taken in tropical weather and all soiled clothes must be worn again only after proper laundering. If affected by jock itch already, the associated areas must be kept clean and dry at all times as doing this alone could potentially get rid of the condition without the aid of medicines. If you are living in the warm parts of India, wearing jeans or other clothes that you sweat into every day, repeatedly over days isn’t recommended at all.

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The information provided in Dr. Dixit's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.