Topic Overview

Rashes in the groin or genital area are usually caused by
irritation of the skin from many sources, such as clothes rubbing against the
skin. Rashes that occur without other symptoms are usually minor and often go
away with home treatment.

Contact dermatitis

A common cause of a rash is
contact with a substance that causes irritation or an allergic reaction (contact dermatitis). People who work with soaps,
solvents, or detergents might splash these liquids on their clothes at waist
level. Over time, the body can develop allergies to these substances.

Contact dermatitis is rarely serious. But it is often very itchy.

Other rashes in groin or genital area

  • Jock itch (ringworm of the skin of the
  • Scabies caused by tiny mites that
    burrow into the outer layers of the skin
  • Pubic lice
  • Yeast infection (cutaneous
  • Psoriasis. There are two types of
    genital psoriasis: inverse and penile. Inverse psoriasis causes bright red
    patches and may be itchy. Penile psoriasis causes pale red, scaling patches
    and does not itch or burn.
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sores, blisters, or ulcers, especially in the groin or
    genital area, may be the first symptom of several STIs. If you have a rash or
    growths in the groin or genital area, do not have sexual contact or activity
    until you have been evaluated by your health professional. This will reduce the
    risk of spreading a possible infection to your partner. Your sex partner may
    also need to be evaluated and treated.

Certain diseases may increase your risk of a serious
infection. People with
peripheral arterial disease, or an impaired
immune system may require medical treatment at the
first signs of infection.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofOctober 5, 2017