Fungi love damp dark places, so they often thrive in the crevices between toes and in folds of skin. The groin is especially susceptible. That’s why men often complain of jock itch.
Women can have jock itch too. But they may also suffer from fungal infections under the breast. Judging from our mail bag, this is far more common than many people realize.
Several weeks ago we heard from a woman who asked for help: “For years I have had a yeast infection under my breasts, under my arms and in the groin. Nothing works. I know other women have this problem. I would be grateful for any remedies that might help.”
Our answer was fairly lame. We suggested old-fashioned amber Listerine. This mouthwash contains herbal oils with antifungal activity, plus a substantial dose of alcohol. Some men have found it can conquer jock itch.
We were unprepared for the outpouring of suggestions from other women who also suffer from this problem. Not surprisingly, many have found that antifungal medicines are especially helpful: “I had a similar problem. My doctor prescribed Nystatin cream. It works wonderfully and I haven’t had a problem since.”
Over-the-counter antifungal creams also have enthusiastic boosters: “I too had a yeast infection under my breasts. Even my doctor did not know exactly what to do. So I bought Monistat vaginal cream and applied it. The infection cleared right up!”
Another woman prefers a different Monistat product: “I found wonderful relief for my yeast infection. In the feminine product aisle of stores is something called ‘Soothing Care Medicated Powder’ made by Monistat Intimate Care.
“I bought it and tried it, applying it right after my bath. I was amazed because after using it for several weeks my yeast infection was gone from under my breast, under my arms and my groin.”
Soothing Care Medicated Powder does not contain antifungal medication . Instead, the active ingredient is zinc oxide (often found in diaper rash cream), with inactive ingredients of cornstarch, aloe extract and vitamin E.
Cornstarch is an old-fashioned favorite, as we heard from this woman: “I used every expensive cream formula, both prescription and OTC, without success. In desperation due to itching one night, I tried my Grandma’s cornstarch cure.
“Be sure areas are clean and dry. Then dust the affected areas with a thin coating of cornstarch. (Use a flat powder puff to apply.) Do this at least twice daily.
“After months of creams, it took only a few weeks for the underarm area to dry. The itching stopped. The dead skin peeled off and it has never returned. My dermatologist couldn’t believe it worked so well. The groin and areas under the breasts took a bit longer, but they’ve also healed. Grandmas do know best.”
Cornstarch and zinc oxide are both working on the principle that drying the skin will deprive the fungus (yeast, in this case) of the moisture it needs to thrive.
Who knew that so many women suffer from fungal infections under the breasts? With various possible remedies, however, we hope this troublesome problem is no longer a deep, dark secret.