“Jock Itch”


So last night, I’m getting ready for bed and pulling my t-shirt over my head when I see this bright red spot on my lower back.  I lift the shirt and lean across the counter closer to the mirror and see what looks like a curling iron burn.  What the HECK is that?

I’m exhausted.  I’ve been battling allergies and a full weekend of picking up a shift at Bullbranch, recording for five hours, homework, prof work and I’m SO ready to crash and now I have an unidentified red mark on my body.  What to do?

I rifle through the “first aid” box I own and find my trusty melaleuca bacterial cream and hope that it will kill whatever is on my back as I crawl into bed.

Not so lucky.

I wake up this morning and there is a second unidentified red mark!!  Crap.  I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, so I’m trying to work my imagination off the idea that this is some lethal form of skin cancer, a terminal case of flesh eating disease and somehow the untimely end to my very young life.

I am also shameless, and the minute I walk into work this morning I roll up to my cubemates space and pull up my shirt, “what is THIS?!?”  A mix of laughter and groaning ensues and then speculation begins.  Eczema?  Ringworm?!  What the heck is ringworm.

I look it up.  Apparently it’s common with wrestlers (never tried it) and cheerleaders (never wanted to try it) but is generally passed in sweaty “exercise” type environments.  I’m not really into the whole sweating thing.  In fact, I was telling my dad how I rarely sweat and couldn’t imagine where I picked this up from.  Then I started thinking…

I always bring my own stretch mat to the gym.  Especially after we first opened and I saw them bringing in the apartment complexes mats and glanced over at the sweaty smelly college guys lifting weights.  This past Saturday I forgot my mat and against better judgment, used one of the mats in the gym.  Now I have ring worm.

Coincidence?  Maybe.  Gross?  Very.  Cause?  Likely.

Probably the best part of my day was going to Walmart to purchase the home remedy for this unfortunate skin invader.  WebMD told me I needed to purchase something called “Lotrimin.”  Easy enough.  Until I found out that this product was for ringworm but proclaimed loudly on the package “CURES MOST JOCK ITCH.”  I felt like it was screaming that phrase all the way to the check out line.  I deliberately placed the package wrong-side up so that I couldn’t see.  Embarrassing.

Lesson learned?  Do NOT use communal gym mats.  Ever.

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