An Overview of Jock Itch Fungal Infection

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 11, 2013

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Jock itch (Tinea Cruris) is described as an itchy rash. It is a fungal infection which often forms a ring-shape that affects the skin, generally the moist and warm areas of the body like inner thighs, genitals, buttocks and scrotum.

ring wormVarious types of microscopic bacteria and fungi live on our bodies, and dermatophytes are also among them. Generally, these microscopic organisms dwell on the dead skin tissues and thrive in warm and moist parts of the body, such as thighs. So, when the groin area gets sweaty and isn't dried properly, it provides a perfect environment for the fungi to multiply and thrive.

Causes for Jock Itch

  • Jock itch occurs due to the growth and spread of a particular type of fungus called dermatophytes, in or on the top layer of the skin, particularly in warm and moist areas of the body, such as groin, inner thighs, and buttocks.
  • It can also be caused by friction from clothes and prolonged wetness in the groin area, such as from sweating.
  • Jock itch is common among people who are obese, sweat a lot or athletes. Usually, it affects men, but women can also get affected by this.
  • It is contagious; infection may pass from one person to another by skin contact, contact with unwashed clothes, by using public shower or swimming pool.
  • People with low body immunity and intolerance to food like fructose, heat and humidity are more prone to jock itch problem.

Symptoms of Jock Itch

  • It starts with mild irritation in the area of inner thighs or buttocks which further leads to a burning sensation.
  • Jock itch forms a ring-shape rash which may be one inch in size, light red or pink in color.
  • Skin becomes flaking, cracking or peeling.
  • Edge of the rash may become scaly or have bumps.
  • Jock itch may cause discoloration of affected skin; the affected area may become dark or light in color than normal skin color.

Diagnosis of Jock Itch

Doctor may diagnose jock itch simply by making a physical examination of the rash or he/she may scrap a little of the rash and look at it under a microscope. He/she may ask you question on above-mentioned symptoms and look into your medical history.

Treatment for Jock Itch

If jock itch is at the initial stage, then it can be cured by self care within a couple of weeks:

  • Try to keep the affected areas of the skin clean and dry as much as possible.
  • Try to avoid wearing tight clothes or that may rub or irritate skin.
  • Wash the affected area with antibacterial soap and water and then apply some antifungal cream or powder, as prescribed by a doctor.
  • Mix olive oil and coconut oil and apply it on the affected area twice a day.

In case jock itch long more than two weeks and there is excessive redness, swelling, drainage or fever occurs then consult the doctor, he or she may provide you some antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.

Prognosis of Jock Itch


Usually Jock Itch can be treated in a couple of weeks, but it may recur also that is called chronic jock itch, which cannot be treated simply by using antibacterial cream or lotion. In such cases, oral medicines are incorporated to treat the severe jock itch. Following people should be more vigilant to prevent the problem from recurring:

  • People who wear tight clothing.
  • People who are in athletics.
  • People who have weak immune system.

Prevention measures of Jock Itch

  • Keep the warm and moist areas of body clean and dry.
  • Dry yourself well after a shower and bath.
  • Wear loose clothes whenever possible.
  • Wear sandals in the shower area at the swimming pool and gym.
  • Wash athletic supporters frequently.
  • Don’t let others use your clothes or towel.
  • Men should wear boxer shorts rather that briefs.
  • Use antibacterial lotion or powder after bath.

Jock itch is not incurable, but should be treated immediately with home remedies and medicines. If the problem is ignored for a long time, it may lead to permanent scars.

Read more articles on Sexual Health.

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