Online Dermatologist > How To Cure Jock Itch? Home Remedies

How To Cure Jock Itch? Home Remedies

by | Jan 20, 2023 | Rash, Sport


Last updated: May 15, 2024

how-to-cure-jock-itch

Hot, Sweaty and Tight Clothing can put you at risk of jock itch

 

It may be a strange sounding name but thats simply because of how it usually occurs. Jock itch is a common problem amongst athletes. Typically, it affects the genital region, groin, inner thighs and buttocks. Essentially, anywhere that can get moist and warm is at risk. This is because Jock itch is a fungal infection that occurs in people that sweat often.

It is an intensely itchy rash and its also contagious. The rash is known as Tinea Cruris when it appears around the groin. It can also often be referred to as ringworm.

 

Who is at risk of Jock Itch?

Firstly, there is no reason to panic. Jock itch can be painful but it is not a serious rash. Keeping the area clean and dry usually resolves most cases. The name ‘Jock itch’ makes it sound like only macho men with sporty builds may suffer from it. But the truth is, it can affect anyone regardless of gender and how active you are. Especially if you are a person who sweats a lot or a bit overweight, there is a bigger chance you might be infected with tenia cruris. It is because warm moist environments such as sweaty spaces between skin folds are perfect breeding grounds for the fungus ‘tinea’ to develop.

It is also worth noting that this rash is more common in males than females. Likewise, some people are more likely to get this disease than others. Those at highest risk:

  • People with Diabetes
  • Patients with weak immune systems
  • Obesity
  • Cancer Chemotherapy patients
  • AIDS patiens

In all the pattern here is people who may have compromised immune systems for whatever reason. Sometimes in these patients the jock itch is more frequent and severe than for others. Speak to our dermatologists if you have been suffering for longer than a few weeks.

 

Risk factors affecting Jock Itch

  • Wearing tight, occlusive and irritating clothes that would not allow proper ventilation your body needs
  • Wearing damp clothes like wet bathing suits for long periods of time
  • Improper hygiene
  • Sharing personal items such as towels and clothes with other people
  • Genetic predisposition

 

Symptoms of Jock Itch

Jock itch rash: showing red, scaly, circular rash with raised edges, typical symptoms of tinea cruris. The skin is irritated and exhibits signs of cracking and peeling. Tinea Corporis (Ringworm) skin [ICD-10 B35.4]

Jock itch (tinea cruris) with visible symptoms of red, scaly, circular rash and irritated skin.

If you’re worried you may have jock itch then there are some clear symptoms to look out for:

  • A red rash
  • Usually, it can start in the crease of the groin since this is where the fungus survives. From here it can spread to the genitals, upper thighs, lower abdomen and buttocks
  • An intensely itchy feeling in the groin
  • Dry and flaky skin in the groin area
  • Red or pink ring shaped lesions
  • Sometimes you may see small blisters and raised skin around the border of the fungus

 

Jock itch rash: severe condition showing red, scaly rash with raised edges on the genitals and inner thighs, typical symptoms of tinea cruris. The skin is irritated with areas of cracking and peeling.

Jock itch rash: severe condition showing red, scaly rash with raised edges on the genitals and inner thighs, typical symptoms of tinea cruris. The skin is irritated with areas of cracking and peeling.

 

Is jock itch contagious?

Yes! And that cannot be stressed enough. This highly spreadable nature accounts for how common it is seen in the community. Superficial fungal infections, tinea cruris included, affect 20%-25% of world population.1 Especially in tropical countries where there are higher temperatures and increased humidity, this condition is more common.

You can catch the disease from direct contact with infected skin and sexual contact with an infected person. Remember, Tinea can spread not only from person to person, but also from one body part to others as well. Tinea can be present in your feet and scalp too; in which cases they are called tinea pedis and tinea capitis respectively. The fungus can spread to your groin from one of these areas easily, with a simple touch of hand or clothes. Thereafter it can cause Jock itch. So, if you already have foot fungus, or fungal infections in any part of your body, you need to be especially careful.

 

How to treat Jock itch?

As mentioned before, Jock itch is usually harmless and just needs to be treated with care. There are many home remedies for jock itch that should keep it in check. However, it’s worth remembering that this is a fungal infection. To clear all fungus it can take time, usually around 6-8 weeks of treatment.

There is an array of over-the-counter medications to treat jock itch, including antifungal creams, sprays, powders and gels. There are some home remedies, including rubbing alcohol which has the potential to kill or weaken the disease-causing microorganisms. But it has its own downside to it. As rubbing alcohol can make the skin dry, irritation caused by the fungal infection might get worse.

Essential oils and garlic have the potential to stop the growth of bacteria, which might be able to cure secondary infections you may have. However, these are not guaranteed to cure your Jock itch completely.

Scientific research shows the synergistic action of some essential oils that help to cure Jock itch faster, when used together with antifungal cream.6 In this study, the antifungal activity of tee tree oil was evaluated against the fungus Trichophyton rubrum, and the results were promising. As a result, more studies are now in progress to explore the possible uses of other essential oils in treating fungal infections as well.

using anti-fungal cream for jock itch treatment

A topical anti-fungal cream is very important. The mechanism of action of these drugs is to impair the production of an essential component in the cell membrane of the fungus.   You can also use powder or spray depending on preference. Either way, apply to the affected region twice a day. Do this for 8 weeks and do not stop abruptly. Otherwise, the infected area could develop resistance to the treatment. Some of the best include antifungal creams include:

  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin)
  • Miconazole (Monistat, Micatin)
  • Terbinafine (Lamisil)

Some of these creams have faster recovery rates, while others show less incidence of reappearance of the disease after initial recovery. Which one is best differs from person to person, and depends on cost, accessibility and individual’s response to medication.

 

Next step in treatment for Jock Itch – oral medications

If the Jock itch is long lasting, recurring or recalcitrant, this is the best choice. Most often prescribed oral medications are terbinafine and itraconazole.4 Ketoconazole is a drug that is no longer in use because of its high potential to cause liver damage.2 It is also possible that you might have a bacterial infection that developed secondary to the jock itch, in which case, oral and topical medication will be administered simultaneously.

Recent studies have shown the efficacy of steroid treatment against itching and inflammation, bringing relief to pain, redness and irritation of the affected skin. However, as it repairs the fungal cell wall, it renders the action of antifungal cream useless.5

To stop you from touching and itching the rash you can also opt for an antihistamine. There are many such as Fexofenadine, Loratadine, Cetirizine and Chlorpheniramine. All available over the counter and should reduce itching.

If the jock itch, you’re suffering from is mild, make sure you wash the area twice daily and use an antifungal shampoo such as Nizoral which contains Ketoconazole. Even a selenium sulfide shampoo can help but if the jock itch is more than mild then you’ll need a topical antifungal solution.

It is important to continue treatment for a while even after the symptoms disappear because unless jock itch might appear again. However, if you can follow the following habits regularly, you would not have to deal with Jock itch at all. And good hygienic habits will help you cure Jock itch faster.

 

Persistent Jock Itch Rash? Get a Confidential Review from a Dermatologist Online!

 

Preventing Jock Itch – Personal hygiene matters the most

Why suffer when you can prevent the disease? Here is how you are going to do that.

  • Always keep your groin and genitals clean and dry. If you need to, shower twice a day to keep it clean. Especially after exercise and other activities that make you sweat, take time and wash thoroughly. And remember to dry properly after washing.
  • If you have Jock itch, both washing and drying should be done very gently. Use mild cleansers and be gentle with your skin. As it is already irritated, rough handling can cause more damage and bleeding.
  • It is very important to maintain low humidity to prevent fungal growth. And remember to always use clean towels to dry yourself. When drying, do it from top to bottom so that you dry your feet last. This prevents the risk of spreading any foot fungus you might have into your groin area.
  • Do your best not to scratch or itch the infected area. That is a surefire way to worsen the condition because the skin will get more irritated with scratching, and fungus will spread everywhere with the touch of your hands.
  • Warm water can reduce the urge to scratch – rinse 2 – 3 times a day with warm water and soap. Using separate towels to dry the infected areas is a good idea. Using hot water to wash your clothes will help them rid the fungus more thoroughly.
  • Use antifungal powders to maintain the dryness. Powder will absorb any excess moisture and prevent fungal growth.
  • Always be mindful about what you wear. Go for clothes that are comfortable, properly fitting and not irritable to your skin. A breathable fabric like cotton would be more appropriate. Especially when choosing underwear, choose ones that are not too tight. And always wear clean underwear. Do not wear the same underwear again without washing it first. Also, when dressing up, if you can put on your socks before underwear, that might prevent foot fungus from spreading into your groin.
  • Workout clothes and towels should be cleaned after every use, and never ever share these items with anyone. Because if you end up lending or borrowing these personal items from someone who has Jock itch, it is almost guaranteed that you would catch the disease.
  • Another important thing to do is treat any type of fungal infection in any part of your body as soon as possible. Having any type of fungus growing on your body skyrockets the possibility of you getting Jock itch eventually.

 

Will it ever get better?

Many people face reduced self-esteem and negative emotional statuses because of Jock itch. But do not worry, it is completely curable. With the right medication, you can completely get rid of the symptoms within a short time span. If the treatment is working, you would notice the rash subsiding and the discoloration fading, giving your skin its natural complexion back. Also, the itchiness will reduce and disappear. These signs will tell you if you are doing the right thing to do.

 

Should I speak to a dermatologist?

Frankly, treating jock itch is as simple as wearing clean clothes, washing frequently and treating with anti-fungal creams. However, if symptoms persist and do not appear to be improving after 2 to 3 weeks then you should speak to a dermatologist.

Especially if you are not sure whether the rash is Jock itch or not, it is best to visit your dermatologist as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the condition after a physical examination of the rash. Sometimes skin scrapings will be extracted for laboratory testing. It would be necessary if the condition keeps reappearing, or if it does not seem to respond to the treatment. Tests include potassium hydroxide preparations, skin biopsy with the staining technique called PAS stain and fungal cultures on agar medium.2 Newfound technique to make this process easier has been proven effective in a recent study, where the samples were collected using a cellophane adhesive tape.3

A dermatologist can prescribe stronger creams and treatment, including oral antifungals. Equally, if you notice any oozing, from sores, pus, fever, chills, severe pain and swollen lymph nodes in the groin then this is almost certainly a time to speak to a dermatologist or doctor.

Bottom line, Jock itch is a contagious skin condition that is awkward to live with, but thankfully easy to cure. All you have to do is identify the condition correctly, treat with the best available medication and take preventive measures even after the symptoms reduce. Remember, always be clean to be free of all worries.

 

Dealing with Persistent Jock Itch Rash? Consult a Board Certified Dermatologist Online and Get a Confidential Review Now!

 

References

  1. Sahoo, A., & Mahajan, R. (2016). Management of tinea corporis, tinea cruris, and tinea pedis: A comprehensive review. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 7(2), 77. https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.178099
  2. Tinea Cruris – PubMed. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32119489/
  3. Raghukumar, S., & Ravikumar, B. C. (2018). Potassium hydroxide mount with cellophane adhesive tape: a method for direct diagnosis of dermatophyte skin infections. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 43(8), 895–898. https://doi.org/10.1111/CED.13573
  4. Gupta, A. K., & Cooper, E. A. (2008). Update in antifungal therapy of dermatophytosis. Mycopathologia, 166(5–6), 353–367. https://doi.org/10.1007/S11046-008-9109-0
  5. Khurana, A., Sardana, K., & Chowdhary, A. (2019). Antifungal resistance in dermatophytes: Recent trends and therapeutic implications. Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B, 132. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.FGB.2019.103255
  6. Roana, J., Mandras, N., Scalas, D., Campagna, P., & Tullio, V. (2021). Antifungal Activity of Melaleuca alternifolia Essential Oil (TTO) and Its Synergy with Itraconazole or Ketoconazole against Trichophyton rubrum. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/MOLECULES26020461

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