Rewearing clothing, especially underwear or athletic supporters, before laundering
Changing underwear infrequently
Sharing towels or clothing with other people
Using public showers or locker rooms
Immune system disorders
Jock itch causes a chafed, itchy, sometimes painful rash in the groin, upper inner thigh, or buttock. The rash is:
Usually red, tan, or brown
Usually defined clearly at the edges
Often slightly scaly
Jock itch can usually be diagnosed based on the appearance and location of the rash. However, other skin problems may look similar to jock itch. If you are not certain of the diagnosis, contact your doctor.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. In some cases, your doctor may order a laboratory test of the infected skin area. Testing usually consists of a skin scraping that can be viewed under a microscope or cultured.
Over-the-counter antifungal creams can usually treat jock itch. Creams or lotions work better on jock itch than sprays. In severe or persistent cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger creams or oral medication. Use your prescription for the entire time that your doctor recommends. This will help prevent reoccurrence of the rash. If your rash does not resolve within a month of treatment, contact your doctor.
Antifungal creams for jock itch include:
Oxiconazole Nitrate (Oxistat)
While all of these medications can effectively treat jock itch, terbinafine may lead to a more rapid cure than some of the others. It is also considerably more expensive than most of the medications in the above list. Tolnaftate and undecylenic acid may be less effective than some of the other medications listed, but as generics, they are generally among the least expensive treatments available. Creams are usually applied twice daily for 2-4 weeks. Follow the instructions given on the package or by your pharmacist or physician.
Do not use antifungal creams recommended specifically for athlete's foot. They may be too harsh for the groin. In some cases, over-the-counter antifungal creams may not work or effectively treat the rash. In these cases, your doctor can prescribe a stronger antifungal cream.
If your jock itch rash begins to ooze, call your doctor. This may be an indication that the rash may be secondarily infected with bacteria. If your doctor confirms that it is, you may be given an antibiotic.
Take these steps to help prevent jock itch and recurrences of jock itch:
Always shower soon after exercising or perspiring heavily.
After showering, dry the groin area thoroughly.
Apply absorbent powder after showering to help keep the groin area dry.
Wear loose-fitting clothing.
Wear cotton underwear and breathable clothing.
Avoid wearing clothing that chafes your groin.
Always launder clothing, such as underwear and athletic supporters.
Do not share towels or clothing with others.
Do not wear wet swimsuits for a long period of time.
Do not store damp clothing in your locker or gym bag.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a