Other Names: Tinea cruris, crotch itch, crotch rot, Dhobi itch, eczema marginatum, gym itch, jock itch, jock rot, scrot rot, ringworm of the groin
Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a fungal infection that affects the skin of your inner thighs, buttocks and genitals. Jock itch causes an itchy, red, often ring-shaped rash in these warm, moist areas of your body.
Jock itch is almost exclusively confined to males, although it may also be seen in females.
Common symptoms of jock itch include:
- Redness in the affected area
- Persistent itching in the affected area
- Burning sensation in the affected area
- Flaking, peeling, or cracking skin in the affected area
- A rash that gets worse with exercise or activity
- Changes in skin color
A rash that does not improve or even worsens or spreads with over-the-counter hydrocortisone (anti-itch) cream
Jock itch typically affects the groin and inner thighs. It may spread to the abdomen and buttocks, but the scrotum usually isn’t affected.
Jock itch is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. These fungi naturally live on your skin and normally don’t cause problems. However, when you remain in sweat-soaked clothes after exercising, the lengthy exposure to moisture can allow the fungi to multiply quickly and cause the infection known as jock itch.
The fungus that causes jock itch is highly contagious. You may get the fungal infection through close personal contact with an infected person or through contact with the unwashed clothing of an infected person.
Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose jock itch simply by performing a physical exam and inspecting the affected area of skin. In some cases, your doctor may take some scrapings of skin cells from the area to help with diagnosing the condition. This may also help rule out other skin disorders, such as psoriasis.
In most cases, jock itch can be treated at home effectively. You can try the following remedies to get rid of the infection:
Apply an over-the-counter antifungal cream, powder, or spray to the affected area.
Again, using an over-the-counter anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone (steroid cream) will make jock itch worse.
Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Dry the affected area thoroughly after bathing and exercise.
Change clothes and undergarments every day.
Wear loose cotton clothing.
Treat any other fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot.
When should I see my doctor about jock itch?
If your symptoms don’t improve after two weeks of home treatments, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. You may have developed a secondary infection that needs prompt treatment.
If you do have jock itch, but it’s not responding to over-the-counter medications and home remedies, your doctor may prescribe something stronger topical or oral antifungal medications which may include Econazole, oxiconazole , itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan).