Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris, is a fungal infection that primarily affects a man's groin area. Jock itch usually appears as a very red rash which is very itchy. In some cases, blisters may appear on the edges. Jock itch typically starts in the folds of the groin and spreads down the inner thigh. It does not affect the scrotum as many believe. Itching or pruritis of the scrotum is usually caused by a yeast infection or food allergies.
Due to the relatively moist and warm nature of the area, men are particularly prone to this condition. However, women can get it as well. Jock itch can also appear on the buttocks if it spreads and is not properly treated. Jock itch is most prevalent in the summer months but may occur in the winter, too. Wearing clothing that does not permit proper ventilation or wearing wet and sweaty clothing can increase one's chances of getting jock itch. Heavier people are also more prone to getting jock itch.
Jock itch is usually treated with topical creams and ointments. Some of these medications require a prescription from a doctor, but there are several that can be bought over the counter. These brands include Tinactin, Lotrimin and Micatin. All three brands are equally effective in treating jock itch.
The cream should be applied two times per day for at least two weeks. You should apply the cream at least two finger-widths beyond where the rash or itching has occurred. You may stop treating the jock itch once the symptoms have subsided for at least a week. This precaution is advised so the symptoms do not reappear.
You should never use topical steroids or hydrocortisone creams to treat jock itch without first consulting a physician. Steroids can worsen your symptoms.
Jock itch is a miserable problem for those who have it. But it can also be prevented. Here are some tips on preventing jock itch:
- Always take off sweaty underwear and clothing after exercising.
- Allow the groin area to dry completely after showering before getting dressed.
- Avoid sharing clothing, towels and washcloths with others.
- Use antifungal creams or sprays periodically.