September 29th, 2010
"Jock itch" is the endearing title we give tinea cruris – a fungal skin infection of the groin, upper thighs, and buttocks. Of course, you don't need to be a jock (or male) to enjoy this skin rash. If you neglect to bathe, are overweight, share towels, or if your nether region is a furnace of despair - constantly slick with sweat and swass - then you're just as likely to develop jock itch as the quarterback who refuses to wash his athletic supporter.
But you need not be worried - this embarrassing problem is fairly common and easy to treat. Of all fungal skin infections, jock itch probably puts up the least fight. Below you can learn how to get rid of jock itch – rash and all – using OTC antifungal agents and simple hygienic strategies.
Get Rid of Jock Itch
Get rid of jock itch with OTC antifungal treatments. Take your hands out of your pants and get to your local pharmacy. There you will find antifungal ointments, creams, sprays, and powders specifically formulated to get rid of jock itch. Lamisil AT (terbinafine) and Naftin (naftifine) are two products that get good reviews, but whatever your pharmacy has will most likely work. Follow product directions to the letter to prevent jock itch from recurring.
Keep the area clean. Shower or bathe at least once daily and after sweating. Sweat not only creates a perfect environment for the dermatophytes that cause jock itch, it also washes away natural skin oils that contain anti-fungal properties.
Keep the area dry. If, like me, you sweat easily and generously, you'll need to take extra precautions here. After showering, dry your jock itch rash last or with a separate towel to prevent spreading the infection. Try using a powder on your nether regions to help fight moisture. Wear light clothing that breathes, and – if you're a dude - make the switch to boxer shorts. If your crotch still heats up, bring an extra pair of underwear to school or work for a midday freshening.
Wash towels, underwear, and other items after each use. Jock itch is easily spread or reintroduced via contaminated clothing and towels, so wash everything – towels, jock straps, clothes…etc - after each use. Never lend or borrow towels, gym shoes, athletics supporters or clothing.
Go to the doctor. If home treatments don't improve your jock itch rash after two weeks, see your doctor. At your appointment, a doctor can take samples to make sure you are in fact dealing with jock itch and not another skin ailment. They can prescribe stronger topical and oral antifungal treatments that often work faster and in fewer applications than OTC solutions.
Jock Itch and Athlete's Foot
No, having both of these ailments does not mean you're a phenomenal sportsman. It's actually quite common and unimpressive. The same fungi that infect your feet may infect your groin or even your scalp, so take precautions. If you have athlete's foot, treat it at the same time you're treating the infection up north. Also, be sure to put your socks on before your underwear.