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Jock Itch - Causes Symptoms and Treatment


Jock itch is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. These microscopic organisms are normal inhabitants of your skin, and stay in check as long as your skin is clean and dry. People taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, with weakened immune systems, or who have diabetes are more at risk to develop the rash.

Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a pretty common fungal infection of the groin and upper thighs.

Jock itch is also sometimes called crack fungus, crotch itch, bag rot or crotch rot, dhobi itch (after Indian washermen).

It is a common fungal infection that affects the skin of your inner thighs, buttocks and genitals.

Men and women encounter the disease worldwide, although it is seen more often in the humid tropics.

The rash may affect only your groin, but it may spread to include your inner thighs, genitals, and areas around your anus, rectum, or Lesions caused by jock itch can extend from the crease between the inner thigh and pelvis, over the adjacent upper inner thigh, and into the anal area.

Jock itch occurs almost exclusively in adult men. It can sometimes accompany athlete's foot and ringworm. The fungus that causes jock itch thrives in warm, moist areas. As it grows, it spreads out in a circle, leaving normal-looking skin in the middle. This makes it look like a ring. At the edge of the ring, the skin is lifted up by the irritation and looks red and scaly. Many people with tinea cruris also have athlete's foot. Athlete's foot is called tinea pedis.

Jock itch gets its name because it is common in people who sweat a lot, like athletes. The medical name for all of these types of fungal infections is a tinea infection, and the medical name for jock itch is tinea cruris (pronounced: tih -nee-uh krur -us). It also often occurs in people who are overweight, but anyone can get the infection.

Jock itch may be contagious. Some kinds of fungi live on damp surfaces, like the floors in public showers or locker rooms. You can easily pick up a fungus there. It can be passed from one person to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing.

Jock itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum. Symptoms of these infections can vary depending on where they are on the body.

The most common etiologic agents for tinea cruris include Trichophyton rubrum and Epidermophyton floccosum ; less commonly Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton verrucosum are involved. The source of the fungus is usually the soil, an animal (usually a cat, dog, or rodent), or most often, another person. Staying in a bathing suit greatly increases your chances of acquiring Jock Itch.

Causes of Jock itch

The common causes and risk factor's of Jock itch include the following:

Jock itch is caused by fungi called dermatophytes. These microscopic organisms are normal inhabitants of your skin, and stay in check as long as your skin is clean and dry.

People taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, with weakened immune systems, or who have diabetes are more at risk to develop the rash.

Wearing tight clothes or athletic supporters can aggravate the problem further.

Lichen simplex chronicus.

Eczema.

Jock itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.

Chemical irritation.

Symptoms of Jock itch

Some sign and symptoms related to Jock itch are as follows:

A circular, red, raised rash with elevated edges.

Itching and redness in your groin, including your genitals, inner thighs, buttocks and anal area.

Flaking, peeling or cracking skin in your groin.

Abnormally dark or light skin.

You may have other fungal skin rashes such as athlete's foot or ringworm on other body parts.

In long-standing infections, the rash becomes less itchy and less red, and the plaques may fuse together.

Treatment of Jock itch

Jock itch is treated with one of two types of antifungal medications - azoles or allylamines.

For a mild case of jock itch, your doctor may suggest first using an over-the-counter antifungal ointment, lotion, powder or spray.

Keep the skin clean and dry.

Apply topical over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or tolnaftate.

Wash and then dry the area using a clean towel.

Tolnaftate (Tinactin, Aftate) and undecylenate (Cruex, Desenex) are well-known, effective medications.

Haloprogin (Halotex) -- Agent for use in the treatment of tinea cruris.

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