▷ Home Remedies for Jock Itch

Home Remedies for Jock Itch

Written by Sabrina Wilson and updated on May 31, 2016
Home Remedies for Jock Itch

Jock Itch is the common name for the itchy red rash that can often be found in the groin area and is caused by sweat, friction, and restrictive clothing. Thankfully most of the time it isn’t serious, and home remedies for jock itch can be quite effective.

Jock itch isn’t something most people want to talk about. Even the name is embarrassing. But who hasn’t finished a workout or a strenuous game of basketball, soccer, or baseball with friends and felt that discomfort that comes from sweaty clothes that bind and rub? When is that itching more than just needing a good shower, and what can you do about it from home?

Causes

The most common cause of jock itch is from the tinea cruris, or ringworm, fungus that infects the outer layer of skin. Ringworm is really a misnomer, since it is not a worm at all, but it is instead a fungus that leaves a patchy rash with a scaly red ring.

Another cause of jock itch is a candida or yeast overgrowth. If your jock itch is caused by yeast, the rash tends to be red and moist, without the ring-like pattern that is caused by fungal infections.

Bacterial overgrowth can also be a culprit. Friction causes minor abrasions to the skin and these can become infected with bacteria, which love warm, moist environments.

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Symptoms

For fungal jock itch it begins with an itchy red rash on the groin, inner thighs, buttocks, or even the scrotum (for men). Folds of skin are particularly susceptible to the friction and moisture which leads to infection. The rash will become more irritated with time and can even become painful in such sensitive areas.

The reddened area often spreads outward in a half-moon from between the thighs and may consist of scaly or flaky skin that itches or burns and may be bordered with small blisters. The center of the rings may be brownish red in color.

For jock itch related to bacteria and yeast, the rash may be more of a bright red, and will likely be moist, rather than scaly.

Treatment

About 50 percent of jock itch cases are simply a result of sweat and friction, which can cause minor abrasions of the skin and an overgrowth of bacteria. This is easily treated by simply keeping the area clean and dry, as much as possible. Avoid tight clothing and try treating the area with a 1 percent hydrocortisone cream for three to four days. A zinc oxide cream can also be applied to help soothe and protect the area. If the cause of your rash is bacterial and does not go away on its own with good hygiene, you may need to see your doctor for prescription antibiotics.

Most ringworm cases of jock itch can be treated at home with over the counter antifungal creams, which do not require a prescription. Brands include Monistat, Lotrimin, Lamisil, and Micatin. These contain clotrimazole, miconazole, and terbinafine, which are effective antifungals against ringworm jock itch. Always follow the directions and complete the recommended treatment cycle of 2-4 weeks. Do not stop use just because symptoms disappear.

Rarely, ringworm can cause blisters. If this occurs, use a compress to dry out and soothe blistering. Burow’s compresses, which contain a solution of aluminum acetate, have astringent properties to dry out the blisters and can be found over the counter under brand names like Domeboro and Borofair. Once skin has been dried out, antifungal creams and lotions can be applied.

Yeast infections can be treated with topical antifungal creams that contain clotrimazole, such as Lotrimin. The affected area should be kept clean and dry. As always, if the affected area does not get better within two weeks, see your doctor for treatment.

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Prevention

Preventing jock itch to begin with is your best bet. Wear loose fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics. Keep sweat and friction prone areas as cool and dry as possible. If fiction is unavoidable, coat the areas with a lubricant such as petroleum jelly prior to working out.

Always wash your workout clothes, towels, socks and underwear after each use. If you shower in a public locker room, or if anyone who uses your bathroom has issues with jock itch or athlete’s foot, wear shower shoes to prevent the spread of fungal infections from one body region to the other.

Use powdered antifungals such as Desenex to help prevent recurrence. The drying agents in the powder help to keep the area dry while the antifungals work to keep any friction rash from becoming infected.

Always shower as soon as possible after working out, playing sports, or performing strenuous activity in clothing that may be binding in any region. If it is not possible to shower immediately, dry off thoroughly with a clean towel and apply powder or a drying agent to keep moist, irritated skin from becoming infected.

About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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