Pictures Of Jock Itch

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What Makes Jock Itch Resistant, and How to Treat It

Jock itch happens when a specific species of fungus builds up on the skin, growing out of control and causing inflammation. It’s also called tinea cruris.

Common symptoms of jock itch include:

  • redness or irritation
  • itchiness that doesn’t go away
  • scaling or dryness

Most cases of jock itch are mild and easily treated.

But there are some activities and “treatments” that can make jock itch symptoms last longer. Let’s dive into what can make jock itch worse, how to tell jock itch apart from other similar conditions, and how to successfully treat jock itch.

There are a few things you might do that unintentionally make your jock itch worse. Here are some examples:

  • Working out. This can cause the infected skin to chafe against nearby skin or with clothing and irritate it, making the skin more susceptible to a worsening infection.
  • Having poor hygiene habits. Using improperly cleaned, damp towels or clothing, and not keeping skin dry may promote infection.
  • Using the wrong treatment. Spreading an anti-itch cream, such as hydrocortisone, on the infected area won’t treat the infection — it can actually worsen it. This can increase the area of the infection or make the infection worse.
  • Having a weakened immune system. Taking immunosuppressants for autoimmune disorders or having a weakened immune system from medication or conditions like HIV can make it harder for your body to fight off fungal infections.

Some conditions look like jock itch, but they aren’t, so they won’t respond to typical tinea cruris treatment.

Inverse psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis is a type of psoriasis, an autoimmune condition, that may have a genetic basis.

Like jock itch, it tends to appear in the same areas where you skin chafes, like your groin or inner thighs. Some common treatments for inverse psoriasis include:

  • prescription topicals
  • oral medications
  • biologics

Yeast infection (thrush)

Yeast infections are a similar type of fungal infection caused by the fungus Candida.

They’re more common in people with vulvas, but they can also affect the penis from the head and shaft to the scrotum and the nearby groin skin.

Common treatments for yeast infections include:

  • antifungal topicals like nystatin or clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF)
  • oral antifungal medications, for more severe cases

With early and proper treatment, jock itch should go away within about a month.

Here are some signs that your jock itch is going away:

  • rash or redness begins to fade away
  • skin regains its usual color
  • symptoms like itchiness or irritation start to subside

Got an especially severe or resistant case of groin itching? Here’s what you should do if over-the-counter (OTC) topical treatments don’t work.

Take antifungal medication

A doctor may prescribe medication for severe jock itch. Here are some of the options:

  • oral medications like fluconazole (Diflucan) or itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • topicals like oxiconazole (Oxistat) or econazole (Ecoza)

Use an antifungal shampoo

Medicated shampoos that contain ketoconazole or selenium sulfide are a good, strong treatment for jock itch symptoms. They’re available by prescription from your doctor or over the counter.

They don’t typically have side effects, and OTC versions are easy to buy at most drugstores.

See a doctor if you’ve used OTC treatments but haven’t seen any improvements in your symptoms after 2 weeks.

A doctor may be able to prescribe you a medication that can help, or they can evaluate you for another type of skin disorder that can mimic jock itch.

Here are some tips for preventing jock itch:

  • Wash your hands regularly. This is especially important when you touch other people or are about to eat with your hands.
  • Keep the moist areas of your body clean and dry. This is especially important for areas around your groin and upper thighs.
  • Bathe at least once a day. Make sure to use gentle, unscented soap and dry off completely before putting clothes on. Bathe more than once a day if you’re active or sweat profusely throughout the day.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing. It can trap moisture and cause skin to chafe.
  • Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear. It’ll let your groin and thighs ventilate, especially if you live in a humid climate.
  • Wash your workout clothes or any equipment your body touches after a sweaty workout.
  • Have athlete’s foot? Don’t use the same towel on your feet and other areas of your body.Athlete’s foot and jock itch are both caused by tinea fungi and can spread to one another. Treating athlete’s foot is important for preventing jock itch.
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Jock itch is typically easy to treat, but it can often come back.

Practice healthy hygiene habits to help prevent jock itch. Treat it early with OTC topicals when you first notice symptoms. If it doesn’t go away after a few weeks, see a doctor.

Last medically reviewed on October 22, 2019

How we reviewed this article:

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • 8 reasons your groin itches and how to get relief. (n.d.).
  • Jock itch (tinea cruris). (2018).
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Jock itch.

Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris)

Jock itch is a contagious fungal infection that causes different itchy skin problems in your groin area. An itchy, stinging, burning rash forms on infected skin. Treatments can stop the fungus from spreading and clear it up.

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illustration of jock itch fungal infection

What is jock itch?

Jock itch is a common fungal (caused by a fungus) infection similar to ringworm. Jock itch causes an itchy, stinging, burning rash on the skin around your groin, inner thighs and butt crack (gluteal cleft). Tinea cruris is another name for jock itch. Tinea is another name for ringworm, and cruris means groin.

With this infection, your skin may become scaly and cracked or develop bumps or blisters.

What does jock itch look like?

Jock itch can affect the skin around your groin, inner thighs and butt crack. Your skin may appear irritated (red, purple, gray, tan or white), scaly or flaky. Your skin may also develop small bumps or blisters.

Who does jock itch affect?

Jock itch affects everyone. However, adolescent and young adult men get jock itch most often. It’s uncommon in women. Men are three times more likely to get jock itch than women. It’s rare in children.

You may be more likely to develop jock itch if you have:

  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity.
  • A weakened immune system.

Can women get jock itch?

Women can get jock itch. However, it’s not common. In women, jock itch affects the skin around the groin, inner thighs and butt crack. It rarely affects the vulva (genitals).

How does this condition affect my body?

Jock itch commonly affects the skin around your groin, inner thighs and butt crack. It rarely affects your genitals (penis, scrotum or vulva).

Your skin may develop an itchy rash. Your skin may change color, crack, peel or flake. Sometimes, tiny bumps or blisters may appear along the edge of your rash.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of jock itch?

Jock itch can burn and itch. Your skin may appear irritated and change colors. It can also appear scaly or flaky. The rash may look like a ring, and the outside of the rash may have small bumps or blisters.

What causes jock itch?

A fungus causes jock itch. A jock itch rash is ringworm. Ringworm can look like circles. But an actual worm doesn’t cause ringworm.

Is jock itch contagious?

Jock itch is contagious. Jock itch is a fungus that grows on or in your skin. Fungi (plural form of fungus) need warm temperatures and moisture to grow. Tight underwear or pants trap heat and moisture around your groin. Heat and moisture create the perfect environment for jock itch to grow.

How does jock itch spread?

Jock itch commonly spreads through skin-to-skin contact or contact with an infected surface. You can get jock itch through sexual contact with an infected person. You can also get jock itch by sharing towels or clothing with an infected person.

In some cases, you can get jock itch if you have athlete’s foot (tinea pedis). You can spread the fungus by touching your groin after touching your infected foot. You can also spread the fungus from your feet to your groin through your clothing. When getting dressed, it’s a good idea to put on your socks before your underwear to prevent spreading the fungus from your feet to your groin.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is jock itch diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can typically diagnose jock itch by examining your groin and reviewing symptoms.

What tests will be done to diagnose jock itch?

In some cases, your healthcare provider may remove a small piece of skin (biopsy) and test it in a lab. Several drops of a potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution dissolve the skin cells so that only fungal cells are visible.

Management and Treatment

Will jock itch go away on its own?

Jock itch doesn’t typically go away on its own. If it’s left untreated, it can spread to other areas of your body, including your:

  • Nails: Fungal nail infections can be more difficult to treat. They’re often more resistant to many treatments.
  • Hands: A similar fungal infection can spread to your hands. This happens when you scratch your infected groin with your hands or use the same towel to dry off both areas.
  • Feet: The same fungus that causes jock itch can also spread to your feet. It’s a condition called athlete’s foot. The fungus typically spreads from your groin to your feet through your underwear. It can also spread by using the same towel to dry off both areas.

How is jock itch treated?

Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription antifungal creams, ointments, gels, sprays or powders effectively treat jock itch. These products contain clotrimazole, miconazole, tolnaftate or terbinafine.

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Some prescription antifungal medications are pills. These pills contain fluconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine.

It’s important to finish your full course of medicine. If you stop too soon, your jock itch may come back and be harder to treat.

What is the fastest way to cure jock itch?

The fastest way to cure jock itch is to use an OTC or prescription antifungal cream, ointment, gel, spray or powder. In more serious cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe antifungal pills to treat jock itch.

For faster recovery, it’s also important to keep the area clean, dry and cool.

Can rubbing alcohol cure jock itch?

Rubbing alcohol may help cure mild jock itch. Rubbing alcohol can prevent or stop fungal growth on the surface of your skin. However, rubbing alcohol can make your skin dry and tight, and it can make irritation worse.

Are there any home remedies for jock itch?

In addition to rubbing alcohol, a few home remedies may help prevent or treat jock itch.

Some essential oils can prevent or stop the growth of bacteria. These include tea tree, bitter orange, peppermint and eucalyptus oils. However, they may not completely get rid of a fungal infection.

Garlic contains a compound called ajoene. Ajoene can prevent or stop the growth of bacteria. But, like essential oils, it may not completely get rid of a fungal infection.

If you’re allergic to essential oils or garlic, don’t use them to treat your jock itch.

How do I manage my jock itch symptoms?

Keep your groin dry, clean and cool. Use a powder or spray to absorb moisture around your groin, particularly after bathing or working out. Avoid wearing tight underwear or pants. Avoid scratching your groin. Scratching your groin may cause the fungus to spread to other parts of your body.

How soon after treatment will I feel better?

With proper diagnosis and treatment, your jock itch should go away in one to eight weeks. And, be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

It’s also important to finish your full course of medicine. During the early healing stages, itchiness and irritation will fade. Even if your symptoms go away, you may still have jock itch. If you don’t finish your full course of medicine, your jock itch can come back and be harder to treat.


How can I reduce my risk?

There are many ways to reduce your risk of getting jock itch:

  • Thoroughly wash your groin with antibacterial soap.
  • Dry your groin after swimming or bathing.
  • Apply talcum powder or antifungal powder to your groin to absorb moisture.
  • Wear loose underwear and pants that allow the area to breathe.
  • Wear cotton underwear to absorb moisture or underwear made out of synthetic materials to wick away moisture.
  • Wash your clothes after use, especially the clothes you wear while working out.
  • Don’t share towels or clothes with others.

How can I prevent this?

If you have athlete’s foot or another type of fungus, there are many ways to prevent yourself from getting jock itch:

  • Treat your infected area with antifungal creams, ointments, gels, sprays or powders.
  • Use a separate towel to dry your infected areas, or dry any infected areas last.
  • When dressing, put on your socks before your underwear.
  • Avoid scratching your infected areas. If you must scratch an infected area, thoroughly wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching any other parts of your body.
  • Wash your socks, underwear, towels and bedding in hot water.
  • Avoid sexual contact with anyone who has jock itch until it’s gone.

Outlook / Prognosis

What can I expect if I have jock itch?

With proper treatment, the outlook for people with jock itch is good. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions so that you get rid of your jock itch quickly and don’t pass it on to anyone else.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider?

Call your healthcare provider if your jock itch:

  • Doesn’t improve or go away with treatment.
  • Looks infected (red, purple, gray or white skin; irritation and swelling).
  • Spreads to other areas of your body.

What questions should I ask my doctor?

  • How did I get jock itch?
  • How long is jock itch contagious?
  • What steps can I take to prevent jock itch from spreading to other parts of my body?
  • What steps can I take to prevent jock itch from spreading to other people?
  • What’s the best treatment for jock itch?
  • Should I avoid any medications or treatments?
  • What steps can I take to keep from getting jock itch again?
  • Should I look out for signs of complications?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Jock itch is an unpleasant condition. It’s itchy and annoying. It can also sting or burn. However, antifungal medications or home remedies will help you get rid of jock itch. Be sure you don’t scratch your groin, as it can spread the fungus to other parts of your body. It’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s treatment plan, too. If you don’t finish your full course of medicine, jock itch can come back. Ask your healthcare provider how you can keep jock itch from spreading to other parts of your body or other people.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/01/2021.


  • Brown S, Collins JN. Dermatologic Emergencies. In: Stone C, Humphries RL. eds. CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Emergency Medicine, 8e. McGraw Hill. Accessed 12/01/2021.
  • Ely JW, Rosenfeld S, Seabury Stone M. Diagnosis and management of tinea infections. ( Am Fam Physician. 2014;90(10):702-710. Accessed 12/01/2021.
  • Shinkai K, Fox LP. Fungal Infections of the Skin. In: Papadakis MA, McPhee SJ, Rabow MW. eds. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2021. McGraw Hill. Accessed 12/01/2021.
  • The Skin and Nails. In: Suneja M, Szot JF, LeBlond RF, Brown DD. eds. DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination, 11e. McGraw Hill. Accessed 12/01/2021.
  • Tinea Cruris (Jock Itch). In: Papadakis MA, McPhee SJ, Bernstein J. eds. Quick Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2021. McGraw Hill. Accessed 12/01/2021.
  • Zeitany AE, McShane DB, Morrell DS. Skin Disorders: Groin and Skinfolds. In: Tintinalli JE, Ma O, Yealy DM, et al, eds. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 9e. McGraw Hill. Accessed 12/01/2021.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

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Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population []; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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