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Jock itch, known scientifically as tinea cruris is a fungal infection that affects the skin folds in the groin or pubic region. It is uncomfortable, can be itchy, and usually presents as a red rash. It is more likely to occur in men than in women, and is usually the result of exposure to and growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum. It may occur with more frequency if a person has excessive sweating in the groin region and does not wear moisture wicking clothing.
Standard treatment to get rid of jock itch is to apply cream, ointment or powder containing an antifungal agent, like miconazole or clotrimazole. These can often be purchased over the counter, though occasionally a higher dosage of an antifungal treatment needs to be prescribed. On rare occasions the condition is so severe that it needs to be treated with an oral antifungal medication. This is uncommon, and most people notice the discomfort of jock itch long before it reaches an advanced stage.
If you are trying to cure jock itch and have never had it before, it is important to have it diagnosed by a medical professional. There are other skin conditions that can be similar. Intertrigo can also cause rash in the groin folds, and erythrasma is a bacterial infection that may mimic tinea cruris. Both of these conditions can be misdiagnosed, especially by laypersons, as jock itch, but they require very different treatments. Using antifungals to get rid of jock itch that is really erythrasma is a huge mistake, since it can exacerbate the problem.
Once you have been given a definite diagnosis you’ll generally get rid of jock itch by applying an antifungal cream twice daily to the affected area. It is also very important to keep this area cool. Change underwear a few times a day if you work in hot or sweaty conditions, and wear breathable and loosely fitting clothing. Cotton cloth is a good choice, and so are some of the new microfiber materials that are “wicking,” which means they pull moisture away from the skin instead of keeping the skin moist.
When you shower, you should be certain that the affected area is fully dry prior to putting on clothing. You should pat rather than rub the area dry, so as not to make itching worse. You can even use a fan, or a blow dryer on a cool setting to dry the area first prior to getting dressed.
If you get frequent outbreaks, you can use an antifungal cream or powder, or even corn starch or baby powder, once a day, to get rid of jock itch more permanently. You should also follow the above suggestions for keeping the skin as cool and dry as possible, and for clothing choices. You might also want to consider consuming yogurt that contains live active cultures, since this can help provide your body with bacteria needed to fight the fungus. Further, try to reduce your intake of sugary foods, as these can help fungus and yeast grow more rapidly.
Lastly, remember jock itch is contagious. Don’t share towels or clothing with others when you have this condition. Be sure that you dry underwear and towels in a hot dryer to destroy any yeast cells that might have survived the washing process.