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What Causes Testicle Itching?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Testicle itching, although rather uncomfortable and possibly embarrassing, is often not a huge cause for alarm. An itchy testicle or groin area can be caused by a number of things, some of which are serious, but many of which are quite harmless. Some of the most common causes of testicle itching are a fungal infection, allergies, and certain types of bugs.

Tinea cruris, commonly known as jock itch, is typically caused by a fungus called Trichophyton rubrum. This type of fungus also causes athletes foot and thrives in warm, moist areas. Although it mostly happens among athletic men, women can also suffer from this kind of fungal infection.

Symptoms of this condition include intense crotch itch, especially on the testicles, inner thighs, and anus, accompanied by a red rash with scaly edges. The rash usually starts in the folds of the skin and spreads from there. Many times, all that's needed to get rid of jock itch is an over-the-counter topical spray or cream. If these do not clear up the itching and irritation, a visit to a physician's office is most likely in order.

If over-the-counter anti-fungal creams don't work, the testicle itching could be caused by a yeast infection, which is usually caused by Candida albicans, which is a type of fungus. Many people may not know it, but women are not the only ones who can get a yeast infection. Men can get one through sexual contact with an infected partner or from using antibiotics that kill off good bacteria. Symptoms of a male yeast infection include irritation, burning, itching, and pain in the groin area. Treatment usually consists of a topical anti-fungal cream and, possibly, an oral medication.

Another common cause of testicle itching is contact dermatitis. Symptoms of this condition often include discomfort, a rash, and itching in the groin area, including the scrotum. It is typically caused by direct contact with either an irritant or an allergen.

Irritant contact dermatitis is usually caused by an irritating substance, such as a strong chemical. It is generally more painful than allergic contact dermatitis and less itchy. Allergic contact dermatitis is quite common in individuals with other allergies, and can be caused by a number of things, including fragrance or dye in soaps, or certain plants, such as poison ivy. In this case, any known allergens should be avoided as much as possible.

Phthirus pubis, more commonly known as pubic lice or crabs, is an insect that feeds on human blood, especially in the genital regions. In men, the bites from these insects can cause intense testicle itching. These parasites are typically spread through sexual contact, but can also be passed on to a person via infested bedding, towels, or clothes. Many times, over-the-counter creams and soaps can be purchased to get rid of them, but sometimes, in severe cases, a prescription may be required.

Scabies is an itchy rash caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, or the itch mite. As these parasites seem to seek out warm folds in the skin, the genitalia is a common spot for infestation. Like with pubic lice, the bites and products of these insects can cause intense testicle itching.

Jock Itch on Testicles

If your testicular itching is the result of jock itch, there are a few potential causes that may be to blame. The fungus that’s responsible for jock itch can easily be spread by close contact with another person who has the fungus on their skin. This can happen during a sexual encounter, but it can also happen in gyms, showers, and other areas where people are in close proximity.

Like many other causes of itchy testicles, it can also be spread by sharing towels, clothes, bedding, and other linens that the fungus may cling to. The best way to prevent jock itch is to maintain good hygiene and avoid sharing personal items with other people.

There are several treatment options that can be used to alleviate the itching associated with jock itch. An over-the-counter antifungal cream such as clotrimazole or miconazole can effectively kill the fungal growth and eradicate its symptoms. These medications may also be available in a spray formula that’s easy to apply to the testicles. If over-the-counter treatments do not work, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication such as fluconazole.

Itchy Testicles at Night

Some men who suffer from itchy testicles notice that the problem worsens at night. This can be particularly troublesome when you’re trying to get to sleep. There are a few potential explanations that might cause nighttime itching to flare up, including an increase in sweating.

You may sweat more than usual if the temperature is warm, if your clothes are tight, or if you’re simply prone to night sweats. This worsens itching because the fungus that causes jock itch — the aforementioned Trichophyton rubrum — thrives in moist environments. When you sweat at night, the fungus may proliferate, causing your itching to worsen exponentially.

It should be noted, though, that if itching worsens considerably at night, this may point to a culprit other than jock itch. Scabies is often associated with nighttime itching because it is exacerbated by warmth. Your skin is typically warmer at night, so the itching associated with the infection will likely worsen.

Fungal Infection on Testicles

Fungal infections on testicles can usually be diagnosed by a doctor or by confirming your own symptoms. If you are experiencing itching, redness, and an area of irritation on and around your testicles, there’s a good chance you are experiencing a fungal infection. You can try any of the aforementioned treatment options to alleviate itching and kill the fungus.

If you go to a doctor, they may diagnose the problem based on several methods of assessment. A blood test may be done in order to detect any fungus that may have spread to the blood. More commonly, though, a doctor will simply collect a sample of cells from the part of your testicles where you are experiencing itching. The sample will then be examined under a microscope to see whether fungal growth is present. In most cases, though, a doctor will be able to confirm whether you are experiencing a fungal infection simply via visual assessment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common causes of testicle itching?

Many conditions, including jock itch, a fungal infection of the skin in the groin region, can make the testicles itchy. Testicle irritation may also be brought on by bacterial or yeast infections, pubic lice, scabies, or pubic lice. Furthermore, perspiration, constricting clothes, uncleanliness, and sensitivities to fabric softeners, laundry detergents, and other items can all be factors.

Are there any serious health risks associated with testicle itching?

Itching in the testicles often poses little danger to one's health. It can, however, result in further difficulties if left untreated. Rarely, it could be a symptom of a more severe underlying medical issue.

What are the symptoms of testicle itching?

A persistent itch or burning feeling in the groin region is typically the main sign of testicle itching. Additional signs and symptoms might include discharge coming from the afflicted region, along with redness, swelling, and discomfort.

How can I stop my testicles from itching?

To stop testicle itching, practice good hygiene, dress comfortably, and avoid wearing tight clothing. Also, since perspiration and moisture can irritate the groin area, it's crucial to keep it clean and dry. Use an antifungal powder or cream if you are prone to fungal infections to keep the region dry and avoid infections.

Are there any home remedies that can be used to treat testicle itching?

Certainly, there are a number of natural therapies that may be used to soothe itchy testicles. The afflicted region might get relief from the itching by using a cold compress or ice pack. Baking soda and water can also be applied to the afflicted region to soothe itching and reduce inflammation. The itching of the testicles can also be managed with over-the-counter anti-itch products.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1006150 — On Feb 04, 2022

Treatment for itching genitals: scratch like hell! And wash the things.

By anon1003774 — On Sep 02, 2020

Here are your options (I've had this for years.) First, if you do not have a rash, I would avoid a dermatologist at all costs. They don't have the time to spend taking a full medical history so they usually just write an RX for some itch cream (hydrocortisol example (which doesn't work).

Second, as long as you do not have pubic lice or scabies, don't use any poisons to the system. You would now if you had either of those parasites. They won't cause just the testicles to itch; your groin will itch as well. Lice wouldn't restrict themselves to just the testicles.

Third, check yourself for pre-diabetes and kidney failure. Don't get alarmed about simple blood tests. Get a fasting glucose level, hA1c level, insulin, BUN, EFGR and creatinine-protein ratio will do. If normal, go to my step four. If not normal, see an endocrinologist and a nephrologist.

Fourth, if the above are normal, then try some Mupiricin ointment (RX) some Nystatin powder and clobestasol Propionate (steroidal) for a short time (say a week of diligently applying the mupiricin and other topicals). It may relieve you for months so you won't be bothered.

I would say the only way to cure it is to stop eating all sugars, which is impossible. It is some form of candida/ yeast that seems to love genitals. As I stated, if you do not have a rash, do not be so concerned. It's probably a systematic yeast build up, so reduce sugars and use the meds I mentioned. Over the counter offers little to help. Why? Because then your dermatologist would be out of a job and big Pharma would lose money. That;s how the world works. Good luck.

By anon1000735 — On Dec 07, 2018

I have had jock itch for about 6 months now. The doctor gave me anti fungal cream but this proved useless. Later the doctor gave me antihistamine tablets this again was fruitless. I keep washing twice a day, which gives relief, I am taking Saw Palmetto tablets and wonder if that is the cause. I am 83 years old.

By anon994977 — On Mar 21, 2016

There is some stuff that some CVS stores and some Walgreens sells called "Fresh balls". When I first saw it I thought it was a joke. This stuff worked for me at first on an area I tried it on, but I didn't want to put it on broken skin (open wounds) that I made by scratching. Still waiting to heal those up them will try it fully. This may be a cure for some folks out there.

By anon982167 — On Dec 17, 2014

I had the same issue and nothing seemed to work. Finally, I dumped Listerine and lemon juice all over my groin. It burned like you would not believe, but once the burning ceased in half an hour or so, the itch never returned.

By anon928913 — On Jan 29, 2014

It could be seborrheic dermatitis, which can occur on the scrotum. Topical antifungal powders and sprays were not helpful. Anti-dandruff shampoo (Nizoral AD with 1 percent ketoconazole) provided several hours of relief, although it did not seem to solve the problem (apply the shampoo and let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse).

What worked for me: stopped all applications of products, reduced showering to once a day with mild soap, and just tolerated the itch for several days. I also started a systemic approach with probiotics, sugar-free yogurt, and two supplements: Now brand aloe vera gel caps (taken by mouth) and borage oil (taken by mouth). Borage oil is high in gamma linoleic acid (GLA) and is helpful for many skin conditions.

There's a Shi Kai article on the topic (If the body's enzyme Delta 6 Desaturase [D6D] is lagging, you may not be converting enough linoleic acid to gamma linoleic acid. GLA helps the body produce prostglandin, a natural anti-inflammatory in the skin...or something.) Also get direct sunlight anywhere on the skin (wild guess: do D6D levels drop for some people in the winter due to inadequate sunlight?)

Personally, I think it's a very bad idea to apply steroid creams to the scrotum. Even if a dermatologist suggests this, research steroid creams first, as it's caused some men a lot of additional problems in this area.

By anon927087 — On Jan 22, 2014

I have had what I now believe to be a systemic candida infection for many years. It was managed by spraying tinactin, micatin, etc. on my groin area for probably 20 years. It would keep it at bay for about 24 hours at a time. What a deal for the manufacturers. I was a customer for life. I spent thousands and thousands trying to kill it. Nothing worked. I stumbled upon another website yesterday where a man claimed he cured it with Triple antibiotic ointment. I was skeptical. I had tried everything. But after one application, all symptoms abated. I am stunned and ecstatic. If you have not tried this, do it. It is only a few bucks a tube and you probably have a tube now. Look for one that has 5000 IU or whatever of the third ingredient.

I used an old tube I had lying around that was probably 20 years old. I had recently bought a new tube at the dollar tree and it was only half the strength so I went with the heavier dose. Anyway, do it. I am going to continue on this for at least two weeks to try and kill it once and for all!

By anon359738 — On Dec 20, 2013

I suffered from terrible nightly scrotum itching for many years and I always thought it was some sort of fungus or allergic reaction. I tried many different creams and stopped eating sugar. Nothing really helped.

A couple of years ago, I finally found a solution that stops my itching and is incredibly simple. I simply keep a bottle of cold water by my bed. As soon as the itching starts, instead of scratching, I douse my scrotum and surrounding areas with a little bit of cold water and leave it exposed for about a minute before I cover up again. My itching goes away. I think the small shock caused to the nerves in the area is what triggers the itching to stop so I suspect a problem with the nerves is what was causing my itch. Hope this helps someone.

By anon355286 — On Nov 15, 2013

I have tried everything for my chronic jock itch - even products that supposedly stop sweating, but nothing ever worked until I tried Itchy Balls hot pepper jock spray. Yes, hot pepper jock spray. I heard about it on The Dr. Harry Fisch radio show and it cleared up my jock itch in two days and prevents it from coming back. It's incredible how well hot pepper spray works and it really doesn't burn.

By anon337577 — On Jun 06, 2013

I have had a bad case of jock itch for a long time. I one day realized that if I don't dry myself properly after a shower is when it happens. I am now totally over it by taking the following precautions: Dry yourself properly after showering or bathing. You can also try changing your brand of washing powders (Seems some brands triggered it in my case). We are guys and always scratch our crotches, so make sure your fingernails are short and clean, seeing that long nails harbor germs and when we scratch it triggers the itch. I also realized that certain types of pants that can't breathe easily (Running shorts and gym training clothes) also trigger the itch. I have avoided the few things above and it stopped.

To help with the itch, I use a mild solution of Dettol (antiseptic in South Africa) with a wet rag to just wipe the affected area and it seems to dry the infection out and clear it up until my nails are long again and the crotch scratching resumes. I hope this helps.

By anon334848 — On May 16, 2013

My doctor just gave me a prescription for Vitamin D, four super intense high dosage pills to take one per week for four weeks. I will repost in a couple of weeks to share the results.

By anon334833 — On May 16, 2013

For more than two years, my husband has been suffering with severe testicular itching. He has been to the doctor numerous times and each time he is prescribed the same types of meds, like Lotrimin, Miconazole and the like. Nothing has worked. He was so desperate he was seriously considering having them removed.

Out of desperation, I started developing an organic, homeopathic salve using coconut oil as a base and adding essential oils, jojoba and babassu. Within two days he finally felt relief. It has been close to a year now and I have had my friends and family testing it out. It works or psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, jock itch, hemorrhoids -- even insect bites.

I have made it available for sale since this is a more common problem than most of us seem to think.

By anon332093 — On Apr 26, 2013

Some people have this problem and it affects their life. I know because it happened to me. I soon found out that all I needed was Vitamin D and vitamin B100. Try it for a week. It's probably hard to believe, but it worked for me. I hope this helps anyone struggling with this issue.

By anon323821 — On Mar 07, 2013

Itchy scrotum (no rash) can set you back a lot of money for doctors and prescriptions, so it's wise to try home-remedies first. One suggestion which worked for me:

Rub a quarter teaspoon of Epsom Salt onto the itchy skin after showering til all grains are dissolved. Then, use a small hand-brush and give the area a good scrub. Let dry before donning underwear.

By anon317064 — On Jan 31, 2013

I have had this itching for years. The doctor said it's a fungus. Whenever I scratch, a soft dirt-like substance comes out under my fingernails, like moist dry skin.

Right now between my leg and testicles, everything is red and blistered. I tried everything and nothing works. I have no trouble sleeping. I don't itch at night -- only in the daytime. Can someone please help me get rid of this fungus?

By anon313758 — On Jan 14, 2013

I dealt with this issue for two years and I went to the doctor about 12 times in all over this. Each doctor claimed it was a fungal infection and I needed to put on this fungal cream that cost $100 a tube. They claimed after two weeks I would not have this issue.

I used the cream for three weeks and the smell was still there, even though it was at about 1/4 the normal smell, but even using the cream for months the itching and smell came back. After two years of this going on and 12 different doctors, I had no idea what else to do. At this point, I had spent over $7k in doctor's and med bills, only to be dealing with the same issue.

The one day I got out of the shower and I saw a tube on the counter that my wife had bought for a burn she had gotten while cooking the week before: Equaline Brand Triple Antibiotic Ointment (First Aid Antibiotic) with Polymyxin B Sulfate, Bacitracin Zinc, Neomycin Sulfate. I used it and applied it over the whole area and within two days, the smell was totally gone and the itching stopped the second I applied the ointment. I continued using it for two weeks and the whole issue was over. So I paid over $7k in bills over two years for an issue that a $3.99 tube of ointment fixed in two weeks and stopped the itching/pain/smell the second I applied it.

Modern medicine, my butt! The doctors didn't give a rip about me, but sure as hell wanted their money on time! In the end, my thanks went to my wife and equaline for making a good product.

By Belted — On Dec 16, 2012

What is the best jock itch treatment made from natural ingredients? I have a case that I need to treatment but whenever possible I try to stay away from chemical medicines.

I know that a lot of people roll their eyes when they hear things like this but the side effects are real. And on a sensitive area like this, I only want to use things that I know will not cause an adverse reaction.

By truman12 — On Dec 15, 2012

I seem to have this problem a lot when I run. Not while I am actually running but afterwards, say and hour or so. It is very annoying for about 15 minutes and then it goes away. Weird, huh? Does anyone know what could be causing this and how it could be treated?

By Acracadabra — On May 12, 2011

Yeast infections can last for years as they are so difficult to get rid of. If itchy testicles are making you crazy, and you want to try something to complement meds there are three things I know of.

First, change your diet. Reduce or cut out sugar and have as much alkaline food as you can.

Second, try applying aloe vera to the affected areas. If possible you should leave your genitals to air dry afterwards.

Lastly, wear boxer shorts instead of briefs. Actually all of these things would work for women with vaginal itching from yeast infections too I guess.

It strikes me that preventing further attacks is as important as treating the current problem.

By Windchime — On May 09, 2011

@MissMuffet - It goes without saying that your boyfriend is not going to be initiating any sexual contact while he is suffering. So if you also avoid sharing towels then I think you'll be fine.

I hope you can persuade him to get some jock itch cream for short term relief. The scratching can cause infections so I would advise him to get to the doctors too.

By MissMuffet — On May 09, 2011

My boyfriend has jock itch symptoms and I'd like to know if I can catch this fungal infection from him. I'm pretty sure it's not any of the other things that are mentioned in this article, but I don't want any kind of genital itching of my own to deal with!

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