Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris is an infection of the groin area and it a caused by a type of fungus, Tinia. Medically it is a dermatophyte fungal infection of the groin region in either sex, though it is more often seen in males.

Jock itch occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and spreads in the groin area.

This problem is common in adult men and adolescent boys. Sometimes Jock itch can be accompanied with athlete’s foot and ringworm. The fungus causing jock itch survives in warm, moist areas.

Mostly Jock itch occurs when there is regular friction from clothes and there is prolonged wetness in the groin area, for example from sweating in this region.

Jock itch may be contagious. It can be passed from one person to the other either by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing of the infected person.

Sometimes Jock itch can be confused with Candidal intertrigo. This is also an infection of the skin caused by Candida albicans, more specifically located between intertriginous folds of adjacent skin, which can be present in the groin or scrotum, and be indistinguishable from fungal infections caused by Tinia. However, candidal infections tend to both appear and disappear with treatment more quickly.

Symptoms

  • Itching in groin, thigh skin folds, or anus
  • Red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze — The patches often have sharply-defined edges and are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center
  • Abnormally dark or light skin

Treatment

Though Jock itch usually responds to self-care within a couple of weeks but if your infection lasts longer than 2 weeks and it is severe, or frequently returns then it is better to see a doctor.

Other treatments are as follows:

  • Keep the skin clean and dry.
  • Don’t wear clothing that rubs and irritates the area.
  • Apply topical over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, such as those that contain miconazole, clotrimazole, or tolnaftate.

Jock itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum or penis. Jock itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.

Other causes of itching in the groin include:

  • Lichen simplex chronicus
  • Eczema
  • Pubic lice
  • Chemical irritation

Prevention

  • Keep the groin area clean and dry.
  • Don’t wear clothing that rubs and irritates the area. Avoid tight-fitting and rough-textured clothing.
  • Wear loose-fitting underwear.
  • Wash athletic supporters frequently.
  • After bathing, apply antifungal or drying powders if you are susceptible to jock itch.