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First aid

Jock itch

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Does this describe your symptoms?

  • Slowly expanding pink-red rash on inner thigh near genital area
  • Rash is usually symmetrical (looks the same on both inner thighs)
  • Rash is itchy and not painful
  • In men it does not involve penis or scrotum
  • In women it does not involve vulva

General Information

  • Jock Itch is a fungal infection that grows best on the warm, damp skin of the inner thigh. The medical term for this condition is "Tinea Cruris."
  • It is usually caused by the same fungal infection that causes Athlete's Foot.
  • Jock Itch, as the name implies, is much more common in men than women.
  • Most individuals will be able to treat Jock Itch effectively using an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal cream.

If not, see these topics

When to Call Your Doctor

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • Fever
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
  • You think you need to be seen
  • You are female (Jock Itch is less common in women)
  • Rash is painful to touch
  • Boil or infected-looking sore is present
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
  • You have other questions or concerns
  • You have diabetes mellitus or a weakened immune system (e.g., HIV positive, cancer chemotherapy, chronic steroid treatment, splenectomy)
  • You are worried you might have a sexually transmitted disease
  • Using over-the-counter treatment for 1 week, and your rash has not improved
  • Using over-the-counter treatment for 2 weeks, and your rash has not completely disappeared
Self Care at Home If
  • Slowly expanding pink-red rash involving inner thigh(s) next to scrotum that is itchy; and you don't think you need to be seen

  1. Genital Hygiene:
    • Keep your penis and scrotal area clean. Wash this area once daily with un-scented soap and water.
    • After washing, dry the groin area before the feet (Reason: to prevent spread of tinea pedis to groin area).
    • Keep your penis and scrotal area dry.
    • Wear cotton underwear (Reason: breathes and keeps area drier). Avoid nylon or tight fitting underwear.
  2. Antifungal Cream for Treatment of Jock Itch. Apply antifungal cream 2 times per day to the area of itching and rash. Apply it to the rash and one inch beyond its borders. Continue the cream for at least 7 days after the rash is cleared.
    • Available over-the-counter in U.S. as clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) or miconazole (Micatin, Monistat-Derm).
    • Available over-the-counter in Canada as clotrimazole (Clotrimazole cream) or miconazole (Micatin Cream, Micozole, Monistat-Derm).
  3. Expected Course: The rash should clear up completely in 2-3 weeks.
  4. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Rash is not improving after 1 week on treatment
    • Rash is not completely cleared by 3 weeks
    • Fever or pain occurs
    • You become worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Author and Senior Reviewer: David A. Thompson, M.D.

Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009

Last Revised: 3/31/2008

Content Set: Adult HouseCalls Online

Portions Copyright 2000-2009 Self Care Decisions LLC; Copyright LMS, Inc.

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