It can be embarrassing to ask friends or family how to get rid of jock itch. This painful condition, while usually not serious, can produce symptoms that leave you wondering if you are dealing with something that requires medical attention. Here is what you need to know about jock itch, what causes it, and how to get rid of it quickly.
What is Jock Itch?
While its name suggests that this condition affects athletes only, anyone can get jock itch. This condition is scientifically called “tinea cruris,” and it is a form of ringworm. This may sound serious, but jock itch is usually easily treated. However, it is highly contagious and extremely irritating. While you might be able to treat the symptoms of this condition, it is important to know how to get rid of jock itch completely, so you do not spread it to others.
How Did I Get Jock Itch?
Ringworm is found in warm and moist environments, so the folds of your skin provide a perfect breeding ground for this pathogen. This fungus also likes to grow in, and on items, that stay wet including damp towels and sweaty clothing. The clothing of athletes is a common place to find this fungus, thus the name, however, anyone who comes into contact with a warm, wet environment, or who shares towels or clothing with an individual who already has jock itch, can get this condition.
What Does Jock Itch Look Like?
The symptoms of jock itch can easily mimic other illnesses, including sexually transmitted diseases and yeast infections. Knowing the difference between jock itch, and genital itch caused by a more serious condition is important when determining treatment plans.
The most noticeable symptom of jock itch is an itchy and painful rash on the groin, or in any of the skin folds in the genital area. Jock itch typically does not affect the scrotum or penis; however, it can commonly affect the buttocks or inner thighs.
The groin rash itself is usually red or red-brown in color and it can appear bumpy. Sometimes these bumps can resemble blisters on the skin. The skin may often crack or peel in the affected area. You may notice that the rash becomes more uncomfortable with movement or activity. It is also not uncommon for the itch to not improve with anti-itch creams, or for clothing to increase your symptoms.
Is It Jock Itch or Something More?
Some of these symptoms can overlap with certain sexually transmitted diseases. Genital herpes for example also starts out with an itchy crotch and blisters, however, the blisters present with this condition will rupture, producing pus and pain. Once popped, the blisters of herpes form hard scales. Jock itch should not produce these types of symptoms. If your symptoms produce any pus or are present on the scrotum or penis, you should speak with your healthcare provider to rule out any other conditions.
Male yeast infections can also mimic jock itch. While yeast infections are more commonly associated with female vaginal itching, men are also affected by this condition. Both jock itch and yeast infections are caused by a fungus, but a yeast infection is not produced by ringworm. Male yeast infections are caused by another fungus called “candida albicans.” This condition is usually found directly on the penis itself and produces a white discharge in the genital area. These symptoms should also not be present in a typical case of jock itch. You should also look closely to the infected area for something called Fordyce Spots. These spots are kind of like skin bumps at the base of hair follicles.
When is Jock Itch Contagious?
The fungus that is responsible for jock itch is very contagious. This means it can be passed from person to person easily. While you can get jock itch from skin to skin contact with someone who already has the condition, there are many more ways you can accidentally become infected.
Wearing clothing that has not been washed, or sharing clothing with another person, can easily put you at risk for this condition. Gym towels are the perfect breeding ground for the ringworm fungus, and going too long without washing your own, or sharing with a friend, can also make you susceptible.
Remember that while it is possible to have gotten jock itch from someone else, you can easily infect yourself too. Anytime you allow clothing, towels, or even your skin to maintain a warm, wet environment, you could be at risk.
Keep in mind that the condition known as athlete’s foot, is caused by the same type of fungus that is responsible for jock itch. It is very easy to transfer fungus from athletes’ foot to your groin. This condition is very similar in a way to toenail fungus. But don’t worry, we have you cover with our natural remedies guide for toenail fungus here. If you are susceptible to athlete’s foot, it is important to take preventative measures to reduce your chances of giving yourself jock itch.
Is Jock Itch Serious?
If you do find yourself with a case of jock itch, do not worry. The condition, while irritating, is not usually serious. It is very easy to treat jock itch and even easier to prevent it. While pharmaceutical treatments are very effective, there are many natural remedies for jock itch that can help your symptoms too.
Jock Itch Prevention
Before you can learn how to get rid of jock itch, it is important that you understand how to prevent it. Getting jock itch over and over again can happen if you keep giving the fungus the right environment to grow. Here is what you can do to limit your chances of dealing with this painful problem again.
- Always take caution when using public facilities. This includes gyms, spas, and locker rooms. Wear shoes whenever possible in these environments and never share towels or clothing. These practices will prevent both jock itch and athlete’s foot.
- Wash your clothing often. Keep in mind you should only wear workout clothing and underwear one time before it needs to be cleaned.
- Do not let damp towels accumulate in your bathroom. Wash towels after each use to prevent their moisture from becoming a breeding ground for fungus.
- Treat all cases of athlete’s foot quickly. If you do have athlete’s foot, put your socks on before your underwear when getting dressed to prevent the fungus from travelling from the foot to the groin.
- Keep your body dry. Do not allow excess sweat or moisture to build up in the genital area. Practice good hygiene, shower often, wear breathable clothing, and always dry off completely any time you are wet.
Home Remedies Treatment For Jock Itch
There are many over the counter medications that will act as a jock itch cure. Sometimes very serious cases must be treated with prescription-strength creams or pills, however, there are many home remedies for jock itch that you can try right now.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil is often used as a natural remedy for all sorts of conditions due to its antibacterial and healing properties. Dip a cotton ball in some Tea Tree oil and apply it to the area. You can do this up to two times per day. Most experts recommend using essential oils, such as tea tree oil, with a carrier oil to dilute its strength. If you opt to do this, simply combine it with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil before applying.
Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar can be used to treat jock itch. If using apple cider vinegar, simply combine 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 cup of warm water. If using white vinegar, add 1 cup of vinegar to 4 cups of water. Once either solution is mixed, it can be applied to the affected area.
Wash the area thoroughly, and do not wipe off the mixture. Let it dry on its own. Repeat this 2-3 times a day until the condition clears.
This home remedy for jock itch might be a little painful, but it is sure to work. Dilute 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide into 1 teaspoon of water. Apply this solution to the rash and expect a bit of stinging in the process. Once the area is fully covered with the hydrogen peroxide solution, apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly on top of it. This should only be done once per day. It is ideal to do this nightly before going to bed.
All you need for this method is rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball, 3-4 times per day. Just dip your cotton ball into the rubbing alcohol and apply it to any areas of discomfort.
Lemons are favored for their ability to clean and fight infection. To create a solution for fighting jock itch, combine 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of water. Using the cotton ball, cover the infection area thoroughly. Leave the solution on for approximately 5 minutes then try to wash it off completely. Gently dry the skin.
Coconut oil is known for preventing moisture and giving relief to irritated skin. Right before bed, you can apply coconut oil directly to the skin and leave it on all night long.
Honey can help fight the fungus that causes jock itch. Clean the area that is affected with water and pat dry, then apply honey directly to the skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes then wash the area again and dry it completely. This can be done 1-2 times per day.
These are all great home remedies for genital itching and their ability to fight fungus makes them ideal to stop jock itch. Remember that when you need to know how to stop itching on the crotch, it is very important that you know exactly which condition you are dealing with. Jock itch can be painful and irritating, and it shares many symptoms with more serious conditions. When in doubt, speak to your doctor, and always take action to prevent this uncomfortable problem.