Symptoms of jock itch are redness, itching and scaliness in the groin and thigh area. Jock itch is usually caused by a fungus infection. It can also result from a bacterial infection or be a reaction to chemicals in clothing, irritating garments or medicines that you take.
Jock itch gets its name because an athletic supporter worn during a workout then stored in a dark, poorly ventilated locker and then work again without being laundered, provides the ideal environment in which the fungi thrive. (Under similar conditions, women’s clothing can develop this problem, too.)
To relieve jock itch and prevent future attacks:
- Don’t wear tight, close-fitting clothing. Boxer shorts are recommended for men.
- Change underwear frequently, especially after work, if you have a job that leaves you hot and sweaty.
- Bathe or shower immediately after a workout.
- Apply talc or other powder to the groin area. This will help keep this area dry.
- Don’t store damp clothing in a locker or gym bag.
- Wash workout clothes after each wearing.
- Sleep in the nude or in a nightshirt.
- Avoid antibacterial (deodorant) soaps.
An antifungal cream, powder or lotion like tolnaftate (brand name Tinactin) may also help relieve jock itch. It takes up to two weeks to work.
Questions to Ask
Do symptoms of jock itch persist longer than 2 weeks despite self-treatment remedies?
Healthy Self: The Guide to Self-Care and Wise Consumerism
© American Institute for Preventive Medicine