Jock itch derives its name from the word ‘jock’ - a term used for an athlete. Although athletes are prone to get it due to heavy sweating, those who are less athletic are not immune to jock itch. It is also likely to occur in those that are overweight. Also, anyone who sweats profusely can develop it.
Jock itch is a fungal or yeast infection of the groin or genital area. A characteristic sign of jock itch is itchy, red skin near the groin in the shape of a ring.
This fungal infection can, more often than not, spread to the inner thighs and even your buttocks, and cause even more itching and irritation if not treated timely. (1)
Mostly common in teenage boys and adult men, it can affect anyone – boys or girls, men or women. Often self-diagnosed and self-treated, some severe cases may even lead to further skin infections. Read on to know how to get rid of jock itch on your own.
- Causes of Jock Itch
- Symptoms of Jock Itch
- Preventing Jock Itch
- Home Treatments for Jock Itch
- Method 1: Apply Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 2: Apply Rubbing Alcohol
- Method 3: Apply Listerine
- Method 4: Treat It with Tea Tree Oil
- Method 5: Use Garlic
- Soothing tips for jock itch
Causes of Jock Itch
- Known by the medical term tinea cruris, jock itch is caused by a fungus called Trichophyton rubrum, which is also responsible for athlete’s foot.
- Heavy sweating is a key factor in jock itch, regardless of the cause of the heavy sweating.
- Wearing tight undergarments is another key factor. The area near your groin is usually not exposed to proper air circulation, leaving it moist and warm. Wearing tight undergarments can cause you to sweat even more as well as trap the sweat.
- The fungal infection can spread rapidly, and be transmitted to others through skin contact (even touching hands) or other mediums, such as towels or clothes.
- Being overweight may leave you more vulnerable to jock itch. Overweight people are known to sweat more than normal, which gives the jock itch fungus a good chance to develop.
Symptoms of Jock Itch
- Red, itchy, ring-shaped rashes near your groin area, which may further spread to the inner thighs and buttocks.
- The borders or edges of the ring are elevated due to a line of tiny raised blisters.
- Flaky skin near the groin area that is too dry and rough, resulting in excess itching and irritation.
- A burning sensation in the skin around the groin area.
Preventing Jock Itch
- Keep the skin near the groin area clean. Dry it thoroughly before putting on your clothes to prevent moistness and sweating in the area. (1)
- Wear clean clothes, change your underwear once a day or more often if you sweat a lot, wash workout clothes after each use.
- If you have athlete’s foot, wash your hands after you touch your feet, and do not use the same towel on other parts of your body.
- Use a different towel for your groin area while you have jock itch.
- Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight in the groin area, such as tight undergarments and tight pants that may cause sweating or trap sweat in the area. You can also wear boxers instead of briefs.
- Do not share towels or clothes with others, as they can spread the fungus.
- Scratching the affected area may be relieving, but do not do it. It will only worsen and spread the infection.
Home Treatments for Jock Itch
The never-ending urge to itch the groin area can be embarrassing, not to mention mortifying if you’re in a public place.
These home remedies can help you to soothe your jock itch symptoms.
Here's a quick summary of the top five methods to get rid of Jock Itch at home.
- Apply diluted Apple cider vinegar to the groin area as it has antibacterial properties.
- Another home remedy for Jock Itch is to use rubbing alcohol as it reduces the itching.
- Dip a cotton ball in Listerine and rub it directly on the affected area.
- Use Tea tree oil to treat Jock Itch; it helps as it is a wonderful healing agent.
- Application of Garlic reduces the redness and inflammation caused by Jock Itch.
Below are the complete details of the five home remedies that can help you treat that irritating jock itch.
Method 1: Apply Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has proven very effective in treating jock itch. It has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties that can kill the fungus growing in the area and help the jock itch heal.
Apple cider vinegar is also beneficial in the treatment of different types of yeast infections.
Step 1. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water
- Mix together 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water.
Step 2. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and apply 3 times daily
- Pour the solution into a bottle, preferably a spray bottle so that it is easier to apply to the groin area. Use a funnel to prevent spills.
- Apply the solution 3 times daily, with one time preferably before you go to bed at night so that apple cider vinegar can work overnight.
You should get relief from the jock itch in less than 1 week.
Method 2: Apply Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol has various health benefits, including being beneficial in dealing with fungal infections. (2) Acting as a topical antiseptic, rubbing alcohol kills the fungus generating in the groin area and keeps your skin clean. It also helps eliminate extra moistness and reduces sweating near the groin area.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply rubbing alcohol to groin area twice daily
- Pour some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a cotton ball.
- Gently rub the wet cotton ball on the groin area. Do not rub it too harshly. It may sting a little, but it will reduce itching soon after application.
- Use it twice a day for 1 week or until the symptoms disappear.
- Thereafter, apply once daily for 1 week so that the fungal infection does not recur.
Method 3: Apply Listerine
A mouthwash that is good for various other purposes like curing toenail fungus and athlete’s foot, Listerine is a very effective home remedy to help you get rid of jock itch. It can relieve the itching and burning sensations associated with jock itch.
Owing the credit to its antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, it also helps heal the infection. (5)
Single-Step Treatment: Apply Listerine to the infected area thrice a day
- Pour some Listerine into a small bowl. Dip a cotton ball in it and rub it thoroughly over the infected area.
- Do this 3 times a day to get rid of jock itch.
- Continue using the remedy for about 2 weeks, even if the redness and itching have begun to diminish. This will prevent jock itch from recurring.
Method 4: Treat It with Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a wonderful healing agent for many types of skin infections and also works well for jock itch. Its antifungal properties make it a good cleansing and healing agent. (3)
Tea tree oil not only relieves the itching and inflammation caused by the fungus, but it also keeps your skin hydrated and clean (for times when your skin has become too dry and rough).
Things you’ll need:
- Tea tree oil (an antifungal agent) – 6 drops
- Coconut oil (carrier oil) – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Treatment: Mix tea tree oil in coconut oil and apply
- Thoroughly mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 6 drops of tea tree oil in a small bowl.
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it on the infected area. Once you have applied it to the groin area, discard the cotton ball and use another one for further cleaning.
Follow this remedy several times a day for 2 weeks to treat jock itch.
Method 5: Use Garlic
Garlic contains sulfur compounds that help reduce the redness and inflammation caused by jock itch. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, garlic relieves the burning sensation and helps eliminate the itching. (4)
You can also make garlic-infused oil to use on jock itch affected areas.
Things you’ll need:
- Garlic (anti-inflammatory and antifungal agent) – 4 or 5 cloves
- Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Mix garlic and olive oil
- Chop 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, and mix it into 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Step 2. Stir well and apply it on the infected area
- Stir the mixture well.
- Apply it on the groin area using cotton balls.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes, then wash it off with water. Pat dry the skin afterward with a clean towel.
Topical application of garlic and olive oil should cure jock itch symptoms within 2 to 3 weeks.
Soothing tips for jock itch
- Wear loose-fitting clothes, especially undergarments and pants, to give the skin around the groin room to breathe.
- Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water before using any home remedies to treat the infection in the groin area.
- Instead of cotton balls for applying treatments to the infected area, you can use cotton pads or cotton cloths. But cotton balls are a cheaper option, as you should immediately discard any item used to clean or treat the infected skin.
- Use clean towels to dry your skin after washing it. You don’t want the infection to spread any further.
- Contact your doctor if the redness and itching of the rashes do not go away, even after 2 weeks of self-treatment.
- Jock itch: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000876.htm.
- Sahni K, Singh S, Dogra S. Newer Topical Treatments in Skin and Nail Dermatophyte Infections. Indian Dermatology online journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5956860/. Published 2018.
- Rogawansamy S, Gaskin S, Taylor M, Pisaniello D. An evaluation of antifungal agents for the treatment of fungal contamination in indoor air environments. International journal of environmental research and public health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4483703/. Published June 2, 2015.
- Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases. Pharmacognosy reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931201/. Published 2014.
- Ali I, Satti NK, Dutt P, Prasad R, Khan IA. Hydroxychavicol: A phytochemical targeting cutaneous fungal infections. Scientific reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5126685/. Published November 29, 2016.
Summary of How to Get Rid of Jock Itch
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