Jock itch is the popular name given to an itchy rash in the groin. The condition (which as it sounds, is more common in men) can be embarrassing and aggravating.
- Red itchy rash in the groin
- Rash on inner thighs
What causes jock itch?
Fungi love to grow in areas that are warm and moist. One type called dermatophytes, which usually live harmlessly on our skin, sometimes find the dark, damp conditions of the groin so appealing that they multiply out of control.
Anyone can get jock itch - not just athletes but wearing sweaty or wet clothes for long periods at a time, will increase your risk. Or, if you have another fungal infection such as athlete's foot, the infection may spread to the groin area via clothing or contact.
How is Jock Itch treated?
Jock itch is best treated with creams or ointments as the fungus affects the top layer of skin only.
Many antifungal medications require a prescription, but there are three that can be bought over-the-counter. These include tolnaftate (Tinactin), clotrimazole (Lotrimin), and miconazole
(Micatin). Creams should be applied twice a day for at least two weeks. The same creams can be used to treat athlete’s foot.
If the rash is very red and itchy, or has blisters around the edge, a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone can be applied also. But given the sensitivity of the area, a GP should be consulted first to avoid making the condition worse.
Alternative Remedies & Self-help
Good hygiene is key to preventing jock itch. Wash ‘down there’ regularly using an un-perfumed, non-soap cleanser to avoid drying out the skin. Cotton underwear is better than synthetic ones and it stands to reason that underwear should be kept clean and changed regularly.