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Jock Itch

Jock itch is an itchy, red rash that covers the inner thighs and groin area. It may also appear on the scrotum, but not on the penis.

Symptoms

  • Patches of raised, red skin around the groin and inner thigh
  • Itching around the groin and inner thigh area
  • Dry or scaly skin around the groin and inner thigh

Cause

The same fungus that causes athlete's foot also causes jock itch. The fungus is transferred from the feet to other parts of the body, possibly by using a dirty towel.

Diagnosis

A healthcare provider will ask questions and perform a visual exam.

Treatment

There are several over the counter anti-fungal medications that can be applied to the infected areas. However, severe or chronic infections may require attention from a healthcare provider and a prescription for medication. The rash may become infected with bacteria (through scratching), in which case a healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics.

Prevention

  • Dry the groin area well with a clean towel after bathing.
  • If you have athlete's foot, do not use towels that have touched your feet.
  • Wear loose clothing made of natural fibers, especially during activities or days when you will perspire a lot.
  • Avoid rough or irritating clothing.
  • Change clothes after and between workouts. Wash exercise clothes before wearing them again. Do not store exercise clothes in gym bags or lockers-those are ideal environments for the fungus to thrive.
  • Shower immediately after a workout. Applying talcum powder to the groin area can also help keep you dry.
  • Wear clean boxer shorts and change them at least everyday.

Over the Counter Medications for Jock Itch

  • Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
  • Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
  • OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.

OTC Medications:
example: Clotrimazole 1% cream / spray
example: Miconazole 2% cream / powder
example: Terbinafine (Lamisil®)
example: Tolnaftate 1% cream / powder



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