Tinea Cruris

Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a red, itchy rash in the groin caused by a fungal infection. It occurs in skin folds where it’s warm and moist. It commonly starts as a small, red, itchy patch that grows larger. The patch may be in the shape of a round ring, 1 to 2 inches wide. It may cause the skin to flake. It may also spread to the scrotum or the skin that covers your testicles. This infection is treated with skin creams or oral medicine.

Home care

  • If you were prescribed a cream, use it exactly as directed. You can buy some antifungal creams without a prescription.
  • It may take a week before the fungus starts to go away. It can take about 2 to 3 weeks to completely clear. To stop the rash from coming back, keep using the medicine until the rash is all gone.
  • Wash the area at least once a day with soap and water. Pat dry and apply medicine. 
  • Wear loose-fitting underwear to let your skin breathe. Change your underwear daily.
  • Once the rash is gone, keep the area clean and dry to prevent reinfection. If recurrence is a problem, use a medicated antifungal powder daily. This is available over-the-counter.

Prevention

These tips may help prevent jock itch:

  • Don’t share clothes, towels, or sports gear with others unless they have been washed.
  • Change your underwear daily.
  • Keep skin clean and dry, especially after showering or swimming.
  • If you are overweight, lose weight.
  • Do’nt wear tight underwear.
  • Treat athlete’s foot if it occurs.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. Call your provider if the rash is not starting to improve after 10 days of treatment, or if the rash continues to spread.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Increasing pain in the rash area
  • Redness that spreads around the rash
  • Fluid draining from the rash
  • Rash returns soon after treatment
  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your provider

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