Jock Itch

By David A. Thompson, M.D. 
March 22, 2017

911 warning

Jock Itch

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Does this describe your symptoms?


  • Slowly expanding pink-red rash on inner thigh near genital area

  • Rash is usually symmetrical (looks the same on both inner thighs)

  • Rash is itchy and not painful

  • In men it does not involve penis or scrotum

  • In women it does not involve vulva

General Information

  • Jock Itch is a fungal infection that grows best on the warm, damp skin of the inner thigh. The medical term for this condition is "Tinea Cruris."

  • It is usually caused by the same fungal infection that causes Athlete's Foot.

  • Jock Itch, as the name implies, is much more common in men than women.

  • Most individuals will be able to treat Jock Itch effectively using an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal cream.

If not, see these topics


When to Call Your Doctor

call now

Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If

  • You feel weak or very sick

  • Fever

call within 24 hours

Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If

  • You think you need to be seen

  • You are female (Jock Itch is less common in women)

  • Rash is painful to touch

  • Boil or infected-looking sore is present

call within 24 hours

Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If

  • You have other questions or concerns

  • You have diabetes mellitus or a weakened immune system (e.g., HIV positive, cancer chemotherapy, chronic steroid treatment, splenectomy)

  • You are worried you might have a sexually transmitted disease

  • Using over-the-counter treatment for 1 week, and your rash has not improved

  • Using over-the-counter treatment for 2 weeks, and your rash has not completely disappeared

home care

Self Care at Home If

  • Slowly expanding pink-red rash involving inner thigh(s) next to scrotum that is itchy; and you don't think you need to be seen



  1. Genital Hygiene:

    • Keep your penis and scrotal area clean. Wash this area once daily with un-scented soap and water.

    • After washing, dry the groin area before the feet (Reason: to prevent spread of tinea pedis to groin area).

    • Keep your penis and scrotal area dry.

    • Wear cotton underwear (Reason: breathes and keeps area drier). Avoid nylon or tight fitting underwear.

  2. Antifungal Cream for Treatment of Jock Itch. Apply antifungal cream 2 times per day to the area of itching and rash. Apply it to the rash and one inch beyond its borders. Continue the cream for at least 7 days after the rash is cleared.

    • Available over-the-counter in U.S. as clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF) or miconazole (Micatin, Monistat-Derm).

    • Available over-the-counter in Canada as clotrimazole (Clotrimazole cream) or miconazole (Micatin Cream, Micozole, Monistat-Derm).

  3. Expected Course: The rash should clear up completely in 2-3 weeks.

  4. Call Your Doctor If:

    • Rash is not improving after 1 week on treatment

    • Rash is not completely cleared by 3 weeks

    • Fever or pain occurs

    • You become worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.


March 22, 2017