Understanding Tinea Cruris

By Semko, Laura 
April 26, 2019

Understanding Tinea Cruris

Tinea cruris is a type of fungal infection. The fungus infects the skin in the groin. It is often called jock itch. Men are more prone to it than women.

 How to say it

TIN-ee-a CROO-ris

What causes tinea cruris?

Tinea cruris occurs when certain types of fungus grow in the groin area. The infection might spread from the feet (tinea pedis or athlete's foot) to the groin. Or it can be in the groin alone. The infection can also be passed from person to person. You can get it if you touch an infected surface, such as a towel or bench in a locker room. It is more common if you have a lot of heat, sweating, or friction in the groin, or if you are overweight.

What are the symptoms of tinea cruris?

Symptoms include:

  • Red patches along the upper thigh, butt, and groin. The patches have a well-marked border, and sometimes a clear central area.

  • Itchiness

  • Scaling skin along the border of the rash

  • Red bumps (pustules and papules)

  • Burning or stinging sensation

How is tinea cruris treated?

With proper treatment, tinea cruris will go away in 2 to 3 weeks. Treatments include:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal creams or powders. You can put these on the skin. They kill the fungus and ease symptoms.

  • Antifungal medicines by mouth. You may need to take a prescription antifungal medicine by mouth if the infection is widespread or isn't responding to the OTC cream or powder.

  • Good hygiene. Keep the groin area clean and dry. Take a bath or shower as soon as possible after physical activity. Don’t wear sweaty clothes for an extended time. Wear loose cotton underwear. Drying powders may be helpful if you sweat a lot.

What are possible complications of tinea cruris?

Possible complications include:

  • Repeated fungal infections

  • Bacterial infection of the affected skin

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Pain that gets worse

  • Symptoms that don’t get better, or get worse

  • New symptoms


April 26, 2019


Ferri F. Tinea Cruris. In: Ferri E, editor. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016. p. 1227., Goldstein AO, et al. Dermatophyte (tinea) infections. Up To Date. November 23 ed: Up To Date; 2015. p. 33., Safran MR, et al. Tinea Cruris (Jock Itch). In: Safran MR, et al, editors. Instructions for Sports Medicine Patients. 2 ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2012. p. 1218.

Reviewed By:  

Barry Zingman MD,Marianne Fraser MSN RN,L Renee Watson MSN RN