Student Health Services
Holloway Hall

Acute Care: Injuries and Illnesses

JOCK ITCH (TINEA CRURIS)

What is Tinea Cruris?

Tinea cruris, or "jock itch", is a superficial fungus infection of the groin and upper inner thighs which most commonly starts in hot humid weather. It is caused by common fungus organisms that grow easily in warm, moist areas of the skin. A rash appears which is red to tan or brown in color, slightly scaly, and usually has a fairly sharp and distinct margin. There may be central clearing. It usually does not affect the scrotum and penis. Not every groin rash is due to fungal infection. Intertrigo (mechanical rubbing, and moisture), psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, candidal (yeast) infections, and several other skin diseases can mimic fungal infections of the groin.

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Treatment

Antifungal creams may be required. Miconazole cream can be purchased over the counter. If that is not helpful, several prescription creams are available from your health care provider in Student Health Services. These creams should be applied once or twice a day in a thin layer, spreading the cream at least a half inch beyond the margin of the rash. Treatment should be continued for one week after the rash goes away to prevent reoccurrences. If your rash is still present after 1 month, see your physician. Change in creams or oral medications may be needed.

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Prevention Measures

Prevention of "jock itch" consists of keeping the groin dry. After showering, dry the groin carefully. Do not dry your feet first and then your groin, because you may transfer fungus from your feet to your groin on the towel. Use an absorbent powder if you sweat easily. Wear absorbent cotton underwear.  Avoid clothing (pants, underwear, and sportswear) that is tight or occlusive.  Don't wear wet swimming gear for prolonged periods of time.

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