Jock itch

Having jock itch can be an uncomfortable experience – learn more about jock itch.

Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a fungal skin infection of the groin area, affecting the upper part of the thighs, buttocks and lower parts of the abdomen. It is caused by fungi that thrive in warm and moist environments such as those found in sweaty, wet or tight-fitting clothing. Jock itch is very contagious, and you can catch it through contact with contaminated towels and clothing or through contact with an infected person. You can also transfer the fungi from other affected areas of your skin such as your feet if you are suffering from an athlete’s foot infection.

Smiling man in white T-shirt happy after Canesten jock itch treatment

Jock itch symptoms

    You might have jock itch if you notice:

    • A red rash with raised edges – usually on the groin, skin folds, inner thighs or buttocks
    • Irritated and persistently itchy skin in the groin area
    •  Burning sensation around the affected area
    •  Flaking or cracked skin
    •  Scaly, red or brown patches

    See your doctor if:

    • Symptoms do not improve or worsen after using a jock itch treatment
    • Symptoms return within a few weeks after treatment

    Understanding jock itch

    Jock itch can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and annoying but it is important that you recognise the symptoms so you can treat it quickly. It often starts with a red, itchy rash with raised edges that can be painful. The rash may then spread out from the crease in the groin in a half-moon shape onto the upper thigh.

    What causes jock itch?

    Jock itch is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes which infect the uppermost layers of the skin. Normally these fungi live harmlessly on your skin but can multiply quickly and cause infection in warm and moist environments, for example if you wear sweat-soaked clothes for long periods of time e.g. after exercise. You can also get it through close contact with an infected person or through contaminated towels, clothes or your hands if you touch other infected areas of your body. Fungi are easily spread through scratching, so if you have athlete’s foot or a fungal nail infection you are more at risk of catching jock itch too. 

    Who is at risk of getting jock itch?

    As the name suggests, jock itch is common in athletes who sweat a lot and wear tight, wet clothes for long periods of time. It mostly affects men and adolescent boys because moisture can get trapped between the scrotum and thighs. Additionally, if you are overweight you are more likely to experience jock itch because the fungus can thrive in folds of skin, which are prone to sweating. However, jock itch can affect anyone because it is highly contagious. 

    The following can also increase the chance of you getting a jock itch infection:

    • Wearing clothes that are tight and irritate your skin
    • Having moisture in your groin area from sweating
    • Leaving on a wet bathing suit for a long time
    • Sharing damp towels or sweaty clothing
    • Being in close contact with someone infected 
    Smiling young man with dark hair wearing sky-blue shirt happy after Canesten jock itch treatment

    Jock itch treatment

    You can treat your jock itch easily at home with an over the counter (OTC) topical anti-fungal medication. 

    Anti-fungal jock itch creams and sprays target the main types of fungi that cause the infection. They’re easy to apply and normally contain anti-fungal ingredients such as clotrimazole. 

    If you have symptoms of inflammation, you can use a combination treatment containing both a mild corticosteroid (e.g. hydrocortisone) and an anti-fungal medication to treat your jock itch. 

    Canesten offers anti-fungal only treatments as well as a hydrocortisone containing combination treatment. 

    Canesten jock itch treatments

    Canesten offers a range of effective jock itch treatments which effectively treat your fungal infection. They are easy to apply and penetrate your skin to stop fungal growth, destroy the fungi and relieve your jock itch symptoms such as irritated and itchy skin. The treatments are available from your local pharmacy and supermarket pharmacies. 

    • Canesten Hydrocortisone® Athlete’s Foot 1% w/w Cream – Is the only treatment you can buy formulated with a combination of clotrimazole and hydrocortisone acetate. The active anti-fungal ingredient clotrimazole effectively treats your jock itch infection, while hydrocortisone acetate treats the inflammation. 
    • Canesten Cream®  – This anti-fungal cream treats the infection and relieves your uncomfortable symptoms. 
    • Canesten Dermatological Spray®  - This convenient spray is ideal for hard to reach areas that may be infected with jock itch. Like the cream, it contains the anti-fungal ingredient clotrimazole to treat your jock itch infection and provide relief from your symptoms.

    How to prevent jock itch

    Canesten athlete’s foot icon

    Treat your athlete’s foot quickly to prevent it from spreading to your groin area.

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    Keep your groin area clean and dry, especially after washing or exercising.

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    Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoid tight-fitting clothing or synthetic fabrics.

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    Choose cotton underwear only and change it daily.

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    Change your towels regularly and avoid sharing towels with others.

    Facts about jock itch

    Canesten male torso icon

    Jock itch often starts on your feet - it’s a fungal infection caused by the same fungi responsible for athlete's foot.

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    Jock itch is more common in men than in women.

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    Avoid the itch! Check our prevention tips to protect yourself and others from contagious fungal skin infections like jock itch.