Genesee County Health Department
Better Life Through Better Health
Not Just for Athletes
You don’t have to be
an athlete to get jock itch. The symptoms are familiar to many men:
chafed, itchy, or irritated skin in the groin, inner thighs, pubic or
anal areas. The skin may be abnormally dark or light. Jock itch is
caused by a tiny fungus that grows best in dark, damp conditions. Men
who perspire heavily or are obese most often get jock itch. It usually
appears during sports activity or hot, humid weather. You may even have
it at the same time as athlete’s foot.
While annoying, jock itch
is usually not serious and can be treated with over-the- counter
medicines. Medications for athlete's foot may also be used to treat jock
itch, but read the use indications on the medicine first. If the
condition persists or is severe, consult a skin doctor (dermatologist)
to verify that the condition is jock itch or to have a stronger medicine
prescribed. Prompt treatment will eliminate secondary bacterial skin
infections and other complications.
To prevent jock itch, avoid
synthetic fabrics and tight, rough textured clothes. Wear loose cotton
and other natural fabrics to let sweat evaporate and the skin breath. Do
not use anyone’s clothes or towels. Keep the area clean and dry. Do
not over-scrub with soap, as that can worsen the condition. Rinse soap
thoroughly. Drying powders can reduce wetness and chafing.
For more information,
contact the Genesee County Health Department at (810) 257-3612.