Symptoms and causes

Symptoms

Jock itch usually begins with a reddened area of skin that spreads out from the crease in the groin in a half-moon shape onto the upper thigh. The border of the rash may consist of a line of small, raised blisters. The rash often itches or burns, and the skin may be flaky or scaly.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have a rash on your skin that doesn't improve within two weeks or if you treat it with over-the-counter medications and it returns within a few weeks. You may need prescription medication.

Causes

Jock itch is caused by a type of fungus that can be spread from person to person or from shared use of contaminated towels or clothing. Jock itch is often caused by the same fungus that results in athlete's foot. It's common for the infection to spread from the feet to the groin, as the fungus can travel on your hands or on a towel.

Risk factors

The organisms that cause jock itch thrive in damp, close environments. You're at greater risk of jock itch if you:

  • Are a man
  • Are a teen or young adult
  • Wear tight underwear
  • Are overweight
  • Sweat heavily
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Have diabetes
July 26, 2016
References
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  2. Ferri FF. Tinea cruris. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  3. Goldstein AO, et al. Dermatophyte (tinea) infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  4. Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Dermatologic disorders. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2016. 55th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2016. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  5. Fungal infections. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/. Accessed June 3, 2016.
  6. El-Gohary M, et al. Topical antifungal treatments for tinea cruris and tinea corporis (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25090020. Accessed June 3, 2016.