Diagnosis

Your doctor can often diagnose jock itch by looking at the rash. If the diagnosis isn't clear-cut, your doctor may take skin scrapings or samples from the infected area for study under a microscope.

Treatment

For mild jock itch, your doctor may suggest first using an over-the-counter antifungal ointment, lotion, powder or spray. Apply the medication as your doctor recommends for one to two weeks even if the rash clears up quickly.

If you also have athlete's foot, it's usually treated at the same time as jock itch to reduce the risk of the rash coming back. Severe jock itch or a rash that doesn't improve with over-the-counter medicine may need prescription-strength creams, ointments or pills.

Preparing for your appointment

Your family doctor or a skin specialist (dermatologist) can diagnose jock itch. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your appointment.

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your appointment. For jock itch, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are tests needed to confirm the diagnosis?
  • What treatments are available?
  • Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • What can I do to prevent the infection from spreading?
  • What skin care routines do you recommend while the condition heals?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you first notice your symptoms?
  • What did the rash look like when it first started?
  • Have you had this type of rash in the past?
  • Is the rash painful or itchy?
  • Have you used any medications on it already? If so, what?
March 04, 2020
  1. Ely JW, et al. Diagnosis and management of tinea infections. American Family Physician. 2014;90:702.
  2. Ferri FF. Tinea cruris. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2020. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 18, 2019.
  3. Goldstein AO, et al. Dermatophyte (tinea) infections. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. 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.
  7. Thompson DA. Jock itch. Adult Telephone Protocols: Office Version. 4th ed. American Academy of Pediatrics; 2018.

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