Your doctor will likely be able to diagnose jock itch by looking at the rash. If the diagnosis isn't certain, your doctor may take a skin scraping from the affected area for testing in a lab.


For mild jock itch, your doctor may suggest using an antifungal ointment, cream or gel that you can get without a prescription. Continue to apply the medicine for at least a week after the rash clears up.

Severe jock itch or a rash that doesn't improve with nonprescription medicine may need prescription-strength creams, ointments or pills, or a combination of these products.

If you also have athlete's foot, it's usually treated at the same time as jock itch to reduce the risk of either rash coming back.

Preparing for your appointment

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

What you can do

Before your appointment, you might want to list of questions to ask your doctor. Examples 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 health care provider 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?
May 18, 2023
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  3. Thompson DA. Jock itch. Adult Telephone Protocols: Office Version. 5th ed. American Academy of Pediatrics; 2022.
  4. Kelly AP, et al., eds. Fungal and yeast infections. In: Taylor and Kelly's Dermatology for Skin of Color. 2nd ed. McGraw Hill; 2016. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2022.
  5. Trayes KP, et al. Annular lesions: Diagnosis and treatment. American Family Physician. 2018; https://www.aafp.org/afp/2018/0901/p283.html. Accessed Jan. 18, 2022.
  6. El-Gohary M, et al. Topical antifungal treatments for tinea cruris and tinea corporis (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014; doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009992.pub2.