In many cases, your doctor can diagnose jock itch simply by looking at the rash. If the diagnosis isn't clear cut, your doctor may take skin scrapings or samples from the infected area and view them under a microscope. To rule out other conditions, your doctor might send a sample of the rash to a lab. This test is known as a culture.
For a mild case of jock itch, your doctor may suggest first using an over-the-counter antifungal ointment, lotion, powder or spray. The rash may clear up quickly with these treatments, but continue applying the medication as directed for one to two weeks.
If you also have athlete's foot, treat it at the same time you are treating your jock itch. This will reduce the risk of recurrence. If jock itch is severe or doesn't respond to over-the-counter medicine, you may need prescription-strength creams or ointments — or even antifungal pills.
Preparing for your appointment
Your family doctor or a skin specialist (dermatologist) can diagnose jock itch. Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it can help to be well-prepared. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Your time with your doctor may be limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your appointment. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. 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?