Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Jock Itch

Definition

  • Fungus infection and rash of the groin and inner, upper thighs
  • Jock itch is also called ringworm of the crotch
  • Much more common in males than females

Call or Return If

  • Rash is not better after 1 week on treatment
  • Rash is not gone after 4 weeks on treatment
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Pink-red, scaly rash on inner thighs near genital area. Often, starts in the groin crease. Then spreads slowly downward.
  • In boys, the rash does not involve the penis or scrotum.
  • Rash is most often the same on both inner thighs.
  • Rash is itchy, but not painful.

Cause

  • Jock itch is caused by a fungus. Often, this is the same fungus that causes athlete's foot.
  • It can come from a towel used to dry the feet and then the groin.
  • The fungus can only grow in warm, damp skin. Sweating a lot and wearing damp underwear increases the chances of getting it.
  • Called jock itch because it occurs mostly in teen males who play sports.

Prevention of Recurrent Jock Itch

  • Keep the genital area clean and dry. Reason: the fungus can't grow on dry, normal skin.
  • Change to dry underwear after playing sports.
  • Also, avoid wearing underwear that is too tight.
  • Bring gym clothes home. Wash them at least weekly.
  • If you have athlete's foot, use a separate towel for the feet.

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • Jock itch is common in teens. It is harmless.
  • It's caused by a fungus that grows best on warm, damp skin.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Antifungal Cream:
  • Use an antifungal cream 2 times per day.
  • Examples are Lamisil, Micatin or Lotrimin cream. No prescription is needed.
  • Put it on the rash and 1 inch beyond its borders. Make sure you apply it in all the creases.
  • Continue the cream for at least 7 days after the rash is gone.
Keep Area Dry:
  • Jock itch will heal faster if the groin area is kept dry.
  • Wash the rash area once a day with plain water and dry it carefully. Do not use soap on the rash.
  • Wear loosely fitting cotton underwear. Wash gym shorts and athletic supporters after each use.
Try Not to Scratch:
  • Avoid scratching the area. Reason: Scratching will delay the cure.
What to Expect:
  • Rash stops spreading after treated for 2-3 days.
  • With proper treatment, rash goes away in 2-3 weeks.
Return to School:
  • Children with jock itch do not need to miss any school. Your child may take gym and play sports.
  • Jock itch is not easily spread to others. The fungus can't grow on dry, normal skin.
Check for Athlete's Foot:
  • If also has itchy rash of toes or feet, follow care advice for Athlete's Foot.
  • Until gone, use a separate towel to dry the feet.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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