What is Tinea Cruris?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2016
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Tinea cruris is a fungal infection which occurs around the groin, inner thighs, and anus. It is known as jock itch or scrot rot, and as the term “jock” suggests, it is especially common in athletes. Although the infection is unpleasant, it is relatively easy to manage and treat, often with over the counter medications which eliminate the need for a visit to the doctor. Patients who experience the symptoms of this fungal infection should act quickly to treat it, as it will only get worse if it is not aggressively managed.

This fungal infection is caused by Dermatophytes, a group of parasitic fungi which infamously inhabit the skin and nails. The fungi like warm, moist environments, thriving in the groins of people who sweat a lot. Overweight individuals can also develop tinea cruris as a result of sweating in the folds of the skin and friction around the groin area caused by physical activity. Tinea cruris usually causes the skin to turn red and itchy, and a spotty rash will develop over time.


A topical antifungal medication can be used to kill the fungi. Some people also like to soak in hot water mixed with baking soda to ease the itching and irritation associated with the rash. During treatment, it's important to wash the groin area thoroughly and to make sure that it is completely dry before applying the medication and getting dressed. It is also advisable to avoid close physical contact with people to reduce the risk of spreading the rash.

People with chronic tinea cruris may want to consider discarding undergarments and workout wear, as the fungus may be living in old clothing. It is also important to use fresh underwear daily, and to wash and change clothes after heavy workouts and exercise. Keeping the groin area clean and dry will reduce the risk of developing tinea cruris again. Some patients also find that it helps to use an absorbent powder such as talcum powder to reduce friction and keep the groin dry.

Sometimes, topical antifungal medications are not effective. If a rash persists for more than two weeks, spreads radically, or starts oozing, the patient should see a doctor. The doctor can take a scraping to see which fungus is causing the infection, and prescribe an appropriate medication to deal with the rash. Oozing rashes can ulcerate, contributing to the development of severe infections, and this is very undesirable.


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Post 6

@KaBoom - You would think the idea of getting tinea cruris would be enough to encourage better habits in male athlete's. However, I wonder if anyone informs young guys this could potentially happen?

I took a co-ed health class in high school, and I don't remember jock itch ever being mentioned. I think maybe it should be added to health class curriculum. It's an unpleasant problem that is easily preventable.

Post 5

I think it's probably a good thing over the counter treatments exist for tinea cruris. I know men tend to be a little protective of certain parts, and most guys wouldn't relish a doctors visit for a problem in that area.

I'm a lady, so I've never gotten jock itch. However, I have had athlete's foot, which is pretty much the same thing, just on the feet. I was so embarrassed when I went to go buy the anti-fungal cream! I know it's a pretty common problem, but I still felt gross.

I can only imagine how I would have felt if the fungal infection had been on my, um, more sensitive parts. I think the embarrassment of having to deal with this problem should be enough to encourage more hygienic habits!

Post 4

@titans62 - You are absolutely correct. I have had many instances where I see guys not only wear the exact same clothes everyday to practice, but sometimes do not wash them. For me it is disgusting enough that someone sweats and puts on the same shirt without washing it the next day. However, I know some guys that will do this with their underwear and jock strap and this is just plain disgusting.

There is a pattern that follows guys like this that do not have what I call good athletic hygiene and that is that they all get bad jock itch. Jock itch is such a horrible thing to have to deal with while in competition and it is not possible to prevent it if someone has bad athletic hygiene such as the people I have witnessed.

Post 3

@stl156 - You are totally correct. I also recommend that athletes make sure that they throw out their undergarments after every sports season. If there is constant sweat on the underwear during competition, then they are not usable in everyday life and should never be used anywhere besides the playing field.

Also, those garments have been in a region that is not always the cleanest. That underwear is not something that should not have a very long life span and should be throw out after each sports season. It may add to the cost of playing athletics but that is the appropriate thing to do to ensure good hygiene and prevent jock itch on the playing fields of athletic competition.

Post 2

@jcraig - I share a similar viewpoint. I have always thought that I could not perform well on the field if my underwear and/or jockstrap did not feel one-hundred percent comfortable. I have had issues in the past where if I did not have either my underwear or jock strap in the most comfortable of places my legs would rub together and cause profuse sweating in those regions, causing jock itch to occur.

My reccomendation to any guy is to make sure both your underwear and jock strap are on in the most comfortable way imaginable, with the underwear pulled in a way that it will not rub, and make sure you keep the area dry. Comnstant rubbing of the legs is a major source of the problems and can easily be prevented. I can always tell the difference when I am not totally comfortable because of the painful itch that follows.

Post 1

Any man who has played athletics for a long period during their life has gotten jock itch at one time or another. For many it is almost impossible to at some point during the season because to the excessive running involved with athletics on top of walking around in everyday life.

Some problems that I have had occur involve my under-clothing being uncomfortable. A coach once told me that underwear and jock strap have to feel perfectly comfortable or there will be problems on the field. From experience this is very true and also putting on talcum powder is not at all a bad idea.

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