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Jock itch, also called tinea cruris or ringworm of the groin, is an infection of the groin area caused by fungus.
Fungal infection - groin; Infection - fungal - groin; Itching in the groin; Ringworm - groin; Tinea cruris; Tinea of the groin
Jock itch occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and spreads in the groin area.
Jock itch can be triggered by friction from clothes and prolonged wetness in the groin area, such as from sweating.
Jock itch may be contagious. It can be passed from one person to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing.
Your health care provider can usually diagnose jock itch based on how your skin looks.
Tests are usually not necessary. If tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis, either a culture or a skin lesion biopsy (for example, a scraping of the skin) may be done. A KOH (potassium hydroxide) test may be done in the office for quick diagnosis.
Jock itch usually responds to self-care within a couple of weeks:
You may need treatment by a health care provider if your infection lasts longer than 2 weeks, is severe, or frequently returns. You healthcare provider may prescribe stronger antifungal medications. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat bacterial infections that occur in addition to the fungus (for example, from scratching the area).
Jock itch usually responds promptly to treatment. It is often less severe than other tinea infections, but may last a long time.
Jock itch usually stays around the creases in the upper thigh and does not involve the scrotum or penis. Jock itch may spread to the anus, causing anal itching and discomfort.
Other causes of itching in the groin include:
See also: Vaginal itching
Call your doctor if jock itch does not respond to home care after 2 weeks, or you have other symptoms.
Andrews MD, Burns M. Common tinea infections in children. Am Fam Physician. 2008;77:1415-1420.
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