Print This Page

Many Remedies May Rout Jock Itch

  • Currently 4.4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.4/5 (191 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

Q. I have a bad case of jock itch, for want of a better word. I've used Neosporin and Lotrimin Ultra and one other medication I can't remember right now. I thought it was getting better, but while I was still using the medications, it came back. Nothing I used has helped at all.

I dry the area well after bathing and I use baby powder, but I am still having trouble. The skin has now reached the point of being dry, cracked and bleeding. Can you offer any suggestions?

A. Jock itch is normally caused by a fungal infection. Neosporin, which contains topical antibiotics, is not likely to cure a fungus.

Lotrimin Ultra contains butenafine, an antifungal ingredient, so it should have helped. You may want to alternate it with other OTC antifungal products such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF, Mycelex), miconazole (Micatin, Zeasorb-AF) or tolnaftate (Aftate, Tinactin).

Many readers of this column report that a skin cleanser called Cetaphil can be very helpful against chronic jock itch. It is soothing and contains propylene glycol and cetyl alcohol, which have antifungal activity. One young woman said it was as effective for her as for men.

Some people benefit from applying dandruff shampoo such as Selsun Blue to the area. Lather, let it stay on the affected zone for five minutes and then rinse. Selenium sulfide, the active ingredient, has antifungal activity.

Once the inflamed skin has healed, you may want to try applications of vinegar or original (amber) Listerine. Listerine contains herbal oils that fight fungus, while vinegar makes the skin too acidic to be hospitable to the fungus. Antiperspirant on the groin area can help keep it dry and discourage fungus overgrowth as well.

If you find these sorts of practical, affordable home remedies of interest, you may wish to subscribe to our *free* online newsletter. It offers questions and answers about drugs, home remedies, nutrition and non-drug approaches to healing; commentaries on the most pressing health issues of the day; special alerts on breaking health news as it happens and coverage of the top health headlines of the week. 

It's easy to subscribe to our free newsletter. Just click on the link below:

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Stay informed with us, The People's Pharmacy.

  • Currently 4.4/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.4/5 (191 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

37 Comments

| Leave a comment

Another helpful idea: after showering or bathing, thoroughly dry the groin area with a hair dryer. A combination of this and lotrimin for a week then continued use of hair dryer each bathing solved the problem for my husband.

One thing that I have found helps with the treatment of fungus infections is simple hot water! If you have one of those shower heads on a tube so that you can direct its spray to a localized area, try water as hot as you can reasonably tolerate it. Irrigate the area until your skin turns red from the heat then dry off and apply your anti-fungal medications at once.

The only caution with this treatment is that you should be careful not to cause any burns, even mild ones, with the heat of the water.

A dermatologist I once saw for treatment of a severe case of jock itch has a theory about why this treatment helps. He believes that, first the heat tends to weaken the fungus, at least close to the surface of your skin, and second the heat opens up your pores and allows the anti-fungal medication to penetrate more deeply.

For me the problem was the baby powder. Appear to have developed a allergic reaction to talc. I now use corn starch. Also had really good luck in killing the fungus with Tinactin antifungal spray

I too have jock itch problems. Found out a lot of my problem was the baby powder.
Started using corn starch. Also use Tinactin to kill the fungus

A friend who lives in a very damp climate called me and she had this problem. The first question I had was if she wore cotton undies or nylon. She'd been wearing nylon. Next I suggested she use vinegar in her final clothing wash rinse. I asked her if she had liquid grapefruit extract and she said yes. I told her to use a few drops in the palm of her hand with water and cleanse the whole area. Because GSE is drying I told her to use some organic coconut oil and rub in the area and then rinse gently. The coconut oil is anti-fungal too and will heal irritated skin.

She got rid of the nylon and did as I suggested and it solved her problem. No nasty drugs!

Modern laundry detergents have quite a few things in them that irritate the skin and the vinegar helps to get rid of these residues and leaves no odor in the laundry. The irritated skin is then a welcome host to all kinds of infections.

Relative to "jock itch". Try Diaper Rash Ointment (with zinc oxide). One application will dry it up overnight/heals within a day. It will come back depending on moisture, but applying when the moisture is present it prevents an outbreak (as it dries up the moisture). I've tried prescriptions by a derm. dr. and the over the counter stuff which work slowly if at all-this stuff works almost immediately! (large heavy breasts). Same idea as antiperspirant, except it last longer and seems to \"heal\". And when you \"think\" about orig use, it makes sense.

Dorothy

I wonder if he has made the right diagnosis? Perhaps he is has a contact dermatitis from detergent, fabric softener or soap.

Hi,
Hubby has used both Vicks. It works. Also, apply original Listerine to area with a piece of cotton. And best of all, use Coconut Butter which you can get at the health food store. It comes in a clear container and it looks white.

It is like butter in that in its solid form, it is white. It will melt into oil like butter at warm room temperature. this is good for everything.
Fungus on toes, heals, athlete's foot, etc, etc.

Most of the anti-fungal drugs mentioned in the article are fungistatics (the medicine inhibits the growth of the fungus), since fungus isn't killed it can come back. What is needed is a fungicidial (an agent that KILLS the fungus), try Lamisil Cream OTC for at least one week and the fungus will be eliminated. It may take a few more days for the redness to go away.

Try Bismoline powder on areas that chafe.

Aerosol shaving cream has a wonderful history of mildness to skin. The product is sterile, soft, easily spread and very soothing to areas affected by infection. After showering, I apply a generous amt to previously infected areas and and let the prep alone while I finish up little chores in the bathroom. I finally wipe off residues and do not rinse areas. The "soap" in aerosols is neutral in ph and contains a slightly waxy but thin layer of fatty material that acts as a protectorant.

I think there is less abrasion between my skin and underwear, too. I wonder if aerosol foams would be effective in treating more serious infections, burns and diabetic breakdown of skin.

The elements having antibacterial potential are the hydrocarbon liquids that produce the foam. How powerful would these agents be without their addition to "soaps"?

I have found that smothering works best and for that I use Bag Balm. Even after the fungus is gone, I use a barrier cream to prevent irritation that will lead to a new fungus infection. Walmart has one that is heavy and very reasonably priced. The tube will probably last six months, even with every day use. I apply it under my breasts, under my tummy, and in the groin area.

My husband's jock itch was eliminated years ago by switching to a fragrance-free laundry detergent. I have used Tide Free ever since.

Reducing the amount of hair in the area (not totally!!) so there's less surface area for moisture and fungus. I get this under my breasts and yes, it is the exact same fungus Boudreaux's Butt paste (in the baby aisle) kills it in two days.

I've had this problem for 25 years and tried just about everything. For around 8 years, this stuff has been the ONLY thing I've used and I find I have had significantly less outbreaks, too.
Please try!!

THANKS so much!. Do you use it after showering? Once a day? or...??? I've tried several things under my breast but nothing worked.

Use the ointment or cream, I use special care cream, given to me by the hospital when I had radiation for breast cancer, under the folds and hidden areas just before you put your bra and panties on. I have a routine, cream, deodorant, underwear. BTW, I am diabetic, prone to yeast infections or intertrigo, which is skin irritating skin, opening up the way to yeast. Am heavy, and elderly, everything is falling to the ground! Usually the cream holds as a barrier, once in a while, after a bad day, it doesn't. Bag balm thereafter for two to four days does the trick. Both are available online, just google. I can remember when I struggled with this problem, not anymore.

I use the original paste - and after a shower. Make sure the area is dry!

Wow...what relief! The suggestions are actually working!

I started with vinegar on a wash cloth after showering (with soap, of course.) Then, I soaked the same cloth in water with a little bleach, and wiped it clean, again. Then, witch hazel to really clean it. Then, tea tree oil (very expensive.) Also, I find myself wiping it dry as often as possible, and re-applying the tea tree oil, which I try to carry with me.

At night, I go through the same process before bed. But, I put on a generous amount of olive oil (cause that's all I have.) I think, tonight I will buy some bag balm, Vick's, or petroleum jelly. This was all brought on by an incredible increase in exercise and sweat. I also notice that you can really feel the weeping caused by this bug, and literally feel them moving on you when you add the oil. I think suffocation is an important element of homeopathic cure. So, keep drying, and adding oil. (I even do it if I wake up at night.)

The only draw back is oil on the sheets and PJs. Maybe put some kind of plastic down, first. (The olive oil sure feel super nice.) Also, the problem with the weeping is that it causes the oils to dissipate more rapidly. So, just dry, and reapply. Eventually, the will suffocate, I suppose.

I love the advice.

I tried several off-the-shelf products, none of which worked well beyond a few hours. By late evening, after an early morning shower, I would usually be itching again. Then I had an idea: if my underarm deodorant worked so well at keeping me dry and comfortable, could it be equally effective against jock itch? I applied Old Spice High Performance Solid (Pure Sport) and was amazed at the results. I was more comfortable, for days, than I had been in months. I continue to apply the deodorant, even though I really haven't needed to lately.

I found Zinc Oxide to cure works the best for me. I now use Gold Bond powder in the Green bottle everyday after I shower. Don't use antibacterial soaps, they made it worse. I use Dove for sensitive skin.

I had this jock itch for about 40 years, used OTC and prescription drugs, in US and Europe. Nothing really worked in killing the fungus.

What worked after 24 hours already: 1 tablespoon of white, industrial type vinegar, 1 tablespoon tea tree oil, 4-5 big cloves of garlic, mashed into a fine paste.

Mixed all ingredients together, let sit for 24 hours to infuse, then apply generously after shower, twice daily. Apply powder before bed. Keep area clean and apply the concoction after cleaning area only.

It may sting a bit at first application, but it will be better as the skin heals. Do it for 1-2 weeks.

I am just getting over a bout with jock itch....The turning point was when I used this combo.... First I washed two or three times a day depending on if I had to work. I used regular dial soap, poured apple vinegar on the wash cloth and bocloth some body wash. After that I got a cotton ball put a little witch hazel then Listerine and a lil more witch hazel. (this felt like it wash killing it right away... it's very warm almost hot but only for a short time. I let this air. Dry then I used lotrrimin af when it was dry... at night I would use moisture absorbent powder. This worked for me so I hope someone reading this will try it and I hope it works for you.

I am currently going though this ordeal. I've visited the doctors office 3x now and the problem seems to be getting worse and worse. I am now getting it on the base of my penis. I just can't seem to figure out a solution. I've tried diluted tea tree oil wit vitamin E. Also aloe Vera, the anti fungal such as Lotrimin and now using the Lotrimin jock itch spray. Plz help

You are all about to find out what is best: vaginal yeast infection cream. Its amaaaaaaazing!

For jock itch, my husband uses vaginal yeast infection cream (miconazole nitrate 2% cream). The best one to buy is the 7-day treatment because it gives you the largest tube of cream. (The other treatment is an egg-shaped suppository. That's not the one you want because it only gives you a small tube of cream, not to mention, you'll have suppositories you probably don't want.)

For wetness in areas like under breasts, skin folds, or the genital area, we use Monistat chafing relief powder-gel. (You can find it in the same aisle as the yeast infection cream.) It really protects the skin, and even if there is moisture, it doesn't seem to affect the skin with the powder-gel on.

I had a horrible case of folliculitis and my doctor gave me a cream that didn't really do much. She told me that unfortunately, once people develop folliculitis, they usually have an issue for life. Since using the Monistat chafing relief powder-gel, my problem has cleared up and not come back.

I also use degree clinical strength antiperspirant to control sweating under breasts and in the genital area.

I hope this info. helps.

I have terrible itching and the doctor gave me cream and it did not help so I tried bengay and you not believe it helps and I only put a small amount when I say it helps it really does, so you all can try it. Good luck to you all. and god bless you all.

I tried antifungal creams, alcohol, etc. but I'll tell you what worked for me... Shampoo infected groin with Selsun Blue dandruff shampoo (rinse and repeat). Pat dry and blow dry area on low setting until completely dry. Put on clean underwear with a panty liner. Mash two fresh gloves of garlic and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Smear this mixture into the center of a paper towel. Fold the paper towel over until it is the size of a panty liner so that the garlic mixture is not directly on the skin. The oily garlic mixture does bleed through. Put the garlic paper towel inside your underwear. There will be a slight sting for the first 2-3 minutes but it will subside. Every five minutes- move the paper towel to another infected area (like the top of the thighs). Make sure you do this on all areas that are infected. Discard the garlic paper towel and panty liner. Do not rinse area until morning. Sleep without underwear on your back spread eagle (as much as possible) to allow this area to breathe. In the morning wipe the are area clean and repeat the garlic paper towel process. I am itch free, no more chaffing and the rash is healing!!!

I plan to use the Selsun Blue and garlic until this rash is completely gone. Also- eat fresh raw mashed garlic. It will kill the fungus in your blood stream. It has to be fresh cloves that are mashed right before you consume them. Cooked garlic is not as powerful.

I had a problem with this and wanted to use something natural. Then I tried the following. The problem wasn't resolved overnight, but I'd say within a week everything was SIGNIFICANTLY better.

In a bathroom dixie cup mix together 2 tablespoon or cornstarch and 2 tablespoon of baking soda. This mixture should last a couple of days.

After showering and thoroughly drying the area, smooth on the mixture. You only need little amount. It's messy, so step in the shower or the tub when applying.

Wash and dry the area again before bedtime and apply again. I applied the powder more liberally at night.

(If you can apply more than twice a day, that's even better!)

Also when showering I was using an antibacterial soap, then I switched to Dr. Bonner's castille soap. I want to say that the castille soap was the most effective.

Try to avoid tight-fitting synthetic fabrics and wear cotton undies. Also if you can, change undies at least once a day. And sleep au natural at night to let air circulate better around the area.

Whether you've got this in the groin or legs or feet - whatever, fungus is fungus is fungus - so remedy is the same. You've simply got to deprive the fungus of damp which it needs to survive. So forget what the doctor gave you - don't use creams!! Mycil athletes foot powder is perfect for all fungal infections, you get it at a drugstore or pharmacy. This contains tolnaftate which is highly effective, and it's cheap so you can be liberal with it. Wash as normal every day then rub the powder in. Apply the powder twice a day. The itch will be relieved straightaway and the condition will disappear over a few weeks.

After symptoms have disappeared, keep applying it once a day for another month. After that, make a point to wash every day without fail and apply an absorbent powder such as cornstarch. I used to suffer no end with these problems, relying on creams from the doctor that never worked. I've not had any symptoms now for years.

I just used some Selsun Blue for a problem with fungus on my inner thighs. I became very worried, though, when looking up more information about it, that some sites say not to apply to face or genitals. As a male, it is nearly impossible not to apply to the genitals when washing the inner thighs and after I did, I actually washed the scrotal area as well on purpose thinking the fungus may have spread there.

I'm wondering if because that area of the body has mucosa and mucotaneous skin, the Selsun Blue is more actively absorbed and becomes systemic. Is that why they have the warning or is it only because of risk of irritation?

The only thing I have noticed so far as a side effect is a warm feeling on the scrotal skin, like you would expect using a product with menthol (although, the Selsun Blue I used does not contain menthol). So, you would probably describe this then as minor irritation.

But does anyone know as to the larger question of whether Selsun Blue (selenium sulfide) can become systemic through absorption? Is it dangerous?

Lots of great information here! Thanks for sharing folks! I will try the diaper rash/zinc oxide remedy. Interestingly, when my baby boy gets these rashes between fatty folds of his skin (at the wrist and neck), the zinc oxide worsens the problem, but moisturizer helps! I believe that perhaps different people have different problems that lead to the development of these types of rashes that are being discussed here. This is why things like bag balm and coconut oil work for some (as they help people with moisture retention problems retain more moisture) and powders and zinc oxides work for others.

For my part, I believe that my tinea cruris developed after I started using baby powder -- and as a direct result of that! I'm guessing its because the baby powder dried my skin too much, leaving it open to fungal infection? In any case, baby powder is clearly NOT my friend.

@Marcus: Do not worry, the Selsun Blue will not cause you any harm. You do not have much or perhaps any exposed mucosal tissue, and even if you did, putting that shampoo on your head would have equal or more risk of getting in contact with mucosal tissue (eyes, nose, mouth) that the tiny hole at the tip of your penis. Any small amount that is absorbed through skin or mucosal tissue will not adversely affect your health, particularly if you're only using this for a week or two as a short term remedy for jock itch.

In fact, any harm that may come to you from using the Selsun Blue is more about your anxiety about having used it, than any ingredient it might contain. Millions of folks use this shampoo (and other shampoos containing the exact same ingredients) every day and no harm comes to them from the suds and shampoo rushing down into their butt cracks and genitals (including vaginas, which are much more open to exposure that your penis).

I know this sounds weird but I play rugby and ride my bike about 300 miles a week. I have had jock itch on and off for years and have used everything out there. Some over the counter stuff works okay but nothing has helped to keep it from coming back all the time.

My wife turned me on to (believe it or not) a hot pepper spray for jock itch and it worked. It burned a little at first but once I started using it, the burning got less. I won't name the product here but it's a hot pepper jock itch spray. It took away my itch and seems to be keeping it from coming back.

I've been dealing with this jock itch/ringworm problem for many years. I thought I had psoriasis until I recently started to research my issue. One thing I have read to do is change bedding every night. Not many folks have mentioned that but it does make some since. I have used some anti fungus stuff for a couple weeks, lotromine and another otc type and had some relief, but I'm trying a variety of other things as well. I seem to sweat a lot around my crotch and feet. I stopped wearing underwear about 15 years ago and I think that helps. I'm thinking about getting some performance tight type underwear from rei or somewhere to help wick the moisture away from my crotcgh, that might work?


For now I think I'm gonna try the tea tree/garlic/vinegar treatment along with the selsun blue or nizoral shampoo treatment wash. Sounds crazy lol! I also bought some Boudreaux"s but cream..haha! This jock itch is amazingly resilient!! I can't believe how much time and money it takes some of us to kick this stuff! I am a clean guy, but I hear Irish and Scottish are susceptible to skin issues (about 25%!) I'm hitting it hard with all I got though and you should to, because it is very annoying and painful. I will post back with more results. Good luck!

I have a very bad rashes between my butt crack and the rashes is not red in color. Is it a rash thing or any other thing than rashes or fungus and I bought some medicines for it will it help? NEOSPORIN after MICONAZOLE... and the washing with epsom salt along with half boiled water...

I had it pretty bad. It's taken a couple months, but it's almost all gone. I use Nizoral shampoo on the area, its from Walgreens almost every day. Also I use "Boudreaux's Butt Past" which is VERY effective! It also works on athletes feet. Also lots of air. I don't wear underwear at all, just keeps in heat and moisture. Wash sheets and change cloths regularly.

Warning! A lot of these home remedies aren't effective. Especially the peppers, garlic and bleach. Do not use bleach!!! Makes it itch very badly. Remember this is a fungus not bacteria.
Good luck!!

Exact same thing worked for me. I use the pyrithione zinc soap. I lathered up in the tub at night and let it "soak in" for 10 minutes. Miraculous for me. It felt better first time. Use gold bond body powder after shower or bath

Soaking with the soap feels "oh so good"

I have had a chronic groin itch for years. It used to get so bad, that otc medications wouldn't clear it up. Twice I have seen a doctor and expensive prescriptions did work. Then one time, I couldn't find any men's treatments at the store so out of desperation, I purchased the preparation for female yeast infections. My rash cleared up over night and with a weeks use, didn't recur for months. I keep it on hand at all times. I apply at the first systems, they are gone usually in a day or two. Recently just to double check. I went thought a whole can of a men's leading spray. Twice a day for a week. The itch was back in one day. Back to the ladies stuff for me.

Leave a comment

Share your comments or questions with the People's Pharmacy online community. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from other visitors to this web site should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Concerns about medications should be discussed with a health professional. Do not stop any medication without first checking with your physician.

Check this box to be notified by email when follow-up comments are posted.