Q. I was in Marine Corps boot camp early in 1970 and developed a bad case of jock itch. My drill instructor, although an extremely harsh and seemingly uncaring guy, had warned us all of this possibility and suggested using Listerine.
It worked beautifully, and the rash cleared up in just two days. Old-fashioned amber Listerine does burn a bit going on, but it works well. It is also good for athlete’s foot.

A. Thanks for reminding us that the herbal extracts and alcohol in original formula Listerine have antifungal activity. That may explain why readers of this column report that it helps fight dandruff, nail fungus, athlete’s foot and seborrheic dermatitis. Other remedies that have won readers’ praise for treating jock itch include vinegar, dandruff shampoo (selenium sulfide) and the cleanser Cetaphil.

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  1. Jeff
    Reply

    Never thought of listerine for Jock itch before. I just started using it today. The itching is gone. I’m just waiting for the healing. Hope it happens quicker. Definetly much effective on the itching than creams.

  2. paul
    Reply

    Thank you! Have been hit by jock itch every summer since moving to a hot climate country. Normally goes away with standard anti fungal cream but this week it is refusing to budge and I was ready to scratch everything off. Read this page, had Listerine in bathroom, figured what the hell… IT BURNT LIKE HELL but only lasted a short while. Itching is gone, 2am and I will finally be able to sleep! Thank you again!

  3. Nick
    Reply

    I used to develop a rash under my armpits from time to time. As an experiment, I switched to an all natural deodorant. Shortly after, I developed the worst body odor under my armpits. I switched back to my regular deodorant (no antiperspirant, as that would make me break out), but it was too late. I had some sort of bacterial overgrowth.
    Apple Cider Vinegar would make the smell go away for a couple days. I then found on a website to use listerine. After two days, the smell was gone and in over a year hasn’t come back.

  4. jA
    Reply

    I have read all the info and comments about original Listerine Gold and decided to go to the store to buy some. To my surprise, many of the other colors of Listerine also had the exact same ingredients. As long as it said “Antiseptic” on the front of the bottle, no matter what color it was, they had the same list of ingredients as the “Original” gold one. Was there a different formula earlier on for the original gold Listerine you keep mentioning on your website, or has this formula always been the same? In that case, any of the colors labeled “Antiseptic” will work just as well as the gold colored one. Made me wonder a little bit about your site and if it is as accurate and up to date as you state.

  5. jA
    Reply

    I have read all the info and comments about original Listerine Gold and decided to go to the store to buy some. To my surprise, many of the other colors of Listerine also had the exact same ingredients. As long as it said “Antiseptic” on the front of the bottle, no matter what color it was, they had the same list of ingredients as the “Original” gold one.
    Was there a different formula earlier on for the original gold Listerine you keep mentioning on your website, or has this formula always been the same? In that case, any of the colors labeled “Antiseptic” will work just as well as the gold colored one. Made me wonder a little bit about your site and if it is as accurate and up to date as you state.
    PEOLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: The primary reason to use the original formula rather than one of the others for topical applications is to keep from having your skin turn green or blue. The dye in some of the other formulations can do that.

  6. Linda
    Reply

    Had a reaction to antibiotic Augmentin that resulted in a red rash on my neck. After two years of trying everything to no avail, I splashed Listerine on the rash and two days later it is completely cured.

  7. R L
    Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you! After 6 months of suffering, LISTERINE WORKS! Amazing!

  8. zi
    Reply

    Hi there Jim.
    Your method sounds good.
    Did you use an compress to soak the affected area with ?
    Also, how long did you soak the area for ?
    It’s such an awkward area to treat compared to toenail fungus !

  9. Jim
    Reply

    I have had two cases of Jock Itch. The first was months using Over the Counter Treatments. Now 3 years later it came back with a Vengeance. I started using Spray again and it was helping some. I read about using Listerine Gold. I shower, scrub good, dry good and soak the infected area with Mouth wash. In 3 days all dead skin peeled away, the burning stopped and it is 75% better. I do work out and sweat a lot. But I also wear cotton thongs so that my backside gets plenty of air. Listerine works!

  10. John
    Reply

    Posting this for the world because I found help on-line. Mine was as bad as any because I am in an out of a hot tub with damp shorts and sweaty groin area. 1 week later I am cured with dark color slowly going away as skin heals. First day of research I made a paste of non-fat yogurt with live bacteria (Trader Joes) Baking Soda and mashed garlic. Applied to inner thighs wherever rash was. Allowed to dry under fan with legs spread.
    It is important to excessively expose area during healing with fans and in the sun if possible. Keep dry! Second day, I started a routine of washing area with sudsy anti bacterial hand soap by hand because area is too tender for wash towel. Then softly pat dry and liberally apply Apple Cider Vinegar & water (1/4 cup ACV to 1 cup water) and let air dry. After skin drys apply wet Yogurt like a cooling cream to rash area whenever you can and repeat wash, vinegar, yogurt steps daily for 1 week.
    First the itch goes away, then the discomfort, then any open sores heal, then the skin heals itself. Also, eat yogurt every day to keep healthy bacteria in your body. Start exercising after recovery to reduce skin folds and begin your new life.

  11. Charles M
    Reply

    I read your column every week and appreciated your recent coverage on uses of Listerine.
    It gave me some comfort because I have been using a 1:10 dilution of Listerine and water as a scalp rinse after shampooing. My grandparents used this to deal with scalp issues and dandruff more than 50 years ago.

  12. jc
    Reply

    Thanks for the Listerine JI tip.
    It works!
    Only Listerine we have – the blue, minty-flavored version.
    Where the jock itch was, now cool and minty.
    Thanks much.
    What is jock-itch anyway?

  13. Mayo
    Reply

    Athletes foot has been around – and been cured – with natural and home remedies, for centuries before products were available to buy in stores.
    You can soak your feet for 10 minutes, once or twice a day, in a solution of one part vinegar to three or four parts water.
    Be aware when you get dressed that the fungus can easily spread from your feet to your groin, causing jock itch.
    There are many anti-fungals besides “store-bought” creams that work well for athletes foot and jock itch – and are easily available, many of them common kitchen products.

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