jock itch

Q. I’ve been fascinated by the discussion of jock itch in your column. I’ve had this problem for years and tried dozens of over-the-counter medicines. None of them worked for more than a few days.
Last year my doctor came to my rescue by prescribing Lotrisone cream. What a relief! I only have to use it once or twice a month, and then “touch up” with Eucerin lotion every few days. Itch-free at last!
A. The combination of a moisturizer and a corticosteroid cream can often be quite effective for this type of problem. One reader reports: “I am eternally in your debt for the jock itch remedy of Cetaphil followed occasionally by 1 percent hydrocortisone cream. After five years of embarrassing agony and numerous treatments I now enjoy heavenly relief–not a cure, but a reliable balm.”
Cetaphil is a non-detergent cleanser and moisturizer. Another reader found that “When I switched to Cetaphil Cleanser, my eczema never came back.”
Another possible approach is old-fashioned amber Listerine mouthwash. One reader reports:
“I have been plagued with jock itch for weeks and had tried a couple of OTC creams with little success. I was getting ready to see my dermatologist when I read about using Listerine for jock itch, athlete’s foot, and other fungal infections.
“Listerine has now cleared the problem up in a couple of days. It stings for a minute or two when first applied, but it isn’t that bad and it really worked.”
One caution, though. We would discourage putting Listerine on any open wounds or bad abraded skin. The alcohol and essential oils are likely to sting something awful.

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  1. Abraham Lincoln

    Two showers a day, followed by a thorough air drying (fan straight to the groin), then apply Apple cider vinegar (I use it straight, but also try watered down) with a spray bottle and let air dry again. I actually spray, then pat the area down with tissue paper, then air dry. I suffer from jock itch every time it goes above 80 degrees basically, and apple cider vinegar has easily been the best solution. They say the acids in it make it so the fungus can’t thrive. There are many many accounts of it online working for people. It stings at first, but use it several times a day and it will most likely help a lot.

  2. djp

    I have seen the shampoo selsun blue work for this. Be patient, it can take several weeks of application but it works. You just need to apply it to the skin several minutes each day.

  3. nozenji

    Over a year ago I thought I had Jock Itch but found out I had a yeast infection. It was one of the worst experiences of itching I have ever suffered.
    A Naturopath gave me a recipe for a powder that keeps it under control. It’s made from Corn Starch, Burdock Root Powder and Callendula Powder, and really really works. The ratio is 2:1:1 and I use Organic Corn Starch.

  4. edwin

    Hey just found out I have jock itch about 4 days ago, the first day it was itchy but as I itched it got itchier… I put gold box powder thinking maybe that would have worked since I do a lot of walking and maybe it will stop the moistness down there but it to me made it worse, so I started taking 3 showers a day and washing really good in the areas it has gotten red, rashy, peeling, and burning that didn’t work much so I went out and got my self a little tube that’s called lotrimin ultra for jock itch and I now put it on after I shower let it air right after and to be honest I haven’t been wearing underpants lol but it seems to be working I’m on my second day of treatment

    • David

      I started using Lotrimin Ultra – in three days no improvement whatsoever. How long do I have to keep using it?

  5. NS

    For anyone with Jock itch problem, try Lotrimin AF Antifungal (Powder Spray) My husband goes through bad jock itch if not caught early and it works on him all the time !!!

  6. MCO

    OTC cortisone cream took care of this for me.

  7. me

    > corn starch
    Not a good idea. Google it.
    Yeast thrives on corn starch; you get a brief improvement from drying the area, then a rebound. Been there did that, it’s the old Ken Kesey/Whole Earth remedy from the 1970s.
    These worked for me
    Sarana anti-itch lotion, when the area’s raw, and the very occasional use of steroid cream.
    Isopropyl alcohol when the area isn’t raw, to keep it dry. Purelle hand cleaner is OK, or plain cheap 72/90 percent.
    The hair dryer.
    Socks before underwear.

  8. c

    Years ago I had a problem with dandruff, flaky eyebrows and athlete’s foot. I use dandruff shampoo as a body wash. Worked great for years.

  9. mike

    Speaking of laundry, one of my doctors first recommendations was to only use “Free and Clear” (no dyes or fragrances ) detergent for my underwear.

  10. Moe

    A doctor suggested CORN STARCH to me. I put some on the area and within a half-an-hour NO itch. And it’s cheap.

    • David

      I want the problem to go away, not just the itching. Does corn starch cure it?

  11. ebm

    You can find natural dandruff shampoo in health stores, perhaps not as harsh as store
    products. Also, the extra rinse of your laundry wash is great, you’d be amazed how much soap still is in the second rinse that could irritate your skin and my clothes look sooo much whiter and cleaner. Most people over stuff their washers so the towels, sheets, etc. still contain a lot of soap left over.

  12. p

    Re: Tinea Versacolor… a friend from Bermuda told me that because of the dampness there, they switch to a dandruff shampoo in the shower once a week or so to keep tinea in control.

  13. HalNow

    Anyone tried Gold Bond powder?
    Ten years or so ago a jock itch was tormenting an associate I worked with, a gentlemen around 75 years old. I had used Gold Bond and found it quickly cleared up on an underarm itch that developed when switched my brand of underarm deodorant. I told my colleague about it and a few days later he was blessing me for the suggestion, claiming the itch had disappeared.

  14. savannahms

    Here are some tips to prevent you from getting, or to help you get rid of, jock itch.
    Since the athletes foot fungus is very closely related to the ones that cause ringworm and jock itch, put on your socks BEFORE you put on your clean underwear. This prevents any fungus on your feet from coming into contact with your groin area.
    Talcum or silica powder can help dry the skin, however mineral-based talcum powder is dangerous if inhaled in quantity. Silica powder, an environmentally inert material, is a safer choice.
    There are many anti-fungals besides “store-bought” creams that work well and are easily available, some of them common kitchen products.
    Last but not least, stop scratching!

  15. Jerry P.

    Does anyone out there have any home cures for Tenia Versacolor? It’s a fungus that grows from the inside and although it doesn’t hurt anything in the body, it doesn’t look good and it itches like hell! I would like to know of something natural to get rid of it.
    Thank You
    Jerry P.

  16. fbl

    Many years ago I had problems with “irritable crotch”. I started changing my detergents and that helped only somewhat. What I wound up doing, very successfully I might add, is to give the whites an extra rinse with a cup of white vinegar. I haven’t had a problem since, even with cheap laundry detergents.

  17. J G

    Thanks for re-publishing this article.
    I was going to write to you because I wasn’t sure if you had mentioned that the Listerine was the “amber” type. I remember you caution the writer at hat time to be careful not to apply to the scrotum area because of its alcohol content. That is where it itches on me, so I used a little bit I had left in a bottle for a long time. It was OK due to the alcohol was almost evaporated. After I purchased the new Listerine, the one it is alcohol-free. I don’t think it works as good.
    Now, I don’t know if I am going to do something correct or not, but I NEED
    to ask you a question:
    Would it be all right if I buy a new amber Listerine and mix it with the alcohol-free one? If so, what ratio should I follow? Would it be all right to experiment until finding the proper mixture? Would I be causing any damage to the scrotum if some dose contains too much alcohol?
    Thanks for supplying us with this wonderful mean to obtain pharmaceutical information.

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