Susan prefers to use natural ingredients, whenever possible, in the home and garden. It is usually cheaper, easier and greener.
What Is Jock Itch or Sweat Rash?
Jock itch, or sweat rash, can develop in any area where your skin rubs against itself, resulting in chafing. This can occur in many places, but it most commonly occurs between the upper thighs, the groin, under the breasts, between folds in the skin if you are overweight, under the armpits, and between the butt cheeks. The affected areas tend not to be exposed to much air, and they often become red, sore, itchy, and uncomfortable. Sometimes the rash is raised a little and may have white areas, too.
Jock itch is medically known as tinea cruris, a fungus that loves dark, warm, moist places. It is a similar fungus to ringworm and athlete's foot (Nall, 2019).
It isn't a serious condition, but it is uncomfortable and looks unpleasant. It gets worse if left untreated. As jock itch is easily remedied, doing something earlier rather than later is best.
What Does Jock Itch Look Like?
Jock itch starts out red and is typically in a crease in or near the groin area. It may be ring-shaped and blistery and may feel itchy or burning. It can spread without treatment.
What Is an Infection?
According to the NIH, an infection is "The invasion and growth of germs in the body. The germs may be bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, or other microorganisms. Infections can begin anywhere in the body and may spread all through it."
How Do You Get Jock Itch?
The fungus needs warm, moist areas of skin to multiply and cause an issue, so it is primarily the environment on your body that turns tinea from the presence of fungus into a fungal infection.
Can You Spread Jock Itch?
It is possible to pass the fungus onto others via towels, clothing, or sheets, so always use your own or clean items to avoid spreading it.
Who Is at Risk?
Anyone can get this, but people who sweat a lot are more prone to the condition. So an athlete, sportsperson, large-breasted lady, overweight person or someone who works in a hot and stuffy environment are more likely to suffer. Sweat along with some chafing skin can catalyze the infection.
What Are the Symptoms of Jock Itch Before It Becomes an Infection?
At first, the itching or soreness may be negligible, and you may not really notice it. But if you become aware that it is getting worse, look at the area under a stronger light. If it is red or purple in appearance, try some of these home remedies. Jock itch can spread on your body at quite a pace once it gets a hold, so try to look after any flare-ups sooner rather than later.
1. Sudocrem or Diaper Cream
Sudocrem is used as a diaper or nappy rash cream for babies, so it is kind to the skin and really easy to apply. This brand is a bestseller in the UK but not always available in other countries, so the best diaper cream often works well, too.
- First, wash the area carefully to get rid of the sweat and salt, use warm, soapy water. Get into all the creases of the skin. You can do this in the shower or by using a washcloth. Dry the skin gently with a clean towel, or by using a hairdryer on the "cool" or "low" setting if it feels better.
- Next, apply a thin layer of Sudocrem or another diaper cream all over the infection. The cream has antiseptic qualities so it will kill the infection, and the protective cream creates a barrier from sweat, dirt and other microbes. The chaffing will also be reduced as the Sudocrem acts as a lubricant.
- The relief is almost instant. Sudocrem feels really good after sporting activities and also before going to bed at night. The reduction in the infection should be visible the next morning. Keep the treatment up over the next few days, and it should be all cleared up.
You can use diaper cream all the time if you do a lot of sport or walking which causes chafing. Apply a layer to a sensitive, chaff-vulnerable area before doing the activity and it should help prevent jock itch and increase comfort (University of Michigan, 2018).
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antimicrobial that can be found in health food shops and pharmacies (Pazyar, 2012). This can be used for a multitude of things and a tiny bottle goes a long way, so this is a staple in my home cabinet and travel bag. Some people are more sensitive than others to this oil, so it's important to do a spot test on the back of your hand to be sure it won't irritate you. If it irritates you a bit, wash the area again with clear water and it will cease. Then try with half the number of drops in the basin -in other words, dilute the tree oil more.
Dilute Tea Tree in Water
You can use tea tree oil on jock itch a number of different ways, but this is my preferred method:
- Get a basin of warm water and drop 10 drops or so of tea tree oil into it.
- Dip in a washcloth or cotton wool.
- Gently wash the affected areas.
Dilute Tea Tree in Oil
Another way is to mix three drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil and rub liberally over the affected area. This will feel lovely but can get onto clothing so best done wearing a bathrobe or something you don't care about soiling.
3. Epsom Salts
Another simple home remedy for jock itch is soaking your body in Epsom salts. Add Epsom salts to a bathtub of warm water and soak for about 20 minutes. If you don't have a bathtub, you could sit or place the affected area in a large basin or bucket if that is doable. Make sure you do this for several days in a row and dry the skin well afterward to see the results.
4. Canesten Cream
If the itching and soreness have gotten a good hold, then yeast infection treatments like Canesten are usually good to use. You can buy these over the counter in most pharmacies and even some large supermarkets, but not everyone is comfortable purchasing these creams.
Again, wash and dry the affected area thoroughly and apply an even layer of the cream. It's important to note that this medication is not recommended for treating jock itch, so it may not be a great solution compared to over the counter medicine specifically for jock itch. But, if you have some laying around, read the warning labell and do a spot test before use.
5. Neem Oil Soap
Used for acne, to keep insects at bay and for antiseptic and anti-fungus qualities, this soap is very handy. For best results get a soap that has at least 20% neem oil in it. Sometimes you can find it with lavender oil and tea tree oil too. It can be used all the time, you don't need to just use it to clear the infection (Pankajalakshmi et al, 1994).
6. Dandruff Shampoo
Another quick solution to the itching, especially in the groin area, it to use a dandruff shampoo that contains selenium sulphide like Selsun Blue. Just shampoo the affected area and rinse off. Selsun in the UK, and Selsun Blue in the USA is excellent at helping rid the body of fungus and it is readily available and inexpensive.
Get Rid of Your Jock Itch for Good
You can mix and match these treatments as you like. For example, soak in an Epsom salt bath, dry the skin, and then apply Sudocrem. Find out what works for you, or use what you already have at home.
Most importantly, keep your skin clean of sweat, salt and moisture as much as possible. Expose the skin to the air whenever it is decent to do so! You could do this at home after a shower, for example, or at night in bed. Make this part of your routine. Change clothing regularly when they get sweaty and wash clothes well and often. Make sure underwear and clothing are cotton or wool, rather than polyester or nylon, which are fabrics that make you sweat more.
Remember, prevent the fungus from getting its preferred warm, dark, moist environment whenever you can and you will prevent it from taking hold.
Nall, Rachell (2019). Jock Itch: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments. Healthline.
Pankajalakshmi, V Venugopal, Taralakshmi (1994), Antidermatophytic activity of neem (Azadirachta indica) leaves in Vitro. Indian Journal of Pharmacology.
Pazyar N, et al. (2012). A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology. International Journal of Dermatology.
Shino B, et al. (2016). Comparison of antimicrobial activity of chlorhexidine, coconut oil, probiotics, and ketoconazole on Candida albicans isolated in children with early childhood caries: An in vitro study. Scientifica.
The University of Michigan. miconazole and zinc oxide topical. Michigan Medicine.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: how long does jock itch last?
Answer: If you follow the steps provided, it will feel better the next day, and go after 3 or 4 days, but the trick is keeping it going. As soon as the area of skin gets sweaty again, it can be back in hours. You should learn your problem areas and treat quickly.
Question: How long does Canestan take to work to cure jock itch or sweat rash?
Answer: Usually Canestan takes just a day or two to work. It doesn't take long. Wash away the salt and sweat carefully before applying. Make sure to keep up the regime for a few days after you see improvement to make sure it is completely gone.
© 2016 Susan Hambidge
Deepak on September 05, 2018:
Thanks it is very useful info i will try it...
FlourishAnyway from USA on February 27, 2016:
Ouch! This looks very uncomfortable so I'm sure that anyone who has this will appreciate the multiple options you provide for helping solve the problem.
Susan Hambidge (author) from Kent, England on January 12, 2016:
Thanks for dropping by Paintdrips. That sounds very sore! Tea tree oil is very useful, but start off with it highly diluted as some are sensitive to it. I use it so much for any sores, itches and stings that I think my skin has become toughened!. I would also recommend the Sudocrem, but it is thick cream so best used overnight.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 12, 2016:
This is very helpful. I have always had a problem because I have very large breasts and the summer months are especially cruel to me. I never heard of tree oil as a remedy. I usually use lots of baby powder to keep as dry as possible. When I have a flair up I sooth with a basic hand lotion and more baby powder. I will definitely try the tree oil. Thanks.