How to Get Rid of Jock Itch: 9 Natural Remedies - Dr. Axe

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How to Get Rid of Jock Itch: 9 Natural Remedies


How to get rid of jock itch - Dr. Axe

You don’t have to be an athlete or a jock to get jock itch. However, it’s most common in athletes because they sweat more than the average person and often wear sweaty clothing for long periods of time. This can make for the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that causes this frustrating fungal infection.

While it isn’t the most appealing topic, jock itch is rather common. In fact, studies show that about 10 percent to 20 percent of the world population is affected by fungal skin infections! It’s important to note that candida symptoms can be similar to or even trigger jock itch.

Luckily, getting rid of jock itch is simple. With proper hygiene, healing foods and essential oils, the infection usually responds within a couple of weeks. Let’s look at some of the best natural remedies and more!

What Is Jock Itch?

Jock itch, medically known as tinea cruris, or ringworm of the groin, is an infection of the groin area caused by fungus and can be rather annoying to anyone who has it. As the common name implies, it causes an itching or a burning sensation in the groin area, thigh skin folds or anus. However, tinea cruris affected area may not affect the penis or scrotum — though may involve the inner thighs and genital areas, as well as extend back to the perineum and perianal areas.

The genus of fungi is called trichophyton, which includes the parasitic varieties that cause tinea cruris. Trichophyton fungi also includes athlete’s foot, ringworm infections, and similar infections of the nail, beard, skin and scalp. Tinea corporis is an actual fungus infection that may affect the entire body.

Does jock itch occur in both males and females? Yes, though it’s more frequently seen in males. It’s also known as:

  • crotch itch
  • crotch rot
  • Dhobi itch
  • eczema marginatum
  • gym itch
  • jock rot
  • scrot rot
  • ringworm of the groin

The fungus that causes jock itch thrives in warm, moist areas and occurs mostly in adult men and teenage boys. It can be triggered by friction from clothes and prolonged wetness in the groin area, such as from sweating.

Is jock itch contagious? Technically yes, as it can be passed from one person to the next by direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with unwashed clothing, such as bathing suits, that have been touched or shared. If you have athlete’s foot, it can even be passed by touching your own feet or socks, then touching your groin area.

Hot and humid weather can add to the cause. And people who have certain health conditions, such as obesity or diseases that cause problems with the immune system, are more likely to develop it.

Jock itch is caused by several types of mold-like fungi called dermatophytes, including Epidermophyton floccosum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and T. rubrum. Everyone has microscopic fungi and bacteria living on their bodies, and dermatophytes are among them. Dermatophytes live on the dead tissues of your skin, hair and nails and thrive in warm, moist areas like the insides of the thighs. When the groin area gets sweaty and isn’t dried properly, it traps heat and moisture, providing a perfect environment for the fungi to live and grow.


You can usually self-diagnose jock itch by how your skin looks. If you feel the need to check in with your health care provider or dermatologist, call to make an appointment. Tests are usually not necessary. However, you may need an office test called a KOH exam or a skin culture. Don’t worry — these tests are very simple and relatively painless, but they may help better identify the severity and diagnosis.

Common symptoms of jock itch include:

  • Red, raised, scaly patches that may blister and ooze — and often have sharply defined edges
  • Patches are often redder around the outside with normal skin tone in the center
  • Abnormally dark or light skin, sometimes permanently
  • Itching, chafing or burning in the groin, thigh or anal area
  • Flaking, peeling or cracking skin

Keep in mind that If the infection last longer than two weeks, is severe or continues to return, you may need treatment by a health care provider.

How to Prevent

To avoid every getting jock itch, the best thing you can do is have good hygiene. Here are a few key tips to help prevent jock itch:

  • Shower or take a bath daily, especially after playing sports.
  • Keep the area as dry as possible by always using a clean towel after showering or swimming.
  • Avoid sharing towels.
  • Try to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing and undergarments.
  • Wash athletic supporters as often as possible.
  • Change clothes and undergarments daily.

It’s important to note that if you have a fungal infection somewhere else on your body, like athlete’s foot or ringworm, be sure to treat it to help prevent the fungus from spreading to your groin area. There are some things you can do to prevent the spread. Make sure you don’t touch or scratch your groin area after touching your feet, for example.

It’s important to use a separate towel on your feet after showering or dry your groin before your feet so the towel doesn’t spread the infection. Put your socks on before your underwear to cover your feet so that the germs do not get on your underwear.

Immediate Jock Itch Treatment

Jock itch usually responds to self-care within a couple of weeks by providing some some basic practices, such as:

  • Keep the skin clean and dry in the groin area. When cleaning the area, dry with a clean towel. It’s important that you don’t use the same towel on the rest of your body. Use a separate, clean towel instead.
  • Don’t wear clothing that rubs and irritates the area.
  • Shower immediately after athletic activities.
  • Don’t scratch!
  • Wear loose-fitting underwear.
  • Wash athletic supporters frequently.
  • Change your clothes, especially undergarments, daily.
  • Avoid heavily perfumed fabric conditioners and washing powders, as they may cause additional irritation.
  • Treat any other fungal infections you may have, such as athlete’s foot, because they’re similar and can cause the problem to linger, reoccur and spread if not treated.
  • Before trying over-the-counter antifungal or drying powders, which can contain lots of chemicals, try a natural remedy.
  • If it doesn’t get better within a few weeks, you may need to see your doctor to discuss your options.

Conventional jock itch treatment includes using powder sprays, often containing the antifungal clotrimazole. Clotrimazole is also the primary antifungal and so-called “active ingredient” present in the brand Lotrimin®. Lotrimin® is available in both cream and powder spray form. The most common side effects of clotrimazole include redness, irritation, burning, stinging, swelling, tenderness, pimple-like bumps or flaking of the treated skin.

LamisilAT® is another common conventional treatment but uses a different antifungal called terbinafine. LamisilAT® is used more often to treat fungus that affects the fingernails or toenails (onychomycosis). Common side effects include stomach upset (diarrhea, gas, nausea, stomach pain), headache, dizziness, mild skin rash, itching or even unpleasant/unusual taste or loss of taste in the mouth.

Jock itch prevention - Dr. Axe

Natural Remedies

While there are a variety of commercially made, synthetic lotions and sprays that you can purchase, natural remedies from plants can be just as effective due to their antifungal qualities. Plus, they cost way less and provide a chemical-free approach to healing.

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kashmir in India reports that natural remedies from plants are gaining popularity because of these obvious advantages in addition to having fewer side effects, helping patients tolerate them far better than synthetics. Natural remedies from plants are becoming far more acceptable due to a long history of use.

For these reasons, several plants have been investigated for treatment of skin diseases ranging from itching to skin cancer, and some these remedies below are perfect examples of how you can get rid of jock itch.

1. Change Your Diet

Changes in your diet can make a big difference in healing and prevention of jock itch. Foods that are high in sugars and carbohydrates often encourage fungus growth. Consider more whole fruits and vegetables daily. It’s also important to note that alcohol, especially beer, can cause yeast to grow. By reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption, you may be able to keep jock itch problems from arising in the first place.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Because the acids in apple cider vinegar act as antibacterial agents, it can be a great option for healing bacterial jock itch. In addition, the antifungal activity of apple cider vinegar fights candida and fungus growth, including jock itch.

Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle. You can place it in the refrigerator to provide a cooling effect that will bring added relief when applied to the inflamed skin.

For an even more complex jock itch home remedy, check out my DIY recipe below that uses essential oils as well as apple cider vinegar.

3. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is another natural remedy for jock itch. Cornstarch is derived from dried corn kernels and is the primary ingredient in baby powders. It can help the skin have a fresh, dry feeling while soothing the burning, raw effects from scratching the infected areas.

This can be applied after any of these treatments, once the area is dry, and can also be a great preventive method. [Note: some readers have found cornstarch unhelpful to their jock itch issues.]

4. Oatmeal and Epsom Salt Bath

This can be a relaxing way to achieve relief and healing. Add two cups of oatmeal and one cup of Epsom salt to a bath tub filled with warm water. Soak your body in the tub for about 20 minutes.

Make sure the water is not too hot since hot water can cause itchy skin and you want to avoid further irritation. As a bonus for some added healing and relaxation, you can add 10–20 drops of lavender oil.

5. Garlic and Honey

Garlic and honey have been known to provide relief because garlic is a natural bacteria killer while the honey soothes and helps control the itchy sensation associated with jock itch.

A study conducted in China looked to better understand the key components of garlic and its ability to fight infection. The main ingredients of garlic oil were identified as sulfides, mainly including disulfides (36 percent), trisulfides (32 percent) and monosulfides (29 percent) by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC/MS), which were estimated as the dominant antifungal factors. The good news is that the study indicated that the high antifungal effects of garlic oil make it a broad application prospect within antifungal environments.

Although the garlic can cause a slight irritation, because the honey acts as a moisturizer, it should counteract this effect. Chop the garlic into very small pieces, or mince it and mix it with organic or unfiltered honey and a little warm water to make a paste. Apply it to the infected skin area two times a day for 15 minutes. Wash thoroughly and let the area dry before putting on clothing.

You can also apply at night before you go to bed and leave on overnight. Another option is to try increasing your garlic intake orally. You can do this by simply eating more raw garlic in your favorite dishes or taking garlic capsules that you make yourself or buy at your local health food store.

Foods to prevent jock itch - Dr. Axe

6. Calendula

Calendula is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It comes from calendula flowers or marigolds, providing wonderful skin-healing properties. Calendula may be perfect for anyone who has sensitive skin because it’s very soothing and calming.

The flowers of marigold have long been employed in folk therapy, and more than 35 properties have been attributed as benefits from the flowers — all of which make it a good option to treat jock itch.

7. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil benefits the skin as well because it’s a great antiseptic that contains antifungal properties. It’s very helpful in rapidly healing wounds and may aid in preventing the formation of scar tissue. And because it’s mild, it is typically safe to use on children.

Studies published in Medical Mycology report that lavender oil is highly effective and fighting infection and, therefore, may reduce fungal progression and the spread of infection in host tissues.

8. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is great way to treat jock itch because it has powerful antifungal qualities and is a natural antiseptic and germicide that helps reduce itchiness and inflammation of the skin. Studies show that tea tree oil, tested at different various concentrations, possesses antifungal activity and can help fight jock itch fungus.

Try combining three to four drops of tea tree oil with one ounce olive oil or coconut oil and apply to the area twice daily. Allow it to soak into the skin. Tea tree oil can sting a bit, so make sure to dilute with the base oils first.

9. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is one of the best natural remedies to treat any skin infection. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that aloe vera also has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties that may reduce your discomfort.

In addition, aloe vera penetrates deeply into the lower levels of the skin, bringing its remarkable properties to where they’re most needed. Although aloe is 99 percent water, aloe gel also contains a substance known as glycoprotein. Glycoprotein speeds the healing process by stopping pain and inflammation. It may also help stimulate the immune system.

Related: Baby Powder Asbestos Dangers: Should You Worry?


While you can use various remedies, discontinue use of anything that develops a rash or irritation. Use caution if you have any medical conditions, especially if it requires a prescribed medication. Always check with your doctor before using any essential oils, especially on children and pregnant women.

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Jock itch treatment

Jock Itch Remedy

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 30 uses 1x


This is not just any DIY jock itch — I suggest you use a strong concoction of essential oils, a vital carrier oil like coconut oil, a strong anti-inflammatory oil like neem oil alongside some apple cider vinegar, which acts as a potent antifungal agent.


  • 2 ounces coconut oil
  • 2 ounces neem oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops myrrh oil
  • 5 drops tea tree oil
  • [optional] 3 drops oregano oil
  • 1 ounce apple cider vinegar


  1. Combine all ingredients except for the apple cider vinegar (ACV) into a glass jar and blend well. (If the coconut oil is solid, simply put the closed jar with the mix in hot water, which will melt the coconut oil.)
  2. Next add the ACV to the mixture and blend.
  3. Clean and pat dry the affected area.
  4. Rub onto the affected areas twice daily — once in the morning and again at night.
  5. You may want to keep in the refrigerator to provide a cooling sensation for added relief.


You may experience layers of skin peeling off of you. This is normal. If irritation occurs, discontinue use or reduce the amount of essential oils by half and try again.

  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Category: Home remedies

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  1. Skratchy on

    50 years ago, my friends and I would laugh at what we called,
    “jimmy durante – old scratchy balls” . Though, still funny, scratching and watching dry skin flakes float to the floor…OH HELL , IT’S FUNNY. “Scratchy skin flakes” .

  2. Virginia L Links on

    I am a woman and had itching itching at the bottom of my hairline on my vagina. What can it be it doesn’t itch all the time. But after a shower it is gone for 3days and then start up till I itch it raw. Help please thank you.

    • Amanda on

      Try decreasing or eliminating your sugar intake. That seems to work for a lot of women. Sounds hard, but try it for a week and see what happens

  3. anthony hargis on

    I read on this site where a person claimed they had a flare-up of Jock Itch or whatever after eating Dark Chocolate. I want to say that last evening I had a large Dark Chocolate candy and a short time later my itch flared up by this morning I was in agony. No more chocolate for me. I wish there was a way to cure this ailment and not just treat the itch symptoms. I’ve suffered this ailment now for at least 30 years.

      • Barbara on

        Have you been diagnosed?.it may be eczema or psoriasis related. Or another chronic dermatitis that is triggered by chocolate. You may need a day by day regimen to keep it controlled.
        I have a similar ailment on feet, thought it was fungal and learned it was eczema, an autoimmune disease not fungus.

    • Grace on

      Buy new undergarments every month and throw away the old ones. No sugar, no milk, bathe twice daily with natural tea tree oil soap

  4. Jake Crowley on

    Hello all,

    Thank you for your informative comments…they have been much help to me. Was diagnosed with this ghastly ailment two days ago and was prescribed a cream called ketoconazole. Used it the first day twice a day as directed and there were no improvements other than skin blisters growing in size (which I think is a good thing?)…leading me to look for natural remedies. Made this DIY potion as DR. Axe suggested and went half and half yesterday with it and the ketoconazole. I have some big open skin blisters and was apprehensive about putting the ACV on it. Just did my first wash with just this home remedy over the entire area, blisters and all. Stung like crazy for 10 mins or so and is now petering out. I will report back my results. If anyone knows, I;m wondering how quickly they saw results from this? My case is quite bad so might take longer than normal. Also, I’m assuming to let the ointment dry naturally and not rinse off, is that what yall have been doing? Any and all information would be immensely appreciated! Thank you for reading and God bless!

  5. Ms Ayden B on

    OATMEAL BATHS and any herbal bath remedies are wonderful.

    HOW to NOT CLOG the DRAIN:

    •Get a clean old cotton SOCK with no holes.
    •Pour in a cup or more of oatmeal, which is very affordable.
    [[ This can also be done with other herbs such as rosemary or eucalyptus]]

    •Rubber band it closed

    •Loop the sock over the warm water open spigot 💧


    •Soak the oatmeal sock in your bath.

    It oozes soothing mucilage & can be smoothed all over the body.

    PREVENTS DRAIN CLOGS and is the traditional food of my Scottish ancestors, I’m proud of that.

  6. Cyndi Smith on

    Can you recommend something to add to this elixir to improve the smell? My husband detests the scent, says he can smell it through his clothes even. It definitely works.

  7. Ken Collier on

    Descriptions of some remedies included the word “may”, as in “may be helpful” or “may soothe irritation”. Sure. Water would have the same effect, though probably not last as long.

  8. Ana on

    Lot of information
    Thank you so much!
    The only thing..please write
    more up to date information like for 2021 and 2022 years
    Most of your inform..are from 2016..2018..ect

  9. Adjarn on

    Avoid drinking coffee for two weeks and you will lessen the problem or the groin fungus has disappeared completely. If you start to drink coffee again the groin fungus will come back. This solution for remedy of fungus in the groin is something that I have found out by myself, thus I have had this problem, acually, due to me loving the taste of black coffee I can not resist it, thus the fungus comes back and the 100% good result remedy is to stop drinking coffee. I know it is crazy but part from that I can confirm, no coffee no fungus.

    • Leslie on

      Thank you for commenting. The Lord told me to stop drinking coffee, so tomorrow NO COFFEE. I’ve noticed that when I eat dark chocolate it flares up. I’ve stopped eating dark chocolate for now. I usually have two cups of coffee in the morning with half n half. I’m going to start drinking my green tea again. Keep the sugar at bay too!! I’m a kidney transplant patient of 15 years. I’m praising God for healing me!!

      • Ms. Ayden B on

        Love this Leslie, good listening to the Holy Spirit’s subtle health promptings. I concur.
        Reading this today strengthens me to make a better attempt to eat a more natural alkalizing diet. On Sundays, the Sabbath, I try to take a break from all these harsh indulgences I like. All of my skin improves when I don’t drink coffee or eat a lot of sugar and even wheat. It is s huge challenge because they are addictive :/
        I Hope you are healthy and well.

      • Ms. Ayden B on

        It’s one of the types of food that is acidic. Acid foods tend to create more inflammation and skin irritations in the body.
        Remember learning about the pH scale of acid/alkaline or acids/bases in science class ?

        Acidic: coffee, sugar, alcohol, wheat… The standard diet unfortunately . I know, I love them too except alcohol anymore as I’m sober.

        Research an alkalizing diet.
        I hope this is helpful :)

    • OOO on

      I have been having this problem for more than a year, and went to almost 10 doctors without any effective results, I noticed that when I stop having coffee and chocolate the itch almost disappears, so I went online to confirm my theory.

      Thank you.

  10. Larry C on

    Easiest way to get rid of jock itch is with Hydrogen Peroxide. After you shower, pour about 2 Tbsp into your palm – rub hands together, then rub all over the area. Do this daily and within a couple of days you will be feeling much better.

  11. eric miller on

    Can’t wait to get going with treatment. This jock itch is driving me crazy. Thanks for all the info (-:

  12. Amy on

    I’ve been suffering from jock itch for a year and I understand how wildly uncomfortable and embarrassing it can be. I got it from doing jiu jitsu every day, sitting in sweaty wet pants for hours. I have gone to three doctors trying to find a solution to all this. After spending a lot of money on OTC Meds and doctor visits, this is the regime I have found that has cured my jock itch almost immediately:

    1. After I shower i blow dry the area to rid any dampness
    2. Apply apple cider vinegar 3 times daily .. Dilute with water if you’ve been scratching it will burn but lessen symptoms almost immediately
    3. I take diflucan weekly .. Prescribed by my doctor .. 150 mg
    4. I also apply hydrogen peroxide at least once at some point.. More to heal the area though it does help symptoms but nothing like the apple cider vinegar

    As a lady, this has been the most embarrassing year of my life .. I hope this helps you

    • Lila on

      This was so helpful! I soaked a pantyliner with apple cider vinegar and kept it on overnight. It was like magic! I missed a spot that started a small itch so I soaked a round cotton pad (for the face), placed a dry one underneath and slept with it. It’s gone, baby! Thanks, Amy!

    • Mack on

      I had to come back to this to thank you for the Apple Cider Vin idea. Made an improvement in the 1st 5 mins.

      Let me tell everyone what also made a HUGE difference with me.
      I started taking COLD showers. Sounds horrible but nothings worse than some jock itch.
      Hot water is continually making it worse + causing additional itching.
      Apple Cider Vinegar got it 85% gone for me and switching to cold showers finished it off.
      Cold showers also make your skin shine and wake u up so nice i have stuck with that!
      Blessings to everyone being fungus free :)

    • anthony hargis on

      Does it soothe the itch is what you mean? My Clotrimazole does that now for 30 years. However, it hasn’t cured it. I want a cure, not a soothing agent.

    • anthony hargis on

      I’ve had Jock itch for 30 years. Does it soothe the itch is what you mean? My Clotrimazole helps the itch for 30 years. However, it hasn’t cured it. I want a cure, not just a soothing agent.


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