ZocdocAnswersWhat is jock itch?

Question

What is jock itch?

I'm 18 years old and play high school football. My genital area has become itchy, but I thought it was just from sweating a lot. Could I have jock itch? What is jock itch, like a fungus or something?

Answer

The itching in your groin area could just be from sweating. Sweat can be irritating to the skin, especially with the friction caused by vigorous exercise. If you find that you have itching or burning mostly after a workout, this is especially likely. Keeping the skin clean and dry as possible, as well as applying a skin moisturizer or barrier cream prior to exercise might help to keep these symptoms down. Jock itch is also a possibility. This is, as you say, a fungal infection of the skin in the groin area. Unlike the skin irritation from sweating, jock itch tends to be much more itchy. Also the skin may be red and flaky, and there may be an odor. The itching and other symptoms tend to be more constant throughout the day, not just when you are exercising. If you think you have jock itch, you can try an over the counter anti fungal cream. This should take care of most simple cases of jock itch. However, if you find that the symptoms are getting worse or not improving with this regimen, you will need to talk to your primary care doctor who can prescribe a stronger medication to get the infection under control.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.