Jock Itch

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What causes jock itch?

Causes of jock itch include the following:

  • Moisture, warmth, and skin friction in the groin folds
  • Tight, occlusive clothing and undergarments that trap in sweat
  • Infections caused by fungus and yeasts: Candida (yeast), Trichophyton, and Epidermophyton (fungal molds)
  • Infections by bacteria

Generally, diet does not seem to affect jock itch.

Who gets jock itch?

Jock itch is most common in adult and middle-aged men. Anyone can get jock itch, which is thought to affect nearly all people at some point in their lives.

Certain groups of people may be more prone to jock itch. Patients with diabetes, obesity, and those with a compromised immune system such as from HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, chronic illnesses, cancer, systemic chemotherapy, immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisone, and those on biologic immune-system-modifying drugs such as infliximab (Remicade) or etanercept (Enbrel) may be more prone to jock itch.

Other risk factors include

  • heat,
  • moisture,
  • humidity,
  • obesity,
  • excess sweating,
  • exercise,
  • weakened immune system,
  • tight, occlusive fabrics and undergarments, and
  • athlete's foot infection or other fungal infections on the body.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/15/2016
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