Font Size

Jock Itch (cont.)

Jock Itch Causes

Although the term jock itch implies some sort of relationship with athletics, this is not necessarily true. Jock itch is particularly related to infections from microorganisms and environmental factors such as humidity and friction, which can irritate the skin. Jock itch is more common in men than in women simply because the presence of male genitalia leads to increased friction and humidity. Women are actually predisposed to develop a similar condition underneath their breasts. Jock itch is most often caused simply by noninfected skin affected by friction, humidity, and heat. However, it is not uncommon for microorganisms like fungi and bacteria to simultaneously infect the skin.

  • People taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, those with weakened immune systems, or those who have diabetes are at risk to develop the rash.
  • Occasionally, bacteria can cause jock itch. Bacterial jock itch can be easily diagnosed because the affected skin glows a coral red color when illuminated by a black light.
  • Wearing tight clothes or athletic supporters can predispose one to infection or aggravate the problem further. Jock itch can be prevented by applying large amounts of lubricant, like petroleum jelly, to areas likely to be affected.
  • Intimate contact or contact with objects that harbor fungus can contaminate the groin skin. The fungus is spread by contact with the spores, which may survive on dead skin cells or objects for a long time.
  • If you have fungal infection, such as athlete's foot, the same organism may cause a rash in your groin.
    • Infections caused by Candida albicans (a yeast) can produce pustules and involve the tip of the uncircumcised penis. This infection is seen more often in people with diabetes.
    • Fungal molds like the Epidermophyton floccosum and Trichophytin species are occasionally responsible for the epidemic infections in dormitories, barracks, and similar situations in which people live close together and in which towels, sheets, blankets, and other items may harbor a fungus for years.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/28/2015
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Jock Itch

Athlete's Foot
Athlete's Foot Athlete's foot is a superficial skin infection of the foot caused by a moldlike fungus, though the term is often used for any inflammation of the foot skin. Sym...learn more >>
Rash A rash is a visible skin outbreak. Examples of nonin...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Jock Itch:

Jock Itch - Treatment

What treatment has been effective for your jock itch?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Tinea Cruris »

Tinea cruris, a pruritic superficial fungal infection of the groin and adjacent skin, is the second most common clinical presentation for dermatophytosis.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary