Healthy Living

The Best Ways to Prevent Jock Itch

The Best Ways to Prevent Jock Itch

Key Takeaways

  • Jock Itch is a fungal infection that infects, inflames, and irritates the skin resulting in excessive itching and painful sores, but it can be prevented with personal hygiene.
  • In the event you have athletes foot, use precaution to avoid transmitting the infection to the groin

Jock Itch, a fungal attack that infects, inflames and irritates the skin resulting in excessive itching and sometimes painful sores, can be prevented with the right mix of personal hygiene and a clean, dry groin. Here are the most useful tips for preventing and combating the infection. 

Observe personal hygiene: Using a mild chemical-free soap regularly to wash the genitals and buttocks, removing sweat and dead cells or dirt.

Keep clothing clean: Wash your clothes frequently to eliminate infectious spores.

Cotton is king: Use pure cotton, light and airy undergarments to ensure sweat is removed through absorption and does not cling to the skin.

Shower and change: Keep changing undergarments after each session of exercise or shower, and before bed so that infected clothes do not remain in close contact with the skin.

Separate underwear: Wash briefs, boxers, bras and panties separately from your main clothes and without mixing them with clothes of other family members. Use a mild antifungal soap exclusively for this purpose. This simple precaution prevents spore transmission and collateral infection among family members.

Say no to skin tight clothes: Avoid close fitting underwear and tight pants, instead opt for lighter, looser, cotton fabrics that breathe and aerate the groin. Athletes should ensure they change over to lighter, more breathable fabrics that keep the groin sweat free, cool and dry.

Say yes to breathable fabrics: When selecting underwear, synthetic fabrics should be avoided at all cost as they clash with softer skin making the outer layers of skin irritable and rough. Synthetic fabrics also create a war zone of split hairs, dead skin cells and broken skin that make the skin ripe for fungal attacks.

Herbal applications: Apply herbal essential oils like tea tree oil and use proven skin cleansers like aloe vera liberally after washing the groin. They protect the skin by killing bacteria and prevent inflammation. They also rejuvenate the connective tissue keeping skin layers supple and firm.

Apply antifungal powder or lotion: At the earliest sign of irritation or itching use mild solutions or creams like Lamisil and Zeasorb.

Avoid cosmetic products: Completely avoid applying cosmetic creams, powerful fragrances or strong bleaches to the genitals and surrounding skin. They do more harm damaging the skin, and some of the ingredients even dehydrate the tissues exacerbating severe fungal attacks.  

Avoid direct contact with the floor: One should wear sandals or rubber slippers when walking around swimming pools, gyms or public places to prevent the feet from touching infected floors.

Tackle athlete’s foot sensibly: If you have athlete’s foot, use precaution to keep your fingers and palms from itching sores, leading to transmission of the infection in the groin, causing jock itch. One way of preventing cross contamination from the feet to the groin is to wear protective socks when changing underwear.  

Avoid using public facilities: This is easier said than done, because we are often forced to use public toilets, washrooms, and showers. This is particularly true for athletes. The basic precaution should be to avoid used items like soap, towels, and workout clothes. The best strategy is to carry disposable tissues, anti-fungal soaps, and washable cotton underwear.

Treat shoes with respect:  Ensure that you keep the shoe interiors fungus-free. This can be done using a disinfectant containing benzalkonium chloride, an effective microbe killer.