My Child Has... Article

My Child Has...

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Jock Itch: Brief Version


What is jock itch?

Jock itch is also called ringworm of the crotch (tinea cruris). A fungus causes the pink, scaly, itchy rash on the inner thighs, groin, and scrotum. Jock itch is much more common in boys than girls.

How can I take care of my child?

  • Use antifungal medicine.

    Buy Tinactin, Micatin, Lamisil AT, or Lotrimin powder or spray (nonprescription) at your drugstore. Twice a day put the powder or spray on the rash and at least 1 inch beyond the borders of the rash. Make sure you get the medicine in all the creases. Continue using the medicine for several weeks, or for at least 7 days after the rash seems to have gone away.

  • Keep the area dry.

    Jock itch will heal much more quickly if the groin area is kept dry. Your child should wear loosely fitting cotton shorts. Wash shorts and athletic supporters after each use. Wash the rash area once a day with plain water and dry it carefully. Do not use soap on the rash.

  • Don't scratch.

    Scratching can spread the rash or even start a bacterial infection. Encourage your child not to scratch the area.

Can jock itch be spread to other people?

Jock itch is not spread to others very easily. The fungus won't grow on dry, normal skin. Your child may continue to take gym and play sports. Wash gym clothes after each use.

Call your child's doctor during office hours if:

  • The rash is not better in 1 week.
  • The rash is not completely cured in 1 month.
  • You have other questions or concerns.

Written by B.D. Schmitt, MD, author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2007-03-14
Last reviewed: 2010-06-02

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.

Copyright © 1996-2014 The Children's Mercy Hospital