How to Prevent Jock Itch From Coming Back

Jock itch, also referred to as ringworm of the groin or tinea cruris, is a fungus-caused condition that affects the groin area. It is often triggered by prolonged wetness in the groin area and clothing friction. Symptoms typically include scaly patches of skin, itching, and abnormally light or dark skin. Although jock itch mostly occurs in adolescent boys and adult men, anyone can get it. Because the condition is so irritating and contagious, it's imperative to understand how to prevent it from returning.

Wear loose clothing to help prevent jock itch. Credit: decisiveimages/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Lubricate jock itch-prone areas with over-the-counter skin protectants, such as petroleum jelly or hemorrhoid cream. Apply the creams every few hours during vigorous sports or exercise to help prevent chaffing.

Step 2

Clean the groin area with warm water every day to help prevent the spread of bacteria. Take a bath or shower, if possible -- especially after exercising or playing sports.

Step 3

Dry the groin area thoroughly with a towel after exercising, showering or swimming. Apply a drying or an antifungal powder to help keep prone areas extra dry for longer.

Step 4

Put on clean underwear every day -- or change it more often if you participate in any activity that causes you to sweat.

Step 5

Wear loose-fitting underwear, pants and shorts to help reduce friction and limit moisture buildup. Choose synthetic materials like Lycra, which are breathable and smooth-textured.

Things You'll Need

  • Skin protectants, such as petroleum jelly or hemorrhoid cream

  • Drying or antifungal powder


Put on your socks before you put on your underwear when getting dressed. This covers your feet so that fungi and germs on them can’t get to your groin area. Always use a separate towel to dry your feet to prevent the spread of bacteria.


Seek medical treatment if jock itch is chronic or returns despite home care. Left untreated, jock itch can cause secondary bacterial infections of the skin or permanent skin color changes.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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