Last updated on August 14, 2020
Will jock itch go away on its own?
There are actual several types of fungus that produce the red, itchy effects that is called jock itch. Some may go away on their own if the case is mild and the conditions allowing the fungus to grow are removed. However, it will likely to be weeks and the itchy may drive you crazy while you are waiting. Most cases of jock itch will not go away on its own. It is better to use an anti-fungal medication and use it as directed. If it says to use it for two weeks then use it for two full weeks, even if the obvious symptoms have disappeared. The problem is that the fungus buries itself deep into your skin, which is why you itch so badly. Using the medication for only a short while may get rid of the surface problems, but fungus will still be under the skin. The next time the conditions are right for growing, it will pop right back up.
The fungus that causes jock itch thrive in warm, moist areas. Thus the way to battle the problem is to interrupt its growing cycle.
- When you bathe, dry off thoroughly before dressing. Since the same fungus that causes jock itch also causes athletes’ foot, dry your groin before you dry your feet, especially if you are showering in a public area. Otherwise, you will be bringing the fungus spores right where you don’t want them.
- If at all possible, give yourself a chance to air dry. If you’re at home, shave and take care of your toiletries before dressing. If you are in a more public area, loosely wrap a towel around your waist and then take care of a few things before dressing.
- Put on clean underwear after bathing. Otherwise, you will be reintroducing the same spores right back to your skin that you just washed off. You should change your underclothes daily anyway.
- Don’t wear the underwear you wore all day to bed. Change into something light and loose so your skin has a chance to dry out.
- If you are prone to get jock itch, switch to looser, lighter weight underwear that doesn’t trap moisture. Loose boxers tend to be better than cotton briefs in this case.
- If you have a case of jock itch around your waistband, move your waistband up or down to avoid the area for about two weeks so it can dry off. Sometimes it helps not to wear anything below the waist at night while you are trying to get rid of a bad case of jock itch. The extra dryness helps get rid of the problem faster.
- Powders can help absorb moisture, but avoid the ones that contain cornstarch. The fungus that causes jock itch can feed on the nutrients in cornstarch.
You might be tempted to use a cortisone-based ointment to ease itching, but this is actually counterproductive. “Cortisone creams, tried by many patients, help fungus grow! The rash may get less red and itchy at first, but spreads out and recurs, itchier than ever, when the cortisone is stopped” [“Fungus Infections: Preventing Recurrence”, American Osteopathic College of Dermotology].