What is jock itch? Jock itch (also known as tinea cruris) is a fungal infection that creates a rash that tends to form around the genital area. Typically, it is ring-shaped, red, itchy, and shows up in areas like your inner thighs, buttocks, and genitals—areas of the body that have folds and can trap sweat.
A common issue for athletes (but also among people who are overweight), the trapped sweat becomes a good location for the fungal infection to settle in and cause the itching rash. Generally, it’s not a whole lot of fun to deal with. But the important part is, you can deal with it; and you can even deal with jock itch naturally, as there are a number of home remedies for jock itch.
Home Remedies for Jock Itch
While you may be tempted to go to the local pharmacy for some over-the-counter or prescription relief from jock itch, you may have other options. If your infection is less severe, there are some home remedies for jock itch rash that are not only effective, but can also be easily made at home.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is often mentioned as a home remedy cure-all, but in the case of jock itch, it does have anti-fungal properties to help get rid of the fungus behind the rash. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help settle the itch until the rash and fungus go away.
The oil can be used in a couple of ways. One involves dipping a cotton ball into the tea tree oil and then treating the area of the jock itch directly. Another method is to add tea tree oil to a warm bath. Just place a few drops of tea tree oil into the bath water, making sure you get the area affected by the jock itch cleaned out.
Not the first thing you probably think of when trying to clean out a fungal infection, but fresh, chopped garlic does have some anti-fungal properties. Essentially, when you chop, crush, or mangle garlic, a compound called alliin makes contact with an enzyme called alliinase within the garlic. This reaction creates a chemical known as allicin, which is both anti-fungal and antibacterial in nature.
To use garlic on your jock itch, take a few cloves of garlic and crush them until the cloves become a paste. Rub the paste into the area where the jock itch has appeared. Leave the paste on the area for a few minutes and then wipe it off with warm water. Then, pat dry the area as moisture can promote fungal growth.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy staple that could help treat fungal infections of all sorts, including jock itch. It may help due to the acetic acid it contains, which not only acts as an anti-fungal agent, but it also helps fight bacteria.
Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water. Use this solution to wash the jock itch area. Allow the area to dry on its own or pat it dry. If you want an easier way of applying it, try placing the mixture in a spray bottle and spritzing the area. Either process should be done two to three times a day. White vinegar can also be used in a similar way, but it tends not to be as potent as apple cider vinegar.
Cornstarch has long been recommended for fungal infections like jock itch and athlete’s foot, due in part to its anti-fungal properties. But, it also has an added bonus of absorbing moisture, which can dry any excess sweat in the area and help dehydrate the causes of jock itch. Apply the cornstarch to the affected area with a good dusting approach, similarly to how you might apply talc-free baby powder to a child’s bottom.
It may seem like an odd choice, given the stickiness of honey and the general area of the body you would be using it on, but natural honey may be able to relieve your jock itch. Honey contains a protein called defensin-1, which appears to have antibacterial and healing qualities.
Apply natural honey (manuka honey if you can get it) to the area affected by the jock itch, and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Wash off the honey with warm water and pat the area dry, leaving no moisture. Repeat the process twice a day. If all goes well, your jock itch should be cleared up in no time. If you want an added boost, try mixing the garlic paste we described above with honey.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an oft-used plant for all sorts of skin damage, as it appears to be an antibacterial agent as well as promoter of the healing of skin cells. Researchers still aren’t exactly sure why aloe vera works so well, but it seems to be the combination of the various vitamins and minerals that aloe vera contains and the gel-like quality its internal juice maintains.
Get a fresh aloe vera leaf or two and snip off the ends. Squeeze the gel into your hands and then apply it to the area of the jock itch. Allow it to sit for several minutes before rinsing off with warm water and patting it dry. In addition to this method, you can place the leaves in the fridge for a few hours in order to achieve a more cooling effect from the aloe vera gel.
Take the Itch Out of Jock Itch at Home!
Jock itch can be frustrating, especially if you are an athlete. It’s a rash that itches and burns in an inconvenient area that you will continue to irritate while doing regular exercises and activities. Luckily, not only is jock itch easily treated, it’s also easily treated at home. Most of the treatments we have listed above are quick, simple, and best of all, should clear up your itch. However, if the rash doesn’t improve within two weeks, you may need to see your doctor for prescription medications.
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