What is Jock Itch?

What is Jock Itch?

Jock itch, a form of ringworm, is a fungal infection in the groin, inner thighs, and buttocks. As the name implies, jock itch typically affects athletes because of how much they sweat and a significant amount of time they spend in locker rooms, where fungi flourish. The rash is red bumps, sometimes with cracking or peeling skin, but constantly itchy. 

Fungi thrive in warm, moist areas such as steamy shower rooms, damp towels, sweaty workout clothes, and wet floors. Since a jock itch occurs in a dark, warm area of the body, there is no question why a jock itch is so familiar and spreads so quickly. In addition to the discomfort caused by this fungus, it is crucial to begin effective treatment as soon as possible to avoid spreading the rash to other areas of your body and possibly others.

The same fungus that causes an athlete’s foot generates a jock itch, so getting an athlete’s foot and jock itch is easy. Suppose your foot touches the area infected with a jock itch, or you walk around barefoot in a steamy shower room. In that case, you will most likely acquire the athlete’s foot. The groin area is also prone to heavy sweating, which washes away fungus-killing oils. This encourages the fungus to spread more quickly, just as it would between the toes.

Several risk factors could cause you to have a higher chance of getting jock itch:

  1. You Have an Impaired Immune System – As with any infection or illness, an impaired immune system hinders the body’s ability to fight off invaders.
  2. You Sweat Heavily – Fungi thrive in warm, moist areas of the body, and sweating washes away the body’s natural fungi-killing secretions.
  3. You are Obese – Obesity causes increased sweat and additional folds in the skin for fungi to populate.
  4. You use Athletic Supporters that Aren’t Washed Regularly – Unwashed athletic supporters are a hotbed for fungi; you can reduce this risk by washing your athletic supporter thoroughly before each use.
  5. You are Male – Jock itch affects more men than women, though women can get the condition.


While these risk factors do not guarantee that you will get jock itch, they increase your risk for this and other fungal infections.