Can you use athletes’ foot cream for jock itch? This question is more common than you would imagine. The answer here is, yes. In around 80% of the time, you can use your athlete’s foot cream for jock itch. Here is how that works.
What is jock itch?
Scientifically known as tinea cruris, jock itch is a form of fungal infection that presents as ringworm. The funny thing about ringworm is that it is not worms at all, despite what the name might suggest. This type of ringworm appears as an itchy patch on your skin; it often has bumps on the edges that resemble blisters. It is a rash that may be red or peeling, and it can spread quickly through your body. Does that remind you of any other form of rash?
Athlete’s foot, which is also a form of fungus infection known as tinea pedis, presents with the same characteristics and spreads just as fast. In fact, you could very well have jock itch and athlete’s foot infections at the same time.
What causes athlete’s foot and jock itch?
Both these conditions are caused by a fungus. Typically, fungi tend to grow on or even in the top layer of the skin. There are some cases where this fungal growth does not cause infections. The ideal conditions for fungi to grow involve warm, moist areas of our bodies such as the inner thighs, buttock and groin, and between the toes.
As the name would suggest, jock itch, as opposed to athlete’s foot, typically affects male athletes. That, however, does not mean that it is exclusive to this group; anyone can get jock itch.
The most common contraction scenarios include using public locker rooms and showers, sharing wet towels and clothes, or dropping them on wet floors and then using them anyway.
The fungi that cause jock itch and athlete’s foot thrive in steamy rooms filled with damp towels, wet floors and sweaty workout clothes. That is why you will commonly find jock itch and athlete’s foot occurring at the same time.
What are the common symptoms of jock itch and athlete’s foot?
In both jock itch and athlete’s foot, you will find that the following symptoms occur across the board:
- Itchy and painful sores
- A peculiar rash appears on your inner thighs, groin and buttocks for jock itch while the same kind of rash appears between your toes and the bottom of your feet for athlete’s foot
- In both cases, the rash may appear scaly, red and have bumps that may look like blisters
In both cases, the treatment method is the same and often takes about the same period of time for symptoms to subside.
Can you use athletes foot cream for jock itch?
Back to the original question. The answer is still yes. In most cases, both jock itch and athlete’s foot are caused by the same fungus family; therefore, any kind of cream formulated to treat one may be used to treat the other.
However, you are advised to consult your doctor as opposed to self-medicating, but in the most common of cases, using a cream that contains clotrimazole or terbinafine should do the trick.
How do you treat jock itch?
The treatment for jock itch once identified, is simple enough. Here is what you need to do:
- Using gloves, wash the affected area with water and soap. The gloves are advisable because, like athlete’s foot, jock itch spreads very easily by touch
- Using the same gloves, spread a thin layer of the anti-fungal cream or powder over the affected area. If you are using a cream like Lamisil, do not be tempted to heap a lot of it onto the affected area; this only goes toward fostering a moist environment where the fungus in question may thrive. Apply a very thin layer on the entire affected area and allow to dry
- Avoid covering up the affected area with snug clothing to prevent further fungal growth
This treatment takes about a week or two at the most for your symptoms to subside. If, however, the symptoms persist, you will have to consult your doctor.
Avoid scratching and touching the affected area no matter how itchy it gets—this is how you spread the fungus to other parts of your body. If you are using the same medication (cream or powder) for both athlete’s foot and jock itch, be sure to treat both at the same time and consistently to prevent cross-contamination and re-infection.