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Tinea Cruris (Jock Itch)


Denise M. Aaron

, MD, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine

Reviewed/Revised Sep 2023
Topic Resources

Tinea cruris is a dermatophyte infection of the groin. Diagnosis is by clinical appearance and by potassium hydroxide wet mount. Treatment is with topical antifungals.

The primary risk factors are associated with a moist environment (ie, warm weather, wet and restrictive clothing, obesity causing constant apposition of skinfolds). Men are affected more than women because of apposition of the scrotum and thigh.

Typically, a pruritic, ringed lesion extends from the crural fold over the adjacent upper inner thigh. Infection may be bilateral. Lesions may be complicated by maceration, miliaria, secondary bacterial or candidal infection, and reactions to treatment. In addition, scratch dermatitis and lichenification can occur.

Diagnosis of Tinea Cruris

  • Clinical evaluation

  • Potassium hydroxide wet mount

Scrotal involvement is usually absent or slight; by contrast, the scrotum is often inflamed in candidal intertrigo or lichen simplex chronicus.

If the appearance is not diagnostic, a potassium hydroxide wet mount is helpful.

Differential diagnosis of tinea cruris includes

Treatment of Tinea Cruris

  • Topical antifungal cream, lotion, or gel

(See table .)

Antifungal choices include terbinafine, clotrimazole, ketoconazole, econazole, ciclopirox, and naftifine.

Itraconazole 200 mg orally once a day or terbinafine 250 mg orally once a day for 3 to 6 weeks may be needed in patients who have refractory, inflammatory, or widespread infection.

Key Points

  • Suspect tinea cruris when pruritic, ringed lesions extend from the crural fold over the adjacent upper inner thigh, particularly in patients with obesity or in men.

  • Topical terbinafine, miconazole, clotrimazole, ketoconazole, econazole, or naftifine 2 times a day for 10 to 14 days is usually effective.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Drug Name Select Trade
Desenex Max, Lamisil, Lamisil AT, Lamisil AT Athletes Foot, Lamisil AT Jock Itch, Terbinex
Alevazol , Antifungal, Anti-Fungal, ATHLETE'S FOOT, Cruex, Desenex, Fungoid, Gyne-Lotrimin, Lotrimin, Lotrimin AF, Lotrimin AF Ringworm, Micotrin AC, Mycelex, Mycelex Troche, Mycozyl AC
Extina, Ketodan, Kuric, Nizoral, Nizoral A-D, Xolegel
Ecoza, Spectazole, Zolpak
Ciclodan, Ciclodan Nail Solution, Loprox, Loprox TS, Penlac
Naftin, Naftin-MP
Aloe Vesta, Antifungal, AZOLEN TINCTURE, Baza, Cruex, Desenex, Desenex Jock Itch, Fungoid, Lotrimin AF, Lotrimin AF Antifungal Liquid, Lotrimin AF Deodorant, Lotrimin AF Powder, Lotrimin AF Spray, Micaderm , Micatin, Miconazole 7, Micotrin AP, Micro-Guard , Mitrazol, Monistat 1 Day or Night Combination Pack, Monistat 1 Vaginal Ovule Combination Pack, Monistat 1 Vaginal Ovule Combination Pack (Prefilled), Monistat 3, Monistat 3 Vaginal Cream (Prefilled), Monistat 3 Vaginal Cream Combination Pack, Monistat 3 Vaginal Cream Combination Pack (Prefilled), Monistat 3 Vaginal Ovule Combination Pack, Monistat 3 Vaginal Suppositories Combination Pack, Monistat 7, Monistat 7 Vaginal Cream Combination Pack, Monistat-Derm, Mycozyl AP, Neosporin AF, Novana Anti-Fungal, Oravig, Remedy, Remedy Phytoplex, Soothe & Cool INZO, Ting Antifungal, Triple Paste AF , Vagistat-3, Zeasorb Athlete's Foot, Zeasorb Jock Itch
NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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