Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
For a mild case of jock itch, your doctor may suggest first using an over-the-counter antifungal ointment, lotion, powder or spray. If you also have athlete's foot, treat it at the same time you are treating your jock itch to reduce the risk of recurrence.
People with weak immune systems, such as those with diabetes or HIV/AIDS, may find it more difficult to get rid of this infection.
Jock itch is treated with one of two types of antifungal medications, allylamines and azoles. The rash may clear up quickly with these treatments, but continue applying the medication twice a day for at least 10 days.
- Allylamines. These drugs, such as terbinafine (Lamisil AT), require shorter treatment time than do azoles.
- Azoles. These drugs, including miconazole and clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF), are less expensive than are allylamines.
If jock itch is severe or doesn't respond to over-the-counter medicine, you may need a prescription-strength topical or oral medication.
- Topical medications. These include econazole and oxiconazole (Oxistat).
Oral (systemic) medications. Your doctor may prescribe itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan) or terbinafine (Lamisil) Side effects from these medications include gastrointestinal upset, rash and abnormal liver function. Taking other medications, such as antacid therapies for ulcer disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may interfere with the absorption of these drugs. Oral medications for fungal infection may alter the effectiveness of warfarin, an anticoagulant drug that decreases the clotting ability of your blood.
Another oral medication, griseofulvin (Grifulvin V), is sometimes used to treat fungal skin infections. Although it's effective, it may take longer to clear up the infection. Potential side effects include headache, discomfort in the digestive tract, sensitivity to light, rashes or a drop in your white blood cell count. Griseofulvin may be used for people who are allergic to other antifungal medications, or for people who have other medical conditions that may be negatively affected by other medications, such as people with liver disease.
- Goldstein A, et al. Dermatophyte (tinea) infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Trevino J, et al. Tinea (dematophyte) infections. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/education/students/Tineainfect.htm. Accessed Sept. 27, 2010.
- Augenbaugh W. Cutaneous fungal infections. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00013-2--sc0100&isbn=978-1-4160-6642-2&sid=1060046265&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00013-2--s1795&uniqId=220345846-2#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00013-2--s1795. Accessed Sept. 27, 2010.
- Nadalo D, et al. What is the best way to treat tinea cruris? The Journal of Family Practice. 2006;55:256.
- Dermatophyte fungal infections. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00022-5&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&sid=1060047096&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00022-5--s0375&uniqId=220345846-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..00022-5--s0375. Accessed Sept. 28, 2010.