Jock itch can be a highly annoying fungal infection of the groin for men, but some women can get it too. There are many different names for it—crotch itch, crotch rot, and gym itch—but it’s all a form of fungus called Tinea cruris. The infection occurs on the surface of the skin and causes a rash that is circular or with rings.
Even though it’s called jock itch, as often athletes can get it, any man of any fitness level can get it too. Teenagers and seniors of all ages can also suffer from jock itch.
Tinea cruris loves to thrive in moist, sweaty, and warm parts of the skin. Some people sweat more often than others or don’t have time to wash with soap and water regularly, which can keep fungus under control on the skin. This is precisely the type of environment that fungus loves.
The rash can be red, tan, or brown, and have flaking or peeling appearance as it heals. The rash can be extremely itchy and sore, and if it’s excessively scratched, it can break open and cause further complications. At times it can be mixed up with eczema or psoriasis.
Even sitting for extended lengths of time can cause jock itch to develop, mainly if you’re working in a hot, humid environment without air conditioning.
Why is Tea Tree Oil Effective for Jock Itch?
Tea tree oil is effective for treating jock itch because it contains compounds that have strong antifungal properties. It’s a natural antiseptic and disinfectant. It will help to kill the fungus that causes jock itch on your skin. It will also help to reduce that annoying itchiness while the infection is healing and help to stop the inflammation on the skin that results.
Tea tree oil has over 98 different compounds. The highest concentration is of terminen-4-ol at up to 48%. It also contains other terpinenes, cineole, pinene, and cymene. These compounds are effective at killing bacteria and microorganisms that live on the skin and cause adverse skin conditions.
Tea tree oil is not only effective on jock itch, but also for other fungi that lead to skin infections, including dandruff on the scalp, and Candida that also affects the groin, and athlete’s feet.
The oil absorbs nicely into the skin and dries quickly without leaving behind a greasy residue.
How Do I Use Tea Tree Oil to Treat Jock Itch?
Tea tree oil needs to be applied directly to the affected part of the skin. It’s toxic if ingested. It can cause an upset stomach and vomiting. It should not be near the eyes, nose, ears, or nostrils, but can be applied to other parts of the face.
A few drops of the oil can be poured onto a cotton puff and then rubbed into the affected regions of the groin.
The oil may sting a bit, mainly if the skin infection is raised and extremely red, but this is a sign that it’s doing its job. The stinging will disappear after a few seconds.
Some men may prefer to use a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Three to four drops of the oil can be mixed with 5 ml of coconut oil in a small bowl. This oil can then be rubbed onto the affected region with a cotton puff.
If you find that tea tree oil is stinging and burning your skin, then try it with coconut oil. Other carrier oils to try can include jojoba, sweet almond oil, or olive oil.
Be sure to use a cotton puff to apply it to your skin, rather than your fingers, as you don’t want to risk transferring the infection to your hands, then another part of your body. You should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water regularly, particularly after bathroom breaks.
You can pour a few drops of the oil into your bathwater, which provides an all-over benefit for your skin. It’ll also help to prevent the spread of the infection.
Be sure to apply the oil at least twice a day and up to three times a day for maximum benefit.
If you don’t currently have jock itch but know you’ll suffer it for the hot summer ahead, once a day, apply a few drops of tea tree oil mixed with your favorite carrier oil. This helps to prevent Tinea cruris from growing on your skin.
Other Ways to Prevent Jock Itch
There are ways to avoid getting jock itch in the future.
- Always towel off properly after bathing with soap and water.
- Use towels only once before tossing in the washing machine.
- Shower at least once a day or after strenuous physical activities.
- There are natural powders you can buy that keep the groin region dry.
- Wear cotton underwear that allows the skin to breathe. Linen and bamboo are also suitable for air and moisture permeability.
- Put on clean clothes every morning.
- Never use other people’s towels or wear their clothing.
- Be careful that no one else touches your clothing or wears it.
- Avoid transferring the fungal affection to your partner.
- Avoid scratching as this can make make your skin infection feel worse.
- Wear loose-fitting underwear.
- Wash your athletic supporters frequently or buy extra so you always have a clean one handy.
- Avoid heavily perfumed fabric softeners or laundry detergents as these can increase the itching and irritation.
- Be sure to treat other skin infections you may have so you don’t transfer any to your groin region.
- Audit your diet. If you’re overeating sugar, alcohol, or carbohydrates, switch to more fruits and vegetables. Fungal infections thrive on sugars.
- Mix apple cider vinegar with equal amounts of water and use it as a cooling spray. Please keep it in the fridge.
Precautions When Using Tea Tree Oil
You should be aware that tea tree oil is suitable for many skin conditions, but occasionally it doesn’t work for everyone. You may also have a stubborn infection that does require antibiotics.
- If your infection worsens, it may not be jock itch. It could be another type of infection.
- Visit a doctor if your infection doesn’t clear up in two weeks with treatment, as it can lead to a staph or MRSA skin infection that is serious for the health.
- If the tea tree oil only seems to worsen the infection, discontinue use.
- You can have more than one skin infection at a time. You’ll need to visit a doctor for advice.
- Tea tree oil is toxic if taken internally. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
- Do not use tea tree oil on young children, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Ensure you purchase a high-quality, trusted brand of tea tree oil.