A common skin condition, jock itch affects those of any age or gender. Characterized by intense itching, it is a stubborn bacteria that is actually a form of ringworm found on the genitals. The virus is spread by the ringworm bacteria, and when it reaches an area of the body such as the inner or outer thigh, buttocks, and the groin, it is commonly referred to as jock itch.
Contagious and easily spread, an individual who carries the virus can not only spread the bacteria to other regions of his own body but pass it along to other individuals. While there are several over the counter medications available for jock itch, those who prefer to avoid chemicals may enjoy this list of home remedies for jock itch.
These home remedies for jock itch are sure to help you feel better in no time!
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1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Because it is a natural anti-fungal, apple cider vinegar will work to stop the spreading as well as killing the fungus. Apple cider vinegar will also soothe the affected area making it much easier for one who is infected to resist scratching, making healing faster. Readily available nearly anywhere that sells food, there are no known side effects to its topical application. If you do not have, or cannot find apple cider vinegar, white vinegar will work as well.
- Combine 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 1 cup warm water (4 cups water if using white vinegar).
- Clean affected area thoroughly.
- Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and apply to affected area.
- Allow the area to dry.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Derived from the leaves of a Melaleuca tree, tea tree oil applied topically to the skin is very effective as a home remedy for jock itch due to its antiseptic properties. Although small in number, early studies on tea tree oil show that it is very effective in combating fungus. Readily available, tea tree oil can sometimes cause an allergic reaction. Because it is toxic when taken orally, it should never be ingested.
- Cleanse affected area thoroughly.
- Apply 100% tea tree oil to a cotton ball and apply to affected area.
- Allow it to air dry.
- Repeat up to 3 times a day until the fungus has cleared up. Usually no more than 4 weeks.
3. Garlic Paste
Garlic is widely used in home remedies, largely due to its ability to ward off fungus and other bacterial infections, which puts it among the many other home remedies for jock itch that really work. Another benefit to using garlic is that it may also soothe the irritation and help you find some relief from the pain that is caused by the fungus. It is also used as a great home remedy for ringworm.
- Peel and crush 3 or 4 fresh garlic cloves.
- Using a mortar and pestle continue to crush the cloves until a paste has formed.
- Apply this paste to the infected areas.
- Allow it to remain on the area for at least ten minutes.
- Remove, and clean allowing to dry thoroughly.
- Repeat 2-3 times per day until cleared up.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can be very effective when trying to cure jock itch at home. This works because the alcohol will cause the area to dry out. Jock itch bacteria requires a damp environment in order to spread and grow. Rubbing alcohol is readily available, however, a test patch should be done before using this as a remedy due to hives, itching, and redness of skin being possible side-effects.
- Soak a cotton ball or soft cotton cloth with 100% Isopropyl Alcohol.
- Apply the undiluted alcohol directly to the affected area.
- Repeat at least 2 times per day until the fungus has cleared.
5. Salt Bath
No one really knows why salt works as one of the most effective home remedies for jock itch. There are two leading theories. The first is that the salt leads to the blood stream absorbing magnesium and sulfate which improves the skin’s barrier functionality. The second is that the salt dries out the area, removing the condition needed by the fungus to continue to thrive, and slowing down its ability to grow. It also works to soothe skin that has become irritated and inflamed. You can use any type of salt, and the only side effect of concern is that it can aggravate sulfur allergies.
- Add 1 cup of salt to a warm bath.
- Soak in the salty water for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Repeat this process daily, or every other day until the jock itch clears.
Honey is full of healing properties and among them the ability to clear up the fungus. The best part is that honey is very gentle, and will not cause further irritation while its powerful anti-fungal abilities work to fight the fungus. In addition to being anti-fungus, it is a powerful antibacterial and antibiotic. So, in addition to fighting the fungus honey may also be able to heal any other wounds that have happened as a result of scratching and irritation. Studies have shown that even a tiny amount of honey is enough to kill the majority of bacteria present on a wound site. You can easily find honey at any supermarket, and the only side effect you need to worry about is stickiness.
- Use 100% honey.
- With a spoon, apply the honey directly to the affected area and distribute it evenly.
- Allow the honey to rest on the fungus for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Once the 30 minutes has passed, rinse with warm water and allow to dry.
- Until the fungus has cleared up, repeat 1-2 times a day.
Probiotics are a beneficial addition to your home remedies for jock itch as they put your body in a better position to fight off fungal infections from the inside out. They are live microorganisms necessary to the body, sometimes referred to as “good” bacteria. When your gut has adequate levels of this good bacteria, it is better able to fight against the presence of bad bacteria or even fungus that is causing you to be sick.
Food sources and supplements that contain probiotics are easy to find. Sometimes when consumed in large quantities, they can cause gas or abdominal pain. Any side effects are short lived and have no lasting harm.
- Take a probiotic supplement from a health food store as recommended by the bottle.
- Consume large quantities of yogurt or curd to your daily meals.
- Continue to take the supplement and eat these foods until the fungus has cleared.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another of the dual-purpose home remedies for jock itch as it not only fights the fungus but works to renew the damaged skin. It is a natural anti-fungal that is safe for both consumption and topical application. It is believed that the effectiveness of coconut oil is due largely to the presence of 3 different fatty acids that are all individually capable of killing and inhibiting infections and fungus. Additionally, it is very effective when used to relieve any redness, irritation, rashes or itchiness.
- Use ½ a tablespoon of high quality all natural coconut oil.
- Thoroughly clean the affected area.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the coconut oil directly to the area.
- Allow the coconut oil to be fully absorbed into the skin.
- Repeat 2-3 times daily until the fungus has cleared.
9. Oatmeal Bath
While the oatmeal will not fight the root cause of the jock itch, it will lessen the symptoms and help to prevent it’s spread. This is one of the home remedies for jock itch that is best used in conjunction with other methods of treatment. Oatmeal is a natural healer, and will greatly lessen the side effects of jock itch by gently soothing irritation, itchiness, inflammation, and redness. When the skin is soothed, and allowed to heal itself naturally, you will be less inclined to scratch and further spread the bacteria. Oatmeal can be found in the baking aisle of a grocery and has no negative side effects.
- Fill the bathtub with a comfortable water temperature.
- Add 1 ½ cups of raw oats.
- Soak in the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
Mouthwash is used to kill bacteria and fungus located in the mouth, and there is no reason it can’t be used for the same purpose elsewhere on the body. An antiseptic, mouthwash is an easy addition to your quest for home remedies for jock itch. The mouthwash is effective at killing any bacteria and fungus on contact, inhibiting its further growth and spread. Mouthwash is easy to find, and you may already have some in your bathroom medicine cabinet.
- Soak a cotton ball with mouthwash and apply it to affected area.
- Allow the mouthwash to rest on the skin until it is dry.
- Repeat several times a day until healed.
When used in a very small ratio of water to bleach, bleach can be extremely effective in killing off unpleasant fungal infections. While it seems contrary to everything we have been taught about bleach, it is worth a try in your lineup of home remedies for jock itch. The chemicals that are found in bleach are capable of killing bacteria or fungus directly on contact, making it a potentially fast cure for jock itch. Located in the cleaning aisle of a grocery, bleach is safe in this highly diluted form but can be irritating to the skin if undiluted.
- Fill bathtub will water at a comfortable temperature.
- Add to the water a capful of bleach.
- Soak in the tub for at least 15 minutes.
- Repeat 2-3 times a week until the jock itch clears.
12. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is very gentle and soothing, also capable of helping your body to heal itself. It does this by encouraging your body to produce healthy skin cells when taken internally, and when applied externally it helps to soothe the skin from any irritation or itchiness. Chamomile tea makes for a very effective remedy due to being able to work both internally and externally simultaneously. You should avoid this therapy if you have pollen allergies or take blood thinners. Otherwise, it is easily found in the tea section.
- Steep a tea bag in hot water for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove bag, but use to apply the tea to affected area before discarding.
- Drink the tea while waiting for the application to dry.
- Repeat 2x daily until healed.
There are many different options for effective home remedies for jock itch. The great thing about using all natural at home remedies is that you are able to use more than one to achieve results. You can change up what remedy you are trying, or use what you have available to you at the moment. If the home remedies do not work and you find yourself dealing with the issues more than 4 weeks later, please consider taking the advice of your primary care physician.