Jock itch or tinea cruris refers to a type of fungal infection that causes itchiness and redness in the genital skin, buttocks, and inner thighs [1].

It is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, which thrive on moist and warm areas of the body [1, 2].

It was named as such as it often affects male athletes or ‘jocks’ who use locker rooms and public showers. But anyone can get this fungal disease [3].

It’s not a serious condition but it can come with great discomfort and embarrassment as well.

Some natural ingredients have potent antifungal effects against jock itch.

This article reviews the efficacy and uses of some home remedies for jock itch that only require the use of simple and easy-to-find ingredients.

12 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Jock Itch and Groin Rash

1. Tea Tree Oil

This Australian native has become known all over the world as a potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, helping treat a wide range of infectious diseases [4].

Jock itch is just one of the many fungal infections that are susceptible to the antifungal actions of tea tree oil [4].

According to a 2004 study, tea tree oil can successfully inhibit the activities of the dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum that causes jock itch [5].

To implement this effect, only a minimum concentration of the oil is needed [5].

Another study, which can be found in the International Journal of Aromatherapy, confirms that it also works for another dermatophyte called Trichophyton mentagrophytes [6].

It was also proven that this oil works synergistically with other essential oils like lavender in combating tine infections in humans [6].

Best jock itch treatment using tea tree oil:

  • Dilute 5 drops of tea tree oil and 3 drops of lavender oil in a teaspoon of almond oil.
  • Apply oil blend to the affected area with a cotton ball.
  • Repeat twice a day for one week.

Related: 11 Effective Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil for Warts

2. Vinegar

Vinegar has always been a part of folk remedies. [7].

It has been used for years to fight various kinds of infections [7].

It is also a proven antifungal agent, as demonstrated in several studies [8, 9].

In one clinical trial dated 2014, researchers utilized the microdilution technique to determine that effects of vinegar’s active components on fungal strains [8].

The conclusion reached was that it successfully inhibited the adherence of fungi, and prevented infection [8].

In another study, vinegar has been confirmed to have significant fungicidal activities against Candida albicans and Trichophyton rubrum [9].

All these findings tell us that vinegar is indeed a reliable solution for jock itch and its unpleasant symptoms.

How to use vinegar for jock itch cure:

  • Mix a cup of vinegar with 4 cups of water.
  • Dip a clean cloth into the solution.
  • Apply to the itchy area of the skin.
  • Leave it to dry.
  • Do this remedy twice a day for one week.

3. Garlic

Garlic is one of those herbs overloaded with active compounds that give it profound pharmacological effects.

For your health, it can help ward off numerous ailments, particularly those that are caused by pathogenic microbes such as fungi.

In a study featured in the International Journal of Dermatology, it was revealed that garlic has potent antidermatophytic activities against 88 isolates of dermatophytes, including those that trigger jock itch [10].

It inhibited the activities not only of Trichophyton rubrum but also of Microsporum canis, M. audouinii, T. mentagrophytes, T. violaceum, T. verrucosum, and T. Simii [10].

Its antifungal properties can be compared to those of ketoconazole, a commonly prescribed treatment for fungal infections [10].

It was able to wipe up to 90 percent of all the fungal strains tested [10].

Two other studies show similar positive results [11, 12].

Researchers confirm that twice-daily topical application of garlic for one week healed the fungal infections completely after 14 to 17 days [11].

How to use garlic for jock itch treatment:

  • Grind garlic until it turns into a paste.
  • Spread a thin layer on the itchy skin.
  • Leave it on for five minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  • Follow this remedy once a day for one week.

4. Onion

Since garlic and onion belong to the same family, it’s no surprise that onion has similar antifungal effects.

Its inhibitory effects against Trichophyton rubrum have been established in many studies [13, 14, 15].

The growth and spread of this fungal strain along with others are inhibited by onion extract at a concentration of 3.12 percent [13].

It specifically targeted the fungi’s cellular membranes, damaging both internal and external membranes and all the areas in between [13].

The destruction of the structure of the fungi is what led to its death [13].

Allicin, the main compound in onion, and also in garlic is said to be responsible for its fungicidal effects [14].

It was also noted that the higher concentration of the onion extract is, the stronger its antifungal activities are [15].

These findings are convincing enough to use onion as a treatment for fungal infections such as jock itch.

Home remedy for jock itch using onion:

  • Blend onion in a food processor.
  • Smear onion paste on the affected part.
  • Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Wipe it off and rinse with warm water.
  • Do this remedy twice daily for one week.

5. Honey

Since ancient times, honey has been recognized for its ability to keep diseases at bay.
For antifungal infections, it has been scientifically proven to work like a charm.

Honey has a broad spectrum of antifungal activity on different kinds of dermatophytes, as revealed in a 2011 study [16].

Even at low concentrations, it can reduce the growth of Trichophyton rubrum by up to 20 percent [16].

Other dermatophytes are also sensitive to honey’s antifungal activities so it can also work on other types of tinea infections [16].

Apart from killing the source of infection, it also helps speed up healing and alleviate symptoms [17].

As you probably know, honey is a great emollient and humectant, which means it keeps the skin moisturized and prevents it from drying out.

This is important as dry skin is more prone to irritation.

How to use honey for inner thigh rash:

  • Spread a thin layer of honey on the affected part of the skin.
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes.
  • Wash it off with warm water.
  • Repeat the remedy twice a day for one week.

6. Olive Oil

Using olive oil as cooking oil is a healthy option as many believe.

This oil is in fact loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients that are good for the health.

When applied topically, it can also help in treating infections caused by fungi such as jock itch.

A researcher from the Cairo University in Egypt evaluated the fungicidal mechanisms of olive oil against several pathogenic fungi including Trichophyton rubrum [18].

This microorganism that causes jock itch is among those that are most susceptible to olive oil [18].

The active compounds in olive oil suppressed the growth of the fungi by inhibiting its enzyme activities [18].

It’s also good to know that it can safely and effectively curb jock itch without inflicting any side effects [18].

How to use olive oil for relieving jock itch:

  • Add 2 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Apply the oil mixture to the itchy area of the skin.
  • Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing the skin with warm water.
  • Use this treatment once a day for one week.

Related: 7 Ways of Using Olive Oil for Ear Infections

7. Neem Leaves

In Ayurvedic medicine, neem is highly prized for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties [19].

Clinical data published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research stated that neem can help control the microorganisms that cause jock itch [20].

It was one of the herbs tested for antifungal effects against Trichophyton rubrum [20].

It demonstrated the complete depletion of fungal isolates at a minimum concentration [20].

Its effects are comparable to that of mycotoxin and can be used as an alternative natural approach for jock itch and other infections caused by these fungal species [20].

By using neem leaves, you can inhibit the cause of fungal infection, and in turn, relieve itching and inflammation.

How to use neem for jock itch relief:

  • Boil water in a pot.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of dried neem leaves.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Let it steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the leaves.
  • Cool for 30 minutes to one hour.
  • Use the solution to rinse the affected area after bathing.
  • Repeat procedure three times a week for two weeks.

8. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent that can usually be found in the dry regions of Asia, Europe, America, and Africa. Aloe vera is widely recognized for its array of pharmacological activities [21].

In fact, it has been described as a “miraculous plant” [21].

Most of its benefits can be attributed to its chemical compounds such as polysaccharides, anthraquinones, glycoproteins, enzymes, and polyphenols [21].

It also has antiseptic agents such as cinnamic acid, sulfur, lupeol, and salicylic acid which help fight microbes like fungi [21].

This is why, for those complaining of jock itch, aloe vera can be the perfect solution as its antiseptic agents can definitely put an end to the actions of infection-causing fungi [21].

Natural remedy for groin rash using aloe vera:

  • Cut the aloe vera leaf.
  • Press to release the gel.
  • Apply aloe vera gel to the affected skin.
  • Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
  • Repeat the remedy once or twice a day for one week.

Related: Aloe Vera For Heat Rash: 5 Reasons to Try Now!

9. Cinnamon Oil

Another efficient way to treat jock itch for good is with the help of cinnamon oil.

Studies show that cinnamon oil is a powerful fungicidal that inhibits the growth and spread of dermatophytes, including those that cause jock itch [22, 23].

In 1993, Brazilian researchers evaluated the efficacy of 13 essential oils as a treatment for infections caused by dermatophytes [22].

Cinnamon was among those that have the highest antifungal activities, suppressing up to 80 percent of the dermatophyte strains [22].

Scientists from Hong Kong, meanwhile, analyzed the main component in cinnamon, which is cinnamaldehyde, and found that it was highly active against various isolates of bacteria and fungi [23].

Included in the list of microbes susceptible to its powers are those that cause jock itch.

How to use cinnamon essential oil for jock itch:

  • Stir in a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 2 drops of oil in a cup of warm water.
  • Rinse the affected part with this solution.
  • Do this twice daily for one week.

10. Lemongrass Oil

The antifungal activities of lemongrass have been illustrated in scientific research [24, 25, 26].

A study done in 2008 shows that it is a potential treatment for various dermatological conditions that are caused by fungi, dermatophytes, and yeasts [24].

The researchers were able to come up with this conclusion after using a disk diffusion assay against various strains of fungi [24].

It’s also one of the essential oils identified in a 1993 study to have the strongest inhibitory effects on dermatophytes that trigger jock itch infection [22].

Lemongrass essential oil remedy for jock itch:

  • Combine 5 drops of lemongrass oil with a teaspoon of jojoba oil.
  • Apply the solution to the affected area of the skin.
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • Follow this technique three times a week for two weeks.

11. Cornstarch

You might be wondering how cornstarch can help resolve jock itch.

Here’s how: cornstarch acts as a soothing agent to relieve the itchiness caused by this condition.

It can also prevent further irritation.

Intertrigo, which refers to inflammation of the skin caused by skin-on-skin friction, is a common result of scratching the area affected by jock itch [25].

Deemed practical in minimizing friction and managing this issue is using “absorptive powders” like cornstarch [25].

Apply a teaspoon of cornstarch to infected areas of the skin and notice the improvement in the condition.

12. Lavender Oil

Most of us know lavender oil for its soothing and relaxing effects on the mind and body.

Did you know that it can also work wonders in fighting fungal infections such as jock itch?
Research has shown that this essential oil has potent antifungal powers [26].

It works by inhibiting the formation of the germ tube and suppressing the growth of the fungi [26].

Amazingly, it has been shown to kill 100 percent of fungal cells in as quickly as 15 minutes [26].

These are made possible by its primary components namely linalyl acetate and linalool [26].

You can topically apply diluted lavender oil on the jock itch affected skin area to relieve the symptoms.

Related: 11 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil That You Should Know

When to See a Doctor

If the following symptoms persist visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and medications:

  • Redness and rash red in color with raised edges
  • Irritation and persistent itchy skin
  • Burning sensation around the affected area
  • Flaking or cracked skin of the affected area
  • Scaly, red, or brown patches

Jock itch can be prevented by keeping the groin area, inner thighs, and buttocks clean. Also, keeping them dry is important too. Additionally, the following can help too:

  • Always wash workout clothes, underwear, socks, and towels after using it each time
  • Use separate shower shoes when using the shower or locker room in a public area
  • For those who have athlete’s foot, they should wear socks and then underwear. That way, the infection will not spread above.

Bottom Line

Good hygiene can always keep infections like jock itch away. It is up to do that in order to avoid such a problem.

Because jock itch can be very embarrassing, so, you should get rid of it as soon as you can.

Using over-the-counter medications can treat the condition.

The home remedies for jock itch are safe and natural ways of relieving the condition.

If your jock itch is still persistent, you should check with your doctor to find out any other possible underlying medical condition.

Read Next: 9 Coconut Oil Remedies for Vaginal, Skin, and Oral Yeast Infections

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