Tinea cruris treatment often consists of over-the-counter antifungal products for patients with mild cases of this fungal infection. Also called jock itch, this skin infection affects the groin area of men and boys. When it is particularly persistent, a doctor may prescribe additional topical or oral medications as a tinea cruris treatment. He will also likely recommend personal hygiene strategies to accelerate the healing and prevent the infection from returning.
Patients who have an underlying medical condition or those who have never had tinea cruris before should consult a doctor before beginning any treatment. Those with a suppressed immune system due to another condition, such as diabetes or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), may need prescription drugs, as it will generally be more difficult for them to fight off the infection. In addition, many patients with a fungal infection of the groin may also find that the same fungus has infected their feet. This is called athlete's foot and it should be treated at the same time as the groin to help prevent the fungus from returning.
Those with mild symptoms may try over-the-counter products for tinea cruris treatment. These drugs include allylamines and azoles, such as clotrimazole or terbinafine hydrochloride, which may be available in the form of a powder, spray, or lotion. Patients should apply the product to the affected area twice daily. After the fungal infection clears up, patients should continue to apply the medication for the next 10 days.
When over-the-counter products fail to clear up the infection, the next step in tinea cruris treatment is to use prescription medications. The doctor may prescribe oxiconazole or econazole, which are both applied topically. Some patients may find relief with an oral medication, such as fluconazole or itraconazole. Before taking these oral drugs for treating tinea cruris, patients must disclose their other medications. Blood thinners and medications to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or ulcers may interact with these drugs.
In addition to medications, tinea cruris treatment should include personal hygiene improvements. Since this fungus thrives in a warm, damp environment, patients should bathe immediately after exercising or excessively sweating. They must use a clean towel each time to dry the affected area and apply a powder, as recommended by their doctors. It is also essential to avoid sharing personal items with others. Laundering clothing often and changing underwear twice daily may also help accelerate healing and prevent the patient from requiring treatment again.