For some men, jock itch is a highly annoying phenomenon that won’t stay away. Men who do manual labor, work out or play sports are particularly susceptible to this itchy penis rash; learning how to treat and prevent it is a must for all active men, or those simply prone to sweating profusely. The following provides information on jock itch along with the penis care steps required to keep it from recurring.

What is Jock Itch?

Jock itch is caused by the overgrowth of the tinea cruris fungus in a man’s groin area. As with most fungi, tinea cruris is a big fan of moist, warm environments. That’s why it commonly occurs in the groin folds of active, sweaty men. The rash may spread out from the groin folds to a man’s thighs, scrotum, penis and buttocks.

A jock itch rash is comprised of small red bumps, and the rash generally has sharply-defined edges. The bumps may be scaly, and sometimes they leak fluid. One of the most distinctive symptoms, aside from the hard-to-miss rash, is moderate to severe itching. Jock itch can be highly uncomfortable.

It’s important to note that jock itch is contagious. Anything that comes in contact with a man’s package - undergarments, towels, protective gear, etc. - can pick up the fungus and spread it to other men. That’s why men with this rash need to be careful about washing anything that comes in contact with it and keeping such items to themselves.

How is it Treated?

For many cases of the dreaded jock itch, an over-the-counter antifungal cream is sufficient to clear it up. Men should obtain a diagnosis from a doctor, particularly if they haven’t had the rash before, and use the cream for the prescribed number of days even if the rash clears up before the assigned treatment duration. More severe cases may require prescription creams, lotions or pills.

How Can a Man Prevent It?

The best treatment, of course, is prevention. The following steps will help men avoid the plague of jock itch:

Keep it dry. The groin region should be dried thoroughly after bathing. Active men, or those who are simply prone to sweating a lot, can use powder on the area to prevent excess moisture.

Choose light, loose clothing. Tight undergarments and thick pants increase the likelihood of excessive moisture getting trapped in the groin folds. Go for looser clothing and light, well-ventilated materials such as cotton for undergarments.

Keep clothing clean. A fresh pair of underwear every day is a must, and workout clothing should be washed before worn again.

Manage athlete’s foot. The same fungus that causes jock itch is responsible for athlete’s foot; if a man has the latter, he’s more likely to end up with the former.

Don’t use other dudes’ stuff. Whether it’s a razor, towel, protective gear or clothing item, a man should stick with his own. This will prevent him from catching the fungus from other men.

Jock itch is only one of the many possible causes of an itchy penis, and men should take steps to prevent this irritation from occurring from any cause, such as dry skin, vigorous sex or bacteria buildup. A penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can be helpful toward this end. Quality products contain moisturizers like Shea butter and vitamin E that keep skin smooth and soft. Also look for vitamin A on the ingredient list, which has antibacterial properties. The very best products also contain ingredients that support other aspects of penis health, such as proper circulation and nerve protection. Important nutrients include acetyl L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C.