An itchy penis may be a common problem for every man, but that doesn’t mean that those recurring bouts of jock itch are by any means welcome. And, of course, they always seem to occur at just the wrong time: in the middle of that important job interview, during a very formal dinner and, of course, just as a guy is trying to impress a woman with his air of sophistication. Being able to keep one’s hands straying down for a good scratch at inopportune moments is just one reason to pay attention to penis health and hygiene.

Tinea Cruris

Everyone refers to this particular itchy situation as jock itch, but the actual medical term for it (in case a guy wants to impress his friends with his erudition and knowledge) is tinea cruris.

Word of advice: a man shouldn‘t try using this name in the hopes that it will score him points with a potential lady friend. For example, if he’s caught in the middle of what he hoped was a surreptitious scratch, smiling and saying, "Oh, it’s nothing, just my tinea cruris" is likely to cause the hoped-for partner to make a hasty exit, as the medical name makes it sound like something far more serious.

As those who have experienced this problem know, jock itch causes a red, ringy rash that itches like the devil. It typically occurs on the penis, testicles, thighs and buttocks and gets it popular nickname because it’s associated with people who sweat a lot - such as athletes.

Not just those who are jock-wearers get the itch, of course. It can strike any man who sweats profusely, and is somewhat more common among people who are overweight. People whose immune systems are compromised also are at a greater risk of getting jock itch.

Not serious

Tinea cruris may be common, but it’s fortunately not serious. Yes, it can have some serious unintended consequences, such as causing a man to miss out on hooking up with someone who might have been the love of his life; but in terms of medical seriousness, the condition is low on the medical totem pole.


As mentioned, sweat is the primary culprit behind jock itch, although dirt also has a role to play; too much sweat by itself can cause the itch to develop, but it can be exacerbated if the sweat occurs in an area that is dirty. Washing regularly and wearing clean underwear is a good preventive measure.

Jock itch’s root cause is a fungus that develops in wet, warm environments, such as that commonly found in the crotch. It can easily be spread, most often by direct skin-on-skin contact or more indirectly by such means a sharing a towel with a person who is infected. Due to this latter reason, it’s never good idea to share a towel with another person at a gym.

The fungus that causes jock itch is the same as the one that causes athlete’s foot, so it can spread from a man touching a diseased area of his foot and then touching his groin without first washing his hands. A man who masturbates after touching a foot with athlete’s foot definitely needs to wash first. Also, men who have a foot fetish and enjoy rubbing the penis against a foot or who delight in being masturbated by another person’s foot should be sure that the foot in question is free of fungus.

An itchy penis due to jock itch is usually treated with an antifungal medication, but the itch itself may not always respond to this; using a high quality penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can help with this issue. A cream that includes a superior emollient such as shea butter PLUS a natural hydrator like vitamin E provides great relief from itching; it is also beneficial to use a cream that include a powerful antioxidant like alpha lipoic acid, which offsets harmful oxidative processes that can cause signs of early aging like wrinkles and dry, thinning skin.