Tinea cruris, otherwise known as jock itch, is a fungal infection of the groin area. Anti-fungal prescriptions are most commonly used to treat tinea cruris but there are several natural alternatives that you may want to consider first namely because they have fewer, if no, side effects.
This fungus thrives in warm, moist areas of the body and as a result creates an infection. Symptoms of tinea cruris may include itchiness and a rash surrounding the groin area, buttocks and inner thighs.
Although most cases of jock itch are not contagious, the condition may be spread from person to person through skin or sexual contact, sharing of swimwear, or towels, as well as through close skin contact 1.
Natural Treatments for Tinea Cruris (Jock Itch)
1. Honey, Olive Oil, and Beeswax
A 2004 study suggested that a combination of honey, olive oil, and beeswax may be able to treat skin fungal infections when applied topically 2.
To make the mixture, you’ll need three tablespoons each of:
- Organic, extra virgin olive oil
- Raw honey
To make the mixture, start by melting the beeswax over medium heat in a sauce pan. Slowly add the honey once the beeswax is melted and whisk together. Then, add the olive oil and stir until combined.
To use, scoop about a teaspoon of the mixture onto a spoon and apply to the infected skin approximately three times per day for four weeks.
Further Reading – Applying honey is also good for other skin conditions such as shingles, cold sores, rosacea and minor burns.
Although probiotics are mainly known to improve digestive conditions, they may also be able to benefit skin conditions. Probiotics may be able to strengthen your skin’s barrier. This is because the skin is very closely connected to the gut so probiotics can improve skin disorders. 5
Probiotics are naturally occurring in fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, pickles and tempeh. They can also be taken in the form of a supplement. Follow the instructions on the packet for how to take and how many you can take per day. If you decide to use probiotic supplement, make sure to buy multi strain probiotic (like this one and this one)
Read more about probiotics in my article about 9 reasons to take probiotics and why it’s so good for you.
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils are gentler than most harsh over the counter treatments and they also tend to smell better!
Lavender essential oil is an anti-fungal, which makes it a great natural remedy for tinea cruris. It is one of the most versatile and commonly used essential oil and you can learn more about it in my article about the top 10 uses for lavender essential oil.
Tea Tree essential oil is also a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and is also very popular and versatile (see 75 extraordinary uses for this oil).
To use essential oils on skin infections, mix a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil. Apply liberally to the infected area several times per day, especially after bathing when the skin is cleanest. You may also want to look for a soap with tea tree oil when showering or bathing.
If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.
4. Calendula Oil
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, calendula oil can provide a soothing effect to irritated skin. It is also an effective anti-fungal for treating the infection.
Calendula application comes in oil and cream form. To use, squeeze a few drops or a teaspoon amount of the oil or lotion in your hands, rub together, and apply wherever needed. You may also apply a few drops of oil to a cotton ball and then apply. If using a cream, make sure to rub the cream into the skin fully.
In a review published by The Longwood Herbal Taskforce, researchers said calendula appears to be safe for topical use and it has been used in Italian folk medicine as an antipyretic and anti-inflammatory. Teas made from calendula are used as eye washes or compresses to treat conjunctivitis.
5. Aloe vera
I’ve already written about the amazing benefits and uses of aloe vera for the skin. Due to its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects, various skin problems can be treated by using aloe vera, including jock itch or other fungal infections.
You can either extract the gel from the plant itself, or if a plant isn’t available, most health food stores have aloe products on their shelves. Read the product label and try to find a product with a minimal list of ingredients. Avoid products with excessive list of ingredients such as alcohol or chemical preservatives.
Known for its “cure-all” properties, garlic can be used as a natural remedy for just about anything. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Garlic may also be able to control the itching associated with tinea cruris.
To use topically, you will want to make a paste using fresh, whole garlic cloves. Crush and smash a few cloves of garlic with the flat side of a large knife and mix them together until they form a paste.
Since applying neat garlic can irritate the skin, mix it with either honey, aloe vera or oil (such as olive or coconut oil). Apply the mixture directly to the infected area several times per day. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash off.
You may also want to consider adding garlic to your diet for its immune boosting and digestive health properties that can help to treat skin infections from the inside out.
7. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver may be just as effective (if not more effective) then some anti-fungal medications, according to a research conducted by the Department of Microbiology at Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea, and published in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 4
The study tested silver nano-particles against the Candida species of fungus as well as the Trichophyton species (the most common cause of athlete’s foot , jock itch and ringworm) and indicates that silver nano-particles may have considerable anti-fungal activity.
To use colloidal silver, apply approximately one tablespoon to a cotton ball and rub over the infected area. Do this several times a day until you start to notice improvement.
8. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Organic, raw apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that provide anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Chose one of the following methods to treat tinea cruris:
- Place 2 tablespoons of raw ACV in an 8-ounce glass of water and apply directly to the infected area with a cotton ball and allow it to dry on its own.
- Add 1/2 to 1 cup of raw ACV to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes.
Further reading: ACV can be used to treat many other conditions such as yeast infection, toenail fungus, rosacea, eczema and dandruff.
9. Personal Hygiene
This may seem like common sense, but personal hygiene is an important part of preventing and maintaining tinea cruris. In fact, a study conducted in 2000 stated that personal hygiene and a basic understanding of health education without the use of medication was cheaper and more effective in the treatment of tinea cruris than taking medications such as griseofulvin 3.
Source: Healthy and Natural World
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