Clinical Notes : Dermatology

134. Tinea cruris


Tinea infections

"Tinea" refers to a skin infection with a dermatophyte (ringworm) fungus.

Depending on which part of the body is affected, it is given a specific name :

Sometimes, the name gives a different meaning :

  • Tinea versicolor is more accurately called pityriasis versicolor. This is a common yeast infection on the trunk.

  • Tinea incognita (often spelled incognito) refers to a tinea infection in which the clinical appearance has changed because of inappropriate treatment.

  • Tinea nigra is a mould infection (not a dermatophyte). It affects the palms or soles, which appear brown (on white skin) or black (on dark skin).

Clinical variants include :

  • Tinea imbricata

  • Majocchi granuloma

  • Kerion

  • Favus

What is tinea cruris?

Tinea cruris is the name used for infection of the groin with a dermatophyte fungus.

It is most often seen in adult men.

Tinea cruris is commonly known as jock itch.

In different parts of the world, different species cause tinea cruris.

In New Zealand (and in Europe), Trichophyton rubrum and Epidermophyton floccosum are the most common causes.

Infection often comes from the feet (tinea pedis) or nails (tinea unguium) originally, spread by scratching or the use of an infected towel.

The appearance is similar to ringworm (tinea corporis).

The rash has a scaly raised red border that spreads down the inner thighs from the groin or scrotum.

Tinea cruris may form ring-like patterns on the buttocks. It is not often seen on the penis or vulva or around the anus.

Tinea cruris can be very itchy.


Tinea cruris

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Tinea cruris can be confused with other forms of intertrigo such as:

  • Candida

  • Erythrasma

  • Psoriasis

  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis


Tinea cruris quite often recurs after apparently successful treatment.

To reduce the chance of reinfection:

  • Treat the feet if tinea pedis is present.

  • Dry the groin carefully after bathing using a separate towel.

  • Do not share towels, sheets or personal clothing.

  • Avoid wearing occlusive or synthetic clothing.

  • If you are overweight, try to lose weight to reduce chafing and sweating.


Diagnosis of tinea cruris


The diagnosis of tinea cruris is confirmed by microscopy and culture of skin scrapings.


Treatment of tinea cruris

Tinea cruris is usually treated with topical antifungal agents.

Sometimes hydrocortisone is added, for faster relief of itch.

Topical steroids should not be used on their own.

If the treatment is unsuccessful, oral antifungal medicines may be considered, including terbinafine and itraconazole.


Tinea cruris

DermNetNZ  (CCPL)


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The following topical meds are available in Ireland :

Clotrimazole (Canesten)

Miconazole (Daktarin)

Terbinafine (Fungasil, Lamisil, Lenafine)

Amolorfine (Curanail, Loceryl)

The following oral meds are available in Ireland :

Terbinafine (Fungasil, Lamisil, Nailderm, Terbasil, Ternaf)

Fluconazole (Diflazole, Diflucan, Flucol, Fluconazole Actavis)

The following oral meds are N/A available in Ireland :


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