If you’re experiencing a persistent chafing sensation in your groin that won’t go away, you may have jock itch (tinea crusis) a fungal infection similar to athlete’s foot, common to hikers and backpackers (both male and female) that causes persistent itching, burning, cracking, and scaling of skin in the genital area. Backpackers are particularly good targets for the jock itch fungi that thrive in unwashed, sweaty groins.
- Itching or a burning sensation in the groin area, thigh skin folds, a-hole, inner thighs or genital areas.
- Affected skin may appear red, tan, or brown, with flaking, rippling, peeling, or cracking skin
- Begins with an area in the groin fold about a half-inch across, usually on both sides.
- Limit moisture build-up by wearing boxer briefs made with synthetic materials such as Under Armour Mesh 6″ boxer jocks.
- Wash out your underwear and dry it every day.
- Apply corn starch or baby powder to your crotch each morning to help keep the area dry.
- Bathe at least daily after strenuous activity, like hiking all day.
- Wear “cleaner and drier” sleeping shorts or long underwear at night while backpacking
- Jock itch is highly contagious, so avoid shaking hands with anyone who has the condition.
- In addition, avoid genital contact which can spread the fungus to another person.
Jock itch is best treated with topical antifungal medications such as Lamisil (terbinafine hydrochloride 1%), which is readily available in most drug stores. Apply it once per day, morning or night (as directed), and it will clear up your condition while you hike, within one week.
Lamisil will instantly help relieve the itching and help lubricate the area, which will start to clear up in a few days. While Lamisil and generic terbinafine hydrochloride 1% cream can also be used to cure athlete’s foot, the same cannot be said of treatments that are athlete’s foot specific.SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.