Great Balls of Fire: Jogging with Jock Itch

by Mike Quartly

Hell hath no fury like a nasty case of jock itch while you’re jogging. Especially on a hot day. I’ve experienced that particular Hell and although Dante never included it in the circles of the Inferno, it should be there, reserved for telemarketers and people who want to chat on the bus. Jock itch, formally known as tinea cruris, is a fungal infection that goes quicker from mild annoyance to paralyzing pest.

Mixing a sweltering summer morning, a five-mile run and a seemingly sleeping case of jock itch and you get absolute agony. During my jogging experience, I made it about a mile before realizing that slight chafing would turn into a flare. From that experience came knowledge, and I hereby distribute that knowledge to my fellow males.


  1. Remember that if you get a nasty flare of jock itch while out and about, you’ve always got to make it back home. You’re better off just staying put. A slight itch now might mean tearing pain later in a mile. If you ever want to get rid of jock itch, you’re better off taking an exercise vacation,
  2. I briefly found relief with a bottle of diaper rash cream, but discovered that relief is brief. It only works if you keep slathering it on, and even then it only alleviates the symptoms, not the infection. You need to buy a tube of Tinactin for a cure and 1% hydrocortisone cream for relief.
  3. If you’re a briefs guy, you’ll need to suffer through it. Moisture and heat are Hershey bars for fungal infections. Keep a fan on the area and keep it as dry. That means watching TV with a fan on a crotch. Really. And put those tighty whities away and get yourself some big boy underwear. Boxers, my friend.
  4. Use hot water and soap, several times a day. If you’ve got a detachable shower head, tuck it under the family jewels and give them a thorough spritz. Just a quick wipe with a washcloth won’t work.


If none of this works, be aware you could have a particularly feisty fungus on your hands. At this point, I’d recommend a trip to the doctor. Some fungi need specialized medicine.

Does this seem like too much work? We men typically wait for flare-ups like this to die down, then we ignore it again. We do the same thing with toothaches, infected cuts and the first signs of a heart attack. Let’s admit it: sometimes we’re not too bright. But ignoring the infection doesn’t help a thing. Fungal infections only go dormant; they don’t go away on their own, especially if given free reign in a warm, humid environment.

Trust me. I walked a solid mile with horrible jock itch in swampy summer heat. It felt like someone was scraping my thighs with hot asphalt. You don’t want to know what that feels like, but the experience offered me a little insight: What’s the best way to jog with jock itch? Uh, don’t jog. And buy some Tinactin.

Mike Quartly
Mike Quartly


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