Rash on Inner Thigh: Causes and Effective Home Treatments (Research Based)

Rash on Inner Thigh: Causes and Effective Treatments
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It is very common to have a rash on your inner thigh. The area between your legs has the perfect environment for fungal, bacterial, and other infections to develop and grow. Usually, clothing and underwear can trap in sweat, moisture, and heat making germs and bacteria flourish. Chaffing and friction on your upper thigh skin when you walk can just aggravate the problem even more.  

It’s important to know how to get rid of a rash on your inner thigh. This is especially true if the red inflamed skin causes a constant urge to scratch the affected area between your legs. Along with the irritating itch, red bumps may appear on your upper thigh which can cause more pain and discomfort when walking.

There are many effective home remedies to treat a rash on your inner thigh. For example, natural antibacterial and antifungal remedies that include coconut oil, tea tree oil, or apple cider vinegar can help to kill infection-causing germs. Other natural treatments like oatmeal, aloe vera, and some essential oils can soothe the skin rash on your inner thigh, and reduce itching, inflammation, and redness.

Please read on to find out what are the main causes of having an irritating inner thigh rash. You will also find out some easy and effective home remedies that will help to quickly get rid of any infection and soothe itchiness and redness associated with the rash.

Causes of Rash on Inner Thigh

Skin irritation, fungal infections, bacteria, allergic reactions, moisture, and warmth can all combine to cause inflammation and rash in your upper inner thigh.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis can cause an itchy red rash on your inner thigh. The discomfort can get so unbearable that it can affect your daily activities and even disrupt your sleep.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic explain that skin that comes into contact with an allergen can cause a red rash with bumps. Depending on the severity of the rash, the itching can become severe and be tender to touch.1

An allergic reaction to personal care products, soaps, or other cosmetic products is one factor that can trigger an itchy red rash between your legs. Allergies are also a common reason for itching all over the body.

However, doctors at the Mayo Clinic say that irritant contact dermatitis is the most common reason for an inflammatory reaction on your skin. For example, using harsh soaps to wash your body can cause an irritating itchy rash.2

Usually, avoiding products that irritate your skin is enough to stop the rash appearing on your inner thigh.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema can cause red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin on your thigh and almost any other place on your body. Doctors don’t know what exactly causes atopic eczema but it often affects people with asthma or hay fever.

According to Dr. William Blahd on WebMD, factors like stress, skin irritants, and allergens can cause eczema flare-ups. This can make your skin red and itchy with a strong desire to scratch. Your skin on your upper thigh may thicken from scratching. Severe eczema may cause blisters which can become infected.3

Dr. Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen on WebMD says that removing the source of the allergic reaction is usually enough to get rid of an inner thigh rash. You should also avoid tight fitting clothing and keep your skin well moisturized.4

Fungal infection (jock itch)

Jock itch (tinea cruris) can cause a red, ring-shaped bumps and rash on the skin of your inner thighs, genitals, and buttocks. Jock itch is caused by a fungal infection and can be transmitted by using contaminated towels or clothing. The fungal infection thrives in damp, close environments which is the kind of environment between your legs.

According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, jock itch starts as a red patch of skin in the crease of your groin. It can then spread down your inner thigh and onto your genitals. Often, the rash is very itchy or has a burning sensation.5

Chaffing

A rash in your groin could be caused by chaffing. This can affect people who are overweight because the tops of their legs rub together or it can affect cyclists when the saddle rubs against the inner thigh causing irritation. The fact that being physically active also increases sweating, a sweat rash will also aggravate the chaffing and make the rash even itchier.

Heat rash

The sweaty, warm environment on your inner thigh could cause an itchy heat rash with heat bumps. A heat rash, or prickly heat, affects people of all ages and the rash develops when blocked pores trap sweat in your skin. These can then become inflamed and itchy and cause itching in your armpits or between your legs.

Staff from the Mayo Clinic say that common areas of the body where heat rashes develop are in the groin, armpits, and elbow creases. Along with an irritating rash, you may have bumps on your inner thigh that itch and blister.6

Hidradenitis suppurativa

Inflammation of the sweat glands in your armpit or groin can also cause red areas of skin that are raised and can become painful and itchy.

Doctors aren’t sure what causes hidradenitis suppurativa but they think that is has something to do with hormones, although bacteria also cause inflammation. The British Skin Foundation reports that hormones are involved in controlling the sweat glands in the groin and armpits. It affects more women than men and is often worse before the menstrual period.7

Effective Home Treatments for Rash on Inner Thigh

There are many effective ways to get rid of a rash on your inner thigh by using remedies that you may already have at home.

Cold compress

A cold compress is an excellent way to quickly get rid of a heat rash on your inner thigh. The coolness from the ice will help to bring down inflammation and make a rash less itchy.

It’s not just anecdotal evidence that shows a cold compress works great on a rash. Research has also shown that ice helps to reduce nerve activity – thus making the rash less itchy, and calms inflammation and stops the pain.8

How to use:

To get instant relief from an itchy rash using an ice pack, please do the following:

  • Put some crushed ice into a sealable plastic bag and wrap in a clean towel.
  • Put the cold compress on the rash between your legs to reduce itchiness and inflammation.
  • Hold an ice pack on the rash for up to 10 minutes and repeat several times a day.
  • Repeat the process any time that you need quick relief from the discomfort a rash on your inner thigh causes.

Please remember: ice should never be applied directly onto a rash because it can damage the skin.

Coconut oil and tea tree oil remedy

Another great natural remedy for treating an inner thigh rash is a combination of virgin coconut oil and tea tree oil. Both of these ingredients have antibacterial and antifungal properties and can treat jock itch or bacterial skin infections. Also, the soothing effect of coconut oil acts as a natural skin emollient to treat eczema.

A study published in the journal Dermatitis showed that the antibacterial properties of virgin coconut oil can kill off Staphylococcus aureus strain of bacteria. This is a bacterial strain which often affects atopic dermatitis. The researchers found that coconut oil is an effective moisturizer and is useful for treating dermatitis.9

Adding tea tree oil to coconut oil boost its antibacterial power and provides antifungal treatment for treating skin fungal infections.10

How to use:

To make a natural healing ointment from coconut oil to help cure a rash on your inner thighs, you should do the following:

  • Combine 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil.
  • Apply the healing remedy to your rash on your upper thigh 2-3 times a day.
  • Continue using the coconut oil/tea tree oil salve until you no longer have itchy red skin.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar is a great way to quickly reduce itchiness from a rash caused by a fungal or bacterial infection. Raw apple cider vinegar contains high levels of acetic acid which is a natural antiseptic against infection-causing germs.

The journal Annals of Dermatology found that a solution of acetic acid helps to treat mild to severe cases of dermatitis. Washing the rash-affected skin with acidic water reduces inflammation and the symptoms of dermatitis.11  

Because inner thigh rashes are often caused by using soaps that have a high pH level and cause skin irritation, apple cider vinegar is a great way to reduce skin pH levels. ACV also helps to reduce inflammation, itching, and irritating skin rash.

You can also use apple cider vinegar to help to cure a cyst or a boil on your inner thigh.

How to use:

It is very easy to make an apple cider vinegar solution to naturally treat a rash between your legs. This is what you should do:

  • Dilute equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar (don’t apply undiluted ACV to your skin).
  • Soak a cotton ball in the cider vinegar mixture and gently apply to your heat rash, jock itch, or dermatitis and let it dry.
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day and continue applying until all signs of your rash have gone completely.

Essential oils for inner thigh rash

Many essential oils are great for getting rid of pain, discomfort, and irritation that a rash on your upper thigh causes. Many essential oils help reduce inflammation and treat skin infections caused by bacteria and fungi.

Essential oils are very powerful and should never be used directly on the skin (with the exception of tea tree oil and lavender oil as a spot treatment). You can mix the essential oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil using about 2-3 drops essential oil for one tablespoon carrier oil.

Chamomile is well-known for its soothing properties and it is a great essential oil for calming itchy skin. A study from 2010 found that chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can treat various inflammatory skin disorders.12

Calendula has antifungal properties that make is effective for treating rashes caused by a fungal infection. Research into the antimicrobial effect of calendula found that it was effective against many strains of fungi. It is classed as a safe natural treatment for inflammation of the skin.13 Because of its antifungal effect, calendula is a great natural treatment for jock itch.

Lavender has a calming effect on your skin as well as helping to reduce the symptoms of stress (which also contributes to flare-ups of dermatitis). It can also help reduce pain and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. The journal Phytotherapy Research reported that lavender is antifungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory.14

Oatmeal bath

To get rid of a large itchy rash between your legs you can use oatmeal to bathe in or as a compress. Oatmeal helps to cleanse the skin from toxins and its anti-inflammatory properties give needed relief from an irritating skin rash.

The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reported on the healing effect of oatmeal on itchy and inflamed skin. The study found that oatmeal helps to lock in moisture in inflammatory skin conditions and also protects the skin from infection. It is a safe and effective natural treatment for dermatitis skin conditions.15

How to use:

To use oatmeal to ease itchiness, discomfort, and redness in a rash between your legs, this is what you should do:

  • Add 2 cups of ground oatmeal to a bath of warm water.
  • Swish the oatmeal around the water to release the healing compounds.
  • While soaking in the bath, gather some oatmeal in your hands and gently rub on your inner thigh to relieve itching and help speed up the healing process.
  • Rinse off in the shower and pat yourself dry.

An oatmeal bath also helps to stop itching all over your body or get rid of a rash under your breast.

To make an anti-inflammatory oatmeal paste to apply topically to a rash, you should do the following:

  • Take a cup of ground oatmeal and use enough water to make a paste.
  • Apply the oatmeal treatment to the affected area between your legs and leave for up to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off with warm water and completely dry the area between your legs.
  • If possible, use the mixture 2 times a day to reduce inflammation on irritated skin and help get rid of your rash quicker.
  • Continue using until all your rash symptoms have gone for good.

Alternatively, you can also add a tablespoon or 2 of raw honey to the oatmeal paste. The honey will help to get rid of your skin irritation quicker.

Witch hazel

Another way to quickly get rid of an itchy rash and reduce redness is to apply pure witch hazel to your inner thigh. Witch hazel contains astringent properties that not only help to get rid of skin irritation but also acts as an antiseptic agents to kill germs.

A study from Germany found that witch hazel extracts are an effective way to quickly get rid of bacterial skin infections. The researchers found that witch hazel helps to treat dermatitis and eczema by providing a moisture barrier and reducing inflammation.16

How to use:

For instant relief from a rash itch and prevent any infection causing more discomfort, you should apply witch hazel directly to the blotchy patches on your skin.

  • Soak a cotton ball in pure witch hazel.
  • Dab onto the itchy area between your legs to calm inflammation and treat the rash.
  • Apply 2-3 times a day until all signs of your skin rash have gone completely.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a great natural remedy for relieving the itchiness and inflammation of a rash between your thighs. Aloe vera helps to soothe inflamed rashes due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Aloe vera is a great natural treatment for many skin complaints and it helps to keep skin well moisturized.

Studies have shown that aloe vera can help to relieve skin rashes caused by dermatitis, sunburn, and other inflammatory skin conditions. For example, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that aloe vera gel is beneficial for treating wounds and skin-related disorders and it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.18

A study of using aloe vera for chronic dermatitis found that it can help relieve symptoms of itchy red skin. Aloe vera was also just as effective as antihistamines and topical corticosteroids in treating dermatitis.19

How to use

To use aloe vera to help inner thigh rashes heal faster, you should use pure aloe vera gel (make sure that there are a few as possible added ingredients).

  • Apply aloe vera gel directly to your rash to relieve itchiness, swelling, and redness between your thighs.
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day and use as needed to help get rid of the rash for good.

Rash on Inner Thigh – When to See a Doctor

Rashes on your inner thigh generally only cause discomfort and are a nuisance, especially if the urge to scratch between your legs is very strong. However, in some cases, a rash anywhere on your body can develop into a more serious condition.

Doctors from the American Academy of Dermatology advise seeing a doctor if you have a rash along with any one of the following symptoms:17

  • The rash spreads to other parts of your body.
  • You have a fever with the rash or it starts to spread suddenly.
  • Blisters appear on the rash around your genitals.
  • The rash causes pain.
  • There are signs that the rash has become infected.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. MayoClinic. Contact dermatitis.
  2. MayoClinic. Contact dermatitis – causes.
  3. WebMD. Common skin rashes.
  4. WebMD. Eczema home treatment.
  5. MayoClinic. Jock itch.
  6. MayoClinic. Heat rash.
  7. BritishSkinFoundation. Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
  8. URMC. Cryotherapy for pain management.
  9. Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.
  10. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jan; 19(1): 50–62.
  11. Ann Dermatol. 2016 Feb; 28(1): 126–129.
  12. Int J Mol Med. 2010 Dec; 26(6): 935–940.
  13. J. Microbiol. vol.39 no.1 Jan./Mar. 2008
  14. Phytother Res. 2002 Jun;16(4):301-8.
  15. J Drugs Dermatol. 2012;11(7):804-807.
  16. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2002 Jun;9(3):153-9.
  17. AAD. Rash 101 in adults.
  18. Unraveling the medicinal potential of South African Aloe species.
  19. Inflammopharmacology. 2015 Dec;23(6):337-41.
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