When a penis itches, it’s no fun. It can also happen at the most inopportune times – while talking to a colleague at work, in line at the supermarket, or during a critical moment during a big date. Dry, itchy penile skin can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and distracting and can leave a man running for the door just to get some relief in private. Unfortunately, an itchy penis won’t usually be sated by one simple rub or scratch. Most times, a man needs to give himself extra attention to get rid of the itch, as well as ongoing care to prevent it from coming back. The following are some of the potential reasons a penis itches and how to get relief.

1) Lax Hygiene – A dirty penis is an itchy penis. Think about all the dirt, debris, bacteria, sweat, and emissions that can collect in the genital region. If a man isn’t washing thoroughly and regularly, not only can it get funky, it can get red and itchy too.

2) Contact Dermatitis – Direct contact with an allergen or irritating substance can cause itching. Things like detergents, soaps, latex, and medications can cause a reaction. Most times, the itching is also accompanied by a rash. If the itch is minor, washing the area and treating it with a cortisone crème may help. If it is more serious, seek medical attention.

3) Yeast infection or “Thrush” – Men are just as likely as women to develop a Candida yeast infection. Candida is normally occurring in the skin and mucous membranes; however, when it grows too much, it can cause symptoms such as itching, rash, swelling, and lumpy white discharge. While not a sexually transmitted disease, it can be transmitted during intimate contact. What causes thrush most times is overuse of antibiotics, diabetes, poor circulation, and immunosuppression. See a doctor for treatment.

4) Psoriasis or eczema – Men who have psoriasis or eczema on other parts of their bodies may also develop either skin issue on the penis. See a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Some crèmes with vitamins A and E have also been shown to help reduce itchiness.

5) Genital Warts – This is a sexually transmitted disease (STI) caused by a viral infection. The warts often show up on the glans penis, the foreskin, shaft, and entire pubic area. The warts may also have a discharge which causes the penis itches. See a doctor immediately for testing and treatment.

6) Pubic Lice – Commonly known as “crabs,” pubic lice are tiny little parasites that attach themselves to pubic hair. They are spread by intimate contact with an infected person. While itching is the main symptom, other symptoms include bloodstains and black dots, which are the “crab” feces being left behind. For immediate relief see a doctor, or if one is not available, use an over-the-counter lotion or anti-lice shampoo in the interim.

Getting Relief from an Itchy Penis

No matter the cause of the problem, it is always a bad idea to scratch at the delicate penis skin. By scratching, one can leave tiny tears in the outer dermal layer, which can exacerbate the issue and invite bacteria and other organisms into the skin.

Instead of itching, men who suffer from penis itches should wash the area gently to remove any substances which may be causing irritation. Be sure to cleanse with a mild cleanser like baby wash and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Resist using your regular body wash or soap on the irritated area as it may be too tender and cause more damage.

After cleansing the skin, apply a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) to the penis. These nutrient-rich crèmes have a natural base, like Shea butter, that moisturizes and soothes itchy skin on contact. The addition of vitamins such as A, B5, C, D, and E also bring rejuvenating and restoring properties to delicate penile skin, leaving it soft and irritation-free and less prone to future drying and itchiness.

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