What causes itching around the penis? | The Sun08/08/2022
ITCHY genitals can be embarrassing and uncomfortable as a result of a rash, red bumps or blisters.
It can be a symptom of many conditions including sexually transmitted infections, here's some of the most common reasons for itching around the penis.
What causes itching around the penis?
Itching around the genitals is the result of inflammation which can arise for many different reasons including:
- Scabies may appear as small red bumps on the shaft, it occurs when mites burrow into the skin
- Lichen sclerosus, an uncommon condition which makes the skin fragile with white patches
- Jock itch which causes ring-shaped redness in the groin area
- Razor burn where skin becomes irritated skin after shaving
- Ingrown hairs which arise after shaving or waxing where the tip of a hair folds back into the skin
- Pubic lice which are caught through close bodily contact with others
- Being overweight or obese which can causes irritation on the skin through skin chafing
- Eczema and other skin conditions
- Excessive sweating which can cause chafing
- Allergies to latex condoms or detergents or other skincare products
- Uncontrolled conditions like diabetes
What causes an itchy penis?
There are many reasons why men may experience itching all over the penis including sexually transmitted infections such as:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause burning and discomfort when using the loo
- Genital warts can lead to spots which are painful or itchy, it can be contagious even when you can't see them
- Candidiasis or thrush is a fungal infection which can be accompanied by a blotchy rash or thick white discharge
- Balanitis, an inflammation of the head of the penis typically occurs on the tip of uncircumcised penises
- Contact dermatitis, where the skin has an allergic reaction
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Non-sexually transmitted causes include:
- Skin conditions like fungal and bacterial conditions
- Irritation caused by scented lotions, soaps and other body products
- Environmental factors such as poor hygiene and uncomfortable underwear can irritate the penis
What are best treatments for itching around the penis?
You should consult your GP when you experience symptoms as they may require a biopsy or an STI test.
From there they may be able to provide over-the-counter treatments.
Depending on the symptoms, these may include:
- Antifungal medication to target the infection
- Antihistamines if the itch is due to an allergy
- Antibiotics if its a bacterial infection
- Steroid creams to reduce inflammation
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There are a few at home treatments you can try to alleviate some of the discomfort including:
- Refraining from any sexual activity to ease irritation
- Applying oil to relieve the itch
- Bathing with bath salts to reduce inflammation
- Using a cold compress to relieve discomfort
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There are also ways to prevent penis itching in the future by:
- Avoiding heavily perfumed soaps and lotions
- Cleaning the foreskin to prevent lingering dirt and bacteria
- Using barrier methods like condoms during sex to protect you from STIs
- Maintaining good hygiene and drying proper after bathing to reduce further discomfort
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