There are so many reasons why your penis might start to itch. Common causes of itching include infections, skin conditions, and poor shaving practices. You may experience itching on the tip, shaft or base of the penis.
In many cases, an itchy penis can affect your sex life. It can make sex painful, cause concerns about sexually transmitted infections, or be embarrassing when you scratch in public.
You can treat some of these conditions at home (e.g. dry skin or poor shaving), while others require you to go to a healthcare provider (e.g. infections).
Remedies range from over-the-counter medications to prescription medications. Treatment will aim to address the underlying condition and relieve the itching.
Causes of an itchy penis
There are several reasons why your penis could start to itch. Sometimes it affects the whole penis, and other times the tip or the shaft. Common causes of an itching penis are:
- Yeast infections, like jock itch, are caused by a fungal infection on the skin. Yeast infections can cause itching and may be accompanied by a whitish discharge.
- Sexually transmitted infections like genital warts and herpes cause itching alongside other symptoms like discharge, pain while peeing, and blisters.
- Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can leave the skin flaky, dry, scaly and itchy.
- Poor shaving practices like using an old razor or shaving without using a shaving cream can lead to burns and bumps that end up causing the penis to itch.
- Allergic reactions to products that come in contact with the penis, like condoms, may cause skin inflammation and itching, especially if the condom is made with latex.
- Scabies, caused by lice burrowing into the skin of the penis, causes itching in that area.
Remedies and treatments
Many home remedies and over-the-counter medications could relieve and treat the itching penis.
Home remedies do not treat the condition but relieve itching. These include:
- Diluted apple cider vinegar can help calm irritated skin and quickly moisturize broken skin while deterring infections.
- Coconut oil moisturizes dry, scaly skin.
- You can use a clean towel soaked in cold water to soothe dry or irritated skin.
- A cotton swab soaked in alcohol can cool the skin and deter infection. It should not be used on dry skin as alcohol can further worsen its condition.
You can buy over-the-counter medications from the pharmacy without a prescription. These include:
- Creams and ointments that reduce swelling and soothe the itching.
- Moisturizing creams like sudocrem.
- Antifungal creams or ointments containing sulfur, like sulfur ointment and nixoderm.
If your itch becomes more intense, you should see your healthcare provider. If you develop a new rash, or itching spreads to other areas of the body, or when there's a new symptom such as discharge, or fever, see your healthcare provider immediately.
How to keep your penis clean
- Wash your penis every day when bathing.
- Practice safe sex.
- Use the right products to shave.
- Change your razor often.
- If you have a foreskin, keep it clean.
- Avoid products that cause skin irritation.
You should use mild hygiene products, limiting the use of any scented bath and body products to reduce your risk of skin irritation. Wear loose fitting clothing and underwear. Continue to practice safe sex.