You may experience itching on the shaft, tip or all over the penis. This is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a skin condition. You may experience itching alongside other symptoms, such as inflammation, bumps or discharge.
If the itch does not go away after a few days or it worsens, see a healthcare provider for assessment and treatment.
Penis itching can be caused by any of the following:
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as herpes, syphilis and gonorrhoea.
- Skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Shaving your private parts.
- Being overweight or obese
- Wearing tight clothing.
- Fungal or bacterial infection of the urinary tract.
- Skin allergies.
If your symptoms worsen, you should seek medical attention. If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- Blisters, discharge or a rash around your private parts.
- Discomfort while peeing.
- Discolouration of your penis
- Unusual warmth or swelling of the penis.
- A bad smell from the penis.
- Bleeding from the penis.
- High fever.
If you have an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, seek medical help.
Try the following to prevent itching of the penis:
- Maintain proper hygiene by bathing regularly.
- After bathing, dry the penis thoroughly, also the tip of the penis (glans).
- Wear clean, loose-fitting undergarments.
- Do not put perfume on your private parts.
- Use condoms when having sex to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
- Use a lubricant or cream when shaving your private parts.
If you start to feel itchy around the penis, try the following to ease the discomfort:
- Apply a cold towel to the penis area for 5 to 10 minutes.
- If the skin appears dry, massage a moisturiser (like coconut oil) on the genital area.
- Avoid sexual activity to prevent skin irritation and a possible infection spreading.
- Soak a cotton swab with alcohol and rub it on the affected area.
Consult a healthcare professional if the itching around the penis continues. Your healthcare provider may take some of these steps:
- Request a skin biopsy to identify the source of the itch.
- Order a blood or urine test to determine if you have a STI.
- Prescribe antiallergy, antifungal or antibiotic medications to treat infections.
- Prescribe an anti-itch cream or ointment to soothe the itching.
Penis itching is unpleasant and can interfere with your daily life and sex life. In most cases, the itching will resolve after practising the self-care tips above. If you experience severe itching or if your condition does not improve, you should see a healthcare provider.