Genital itching can be caused by several conditions: vaginal infections in female, and jock itch in males. But either gender, itching may be caused by skin irritation, sexually transmitted diseases, and allergies. In general, genital itching caused by skin irritation will resolve on its own, while other causes may require more intensive treatment. If the symptoms do not improve, talk to an allergist or another health care professional.
Why does that area itch?
Dry skin is one of the reasons why the skin on the genital area itches. A person may develop dry skin on the penis skin for many reasons including unlubricated masturbation, chafing clothes, and use of harsh soaps. Here, we list some of the possible causes of dry skin and itching on the penis, as well as treatments and home remedies that could possibly help relieve itching.
Unlubricated sex or masturbation
Having sex or masturbating a long time without lubrication can cause friction, which may dry up the skin. While lubricants can increase comfort, one should avoid lubricants with glycerin or parabens, because these ingredients may worsen the symptoms. Pick a water-based lubricant instead.
A person who is allergic to latex may experience itching while using condoms. Latex also causes drying of the skin. Often times, underwear with latex may also exacerbate itching. Latex is a natural substance that derives from the sap of rubber trees, and people with this type of allergy react to the proteins that are present in the latex.
Some of the symptoms include hives, itching, stuffy or runny nose, and respiratory difficulties. Individuals with severe case of latex allergy may experience anaphylactic shock when they come into contact with latex, an incident that requires immediate medical attention.
To avoid dry skin on the penis and allergy symptoms, people with latex allergy are advised to use non-latex condoms, which contain polyurethane or natural membranes that come from lamb intestines.
Using ordinary soap to keep the genital area clean may also be the cause of dry skin. Soaps contain harsh chemicals that may cause dryness. Use mild soap and warm water when washing to avoid dryness. Choose mild soaps without parabens.
Laundry detergents may also cause dryness like soap. Choose natural non-biological laundry detergents to reduce skin irritation and dryness. Applying natural moisturizers such as coconut oil should minimize dryness.
If the itching in the genital area occurs alongside itching or under-skin bumps, it could be a sign of eczema. Irritants such as soaps and detergent may cause eczema, a type which doctors call irritant contact dermatitis. Other types of eczema that may lead to dry skin of the genital area are atopic eczema and seborrheic dermatitis. Topical treatments such as corticosteroid creams should be used carefully on sensitive areas and according to doctors’ recommendations, as they may increase skin thinness.
Another possible cause of dry skin on the penis is psoriasis. Psoriasis patches on this area may look like well-defined thin white plaques without scales, with a red ring around them. Doctors may recommend medium-to-high potency corticosteroid to use in intervals, but for safety measures, and to have specific diagnosis and treatment option, consult your doctor. Should the plaques on the area remain even after treatment, it is important to return to your doctor to rule out anything more serious.
If someone has a rash, swelling or discharge, or dry skin on the penis, it may be a sign of fungal infection. It can either be jock itch and balanitis. Jock itch causes a red rash and spreads over the inner thighs from the penis, and may even extend around the anus and buttocks area. Balanitis is the inflammation of the tip of the penis. A yeast infection is a common cause of infectious balanitis. Fungal infections can be treated even without antifungal creams. The person with it should only observe proper hygiene, and change their clothes frequently. Wearing loose or hypoallergenic underwear may also help. (See our range of men’s underwear here)
Over-the-counter remedies may be effective, depending on the cause of dry skin. Some home remedies may even be used alongside other treatments. Only a doctor can provide a person with recommendations on which treatments and home remedies will suit them best.
If a person has dry itchy skin on the genital area, avoid having sex or masturbating until the symptoms subside or it is fully healed. Friction may irritate the area and slow down the healing process. Proper hydration will ensure that the skin in general gets enough moisture. Using moisturizers will also prevent the skin from drying too much.
To avoid dryness of the skin in that area, use natural non-biological soaps and detergents and observe proper hygiene. Wearing hypoallergenic, 100% cotton clothing and supportive, but not overly tight underwear, may also prevent itching.
Note: This article originally appeared on Cottonique’s Living Free Blog