Scrotal dermatitis is characterized by severe itching, erythema, scaling and lichenification of the scrotal skin. Simply put, it is a skin condition that could be the cause of genital itching in males. Scrotal eczema can sometimes be mistaken for other skin conditions, including fungal (yeast) infections or jock itch.
What causes the itch?
There are two different nerve pathways associated with itching, histamine, the substance your body produces when you’re allergic to things, triggers one pathway. The other cause is not related to histamine. Instead, nerve pathways transmit the sensation of itching to the brain. That’s why sometimes the urge to scratch is uncontrollable. Conditions like scrotal eczema or psoriasis activate these nerve pathways.
Many conditions can cause itching in the crotch area. Scrotal eczema can spread to the skin around the anus, between the buttocks, and on the penis.
Scrotal Eczema Symptoms
- Intense itching
- Dry, scaly, or leathery skin
- Redness or discoloration
- Skin that oozes fluid and develops blisters
- Broken hairs
A primary care doctor can usually diagnose eczema by looking at the rash. If you have severe or prolonged episodes of scrotal eczema you should see a dermatologist.
- Corticosteroid creams are available over the counter
- Corticosteroid injections for severe eczema
- Steroid-free anti-inflammatory medications
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Absorbent powders
- Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation therapy
- Over the counter antihistamines
If you’re looking for ways on how to treat scrotal eczema, the truth is that there’s no cure for it. However, you can reduce the frequency and severity of eczema flares by consulting your doctor for treatment and preventive measures.
Tips for prevention
- Avoid scratching and use cool compresses or take a cool bath to reduce the urge to itch
- Keep your fingernails clean and short
- Wear loose clothing made from natural material like cotton
- Avoid temperature extremes such as too hot or too cold
- Use moisturizers
- Don’t use harsh soaps, detergents, or products with fragrances