A typical issue most men experience at some point in their lives is dry skin on the penis. Similar to the skin on the rest of the body, the skin on the penis can occasionally develop pimples, rashes, and exhibit dryness or flakiness.
Many external and internal factors can trigger dry penis skin and can be treated with several at-home therapies. Dry penis skin is not normally a sign of a serious medical illness. Still, if it persists or worsens, you should consult a doctor.
If you want your penis skin to feel and look healthy, you must know what’s causing it and how to treat it because it can be unpleasant or itchy.
Common Causes For Dry Penis Skin
Many things can cause or exacerbate dry skin on the penis and, at times, can be very discomforting. Some issues may result from skin care products, excessive washing with harsh soap/body wash, showering more than once a day or staying too long in hot showers, using hard water, tight clothing, etc. These do not generally require any medical attention but just a few alterations in your daily routines.
With dry penis skin, if there is pain, itching, cracks, discharge, or anything unusual, it would be wise to consult a physician.
Some of the most common factors that could cause dry penis skin are:
1. Soaps/Body Washes/Detergents
Certain soaps, body washes, and detergents contain colors, perfumes, and higher pH values that can significantly irritate the delicate skin anywhere on the body, especially in and around the genital region, and cause dryness. It might help to use gentle, dye/fragrance-free soaps, cleansing products, and laundry detergents. Products infused with moisturizing effects may also be beneficial.
Frequently wearing tight clothing and synthetic fabrics may cause friction in the manly organs and increase the moisture buildup (through sweating) in the inner and outer layers of the penile skin. Constant excessive moisture promotes bacterial and fungus growth, resulting in dry skin, infection, redness, and itching.
Prolonged sexual activity or masturbation may decrease the production of natural lubrication from the penis. This act can lead to friction and skin dryness. Frequent sexual activities without proper lubrication may lead to persistent skin dryness.
4. Use of Lotions/Lubricants
Though unlubricated sex can cause skin dryness, contrariwise, some lubricating lotions and creams may also cause itching, dryness, burning, or swelling. It’s a well-known fact that today’s lubricants come in various colors and flavors with warming/cooling and stimulating effects. Still, you must know that it can also irritate sensitive skin due to its additive elements.
5. Genital Infections
Poor hygiene practices in the genital area can lead to fungal or bacterial infections. Additionally, infections can develop due to skin irritation or exposure to a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Infections frequently result in symptoms including redness, swelling, itching, flaking skin, pain when urinating, and discharge from the urethra.
6. Chronic Skin Conditions
- Yeast Infections: A yeast infection may manifest as a white itchy rash, swelling or soreness around the penile head, uneven thick discharge under the foreskin, dryness, and skin flaking. One may experience pain during urination and intercourse. Yeast infections can occur due to poor hygiene practices and be acquired from another partner through intercourse.
- Balanitis: An inflammatory condition with symptoms including a red, inflamed, or itchy penis. It is brought on by Candida albicans, which most commonly occurs in young boys and people who have not undergone circumcision.
- Genital Psoriasis: Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition, results in dry red patches covered with scales all over the body and may impact the penis similarly. The penis may have thick inflamed patches on the skin.
- Eczema: Eczema is an inflammatory response that can be brought on by various outside stimuli, such as stress, changes in temperature, and even certain foods. The penis can also be impacted, causing the skin to dry and bleed.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Diseases such as HPV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, and syphilis are transmitted during sexual intercourse. These symptoms may occur anywhere on the penis and scrotum as small painless sores, abnormal discharge, pain, itching, fever, fatigue, and more.
These chronic skin conditions require timely diagnosis and treatment or could be disabling and life-threatening if left untreated.
7. Chronic Medication Use
Some antidepressant or antianxiety medications prescribed for certain psychological disorders can cause the penile skin to become dry.
Cure And Prevention Of Dry Skin On Penis
You can typically address dry penis skin at home with natural and massage oils. Avoiding the most prevalent causes of dry skin and using a moisturizing penile cream designed exclusively for the penis are the easiest ways to solve the issue.
Avoid all sexual activity, including masturbation, for at least 24 hours before treating dry skin on the penis. It will give your skin adequate time to produce natural oils and treat the issue independently.
Additionally, to assist your body stay hydrated, drink lots of water.
Consult your healthcare physician if your penis is still dry and flaking. They’ll rule out any underlying conditions that might be the source of the issue and possibly give you a prescription for topical medication.
In the worst-case scenario, circumcision may be suggested if other treatments have failed to curb the issue.
Tips To Prevent Dry Penis Skin
- Crucial to follow intimate hygiene to prevent any penile skin issues or infections
- Keep the penile skin moisturized
- Choose soaps and other cleansing products that are gentle on the skin
- Choose loose cotton clothing and intimate wear to allow the skin to breathe and minimize moisture buildup
- Use natural, non-irritant, and non-biological washing detergents
- Wash the genital area regularly with warm water to minimize infections
- Use gentle lubricants (parabens and glycerin free) to reduce friction or irritation during intercourse and masturbation
- Avoid relaxing for a long time under hot showers since they may strip off the skin’s natural oils
- Use gentle cleansers free of dyes, fragrances, and perfumes to avoid skin irritation and dryness
- Use latex-free condoms to avoid allergies
Distinguish Dry Skin From STI/STD
Dryness on the penile skin is often common due to various factors, including weather, dehydration, skin care products, detergents, lubricants, etc. However, one can treat it with lifestyle changes and home remedies.
But if the at-home remedies are ineffective and experience unusual symptoms such as white or yellow heads on the penile skin, nonhealing sores, pain or burning sensation while urinating or during sex, itching, bleeding, genital warts or sores, then this can be a red flag for STDs or STIs (sexually transmitted diseases or infections). In this case, you must get medical help for the best course of action. The sooner you approach a healthcare professional, the better the recovery will be.
Since the skin in and around the genital area is delicate, you may experience frequent drying effects, which may not be a grievous issue for most people. Maintaining proper hygiene and adopting gentle, intimate skin care may keep most skin issues at bay.
However, if you have any worries, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor. They would be able to identify the underlying problems with the help of a few blood and urine tests and guide you through appropriate treatment recommendations.
What Causes Dry Skin on the Penis: https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/dry-skin-on-penis
Dry skin on penis: https://ro.co/health-guide/dry-skin-on-penis/
What to do about dry skin on the penis: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325286#prevention
Dry Skin on Penis: https://www.tuasaude.com/en/dry-skin-on-penis/
What Does Dry Skin on the Penis Mean: https://www.phoenix.ca/blog/what-does-dry-skin-on-the-penis-mean
Why Is My Penis Skin Peeling: https://greatist.com/health/penis-skin-peeling#causes