Why is my penis itchy?

Genital itching happens for many reasons and is usually harmless, but even if it’s harmless – it can be extremely irritating! (Not to mention embarrassing).

Here are some common causes why your member may be driving you mad, and what you can do about it.

Jock itch

One of the most common reasons for feeling itchy around the crotch area, is jock itch. The area around the penis is often warm and moist, which makes it attractive to bacteria. Jock itch can also come from tight underwear, skin rubbing and allergies. Besides itching, symptoms of jock itch include a pink or red rash, pain and a smell.

Treatment: Your doctor or pharmacist will recommend a cream or medication. Make sure you keep your pubic area clean. Use a mild soap and water when washing.

Yeast infection (thrush)

Poor personal hygiene, using antibiotics, and certain cleansing products can up your risk of getting thrush. Besides itching at the tip of the penis, you could also get a red rash, swelling, pain when urinating and lumpy discharge.

Treatment: Thrush is usually treated with anti-fungal medication and making sure your groin is clean and dry. Talk to your doctor about a treatment that would work best for you.

Allergic reactions

Allergies can cause mild to severe reactions. Some of the most common culprits are condoms, detergents and the type of clothing you wear. A study found that latex condoms could cause allergic reactions in some men. Certain types of birth control may also cause allergic reactions on the foreskin or the penis.

Treatment: The best way to treat any allergy is to find the trigger and steer clear from it. Talk to your doctor about possible triggers and treatment.

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Pubic lice or mites

Not just kids get lice! Pubic lice and mites can spread during sexual activities, or by sharing towels or bed sheets. For example, mites like scabies are tiny buggers, which can infect your pubic area and cause extreme itching.

Treatment: Over-the-counter lotion or anti-lice and mite shampoo can help kill the bugs. To remove any eggs left behind on the pubic hair, use a tweezer or a fine-toothed comb. Wash the infected bedding and towels and avoid sex until you’re treated. If an infection develops from scratching, or if the treatment doesn’t work, talk to your doctor.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)

Unprotected sex may lead to diseases which can cause itching on the penis and groin area. For example, an STD called genital herpes can make you itch and create itchy red bumps, blisters and discharge.

Treatment: STDs are very contagious and spread easily, so go see a doctor immediately if you think you’ve been infected. Your doctor will give you treatment. Avoid having sex until you’ve recovered.

Prevent the itch

  • Wash the penis well and under the foreskin too, especially if you’re uncircumcised.
  • Keep the pubic area dry, as moisture can lead to infections.
  • Wear loose, natural fibre underwear and change your underwear every day.
  • Avoid STDs by always having protected sex.
  • Wash your clothing with unscented washing powder.
  • Don’t stay in wet clothes for too long.