Home Men's Health Dry Skin on Penis: Cause for Concern? Let’s Find Out…

Dry Skin on Penis: Cause for Concern? Let’s Find Out…

Written by Charmaine Canlas, RPh

Dry skin on penis can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. Itching, skin peeling, redness, or rashes can interfere with your sex life and other physical activities. 

Its cause isn’t usually a concern and may be treated with lifestyle changes and home remedies. It can be similar to how your hands, elbows, or other body parts can become dry. 

Dry skin on penis is not a common symptom of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, if you find yourself experiencing other symptoms, medical treatment may also be required.

Peeling and Dry Penis Skin: What It Means

What is Dry Skin on Penis

Dry skin on the penis is a common condition experienced by men. It may seem alarming at first, but this can be remedied easily. This can occur more in uncircumcised men.

Moreover, poor genital hygiene can contribute to different genital skin problems, including dry skin on penis.

Other symptoms that accompany dry skin on the penis can also include:

  • Skin tightening
  • Itchiness
  • Peeling skin
  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Cracked skin
  • Cracks that may bleed

Causes of Dry Skin on Penis

There are several possible causes for the penis skin to become dry. This includes the following:

1) Friction

Friction between tight clothes and tight underwear can cause chafing around the genital area. Exposing your genital skin to your denim jeans can also cause dry skin.

The rubbing of penis skin against rough fabric can cause friction, sweating, and irritated skin.

In uncircumcised men, wearing tight underwear can cause moisture to build up and fungi or bacteria to grow. This can lead to dry skin and even an infection.

Another reason for dry skin caused by friction is dry sex and masturbation. Masturbation or prolonged sexual activity without lubrication can cause chafing, dry skin, and peeling skin.

2) Allergies

An allergic reaction may be the cause of dry penis skin is accompanied by symptoms such as

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Red itchy rash
  • Skin swelling

Products such as deodorants, latex condoms, fragrances, specific fabrics, and spermicides can contain irritants that cause an allergic reaction.

Furthermore, latex can be a cause of severe allergic reactions. Latex contains sap of rubber trees with specific proteins that may trigger the response.

Latex allergy usually appears after 48 hours from contact with the material. Signs may first appear as a swollen penis with an itchy and red rash

3) Irritating Topical Products

Strong detergents, harsh soaps, and highly fragrant washes or lotions can cause skin irritation and dryness.

Proper hygiene and regular cleansing of the genital area are essential but using the wrong products, and excessive washing can also cause dryness.

If other parts of your body feel dry, this may be a cause of harsh chemicals on your skin. People with sensitive skin are more susceptible to this problem than normal skin.

4) Genital Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that causes the overproduction of skin cells. People with this condition can frequently experience dryness in the skin on the penis.

It appears as dry, red lesions or patches on the glans or shaft.

Genital psoriasis can often be neglected in treating psoriatic patients.

If you are diagnosed with psoriasis and experience dryness and discomfort around your penis skin, you can consult your doctor for advice.

Genital psoriasis is not as scaly compared to psoriasis on other body parts. Nevertheless, diagnosis is essential before identifying the cause of genital psoriasis.

5) Eczema

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes inflammation, redness, intense itching, dryness, and cracked skin.

It can appear on different parts of the body, including the penis. Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis.

When undiagnosed, it can develop into genital ulcers or lesions.

An irritant can aggravate eczema at the skin on the penis. This is called contact dermatitis and other types include atopic eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

6) Yeast Infection

A fungal infection can cause dry skin on the penis. There are different types of fungal infections that can affect the skin on the penis.

Also called candidiasis, most genital yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the skin fungus Candida albicans.

This yeast infection is initially thought to be an exclusive disease to females. Despite being able to affect the penis skin, it is less common in men and may present as an itchy rash.

Penile yeast infection may be sexually transmitted through a female partner who has it. However, it is not classified as an STI because it can also self-develop.

Usual symptoms include thick uneven discharge, rash, white patches, peeling skin, painful sex, and urination.

Balanitis is the inflammation of the glans or penis head and can occur at any age with adults or young boys. It is caused by fungi like yeast infections and certain viruses or bacterias.

It is a common condition in men and has several causes other than a yeast infection.

Nevertheless, balanitis is not contagious or has an STD.

Jock itch is another form of yeast infection. It causes red rashes and itching that spreads over the groin area.

It is called jock itch because it is more common in athletes and people who sweat a lot. Another name for it is tinea cruris.

These yeast infections can also occur at the same time or alternately without proper treatment and management.

Home Remedies and Prevention

The frequent causes of dry skin on the penis are not too serious. You can treat dry skin at home with simple home remedies.

However, some men may find themselves suspecting an STD if they find something weird about their genitals.

Some preventive measures and lifestyle changes can stop dry skin from worsening or exacerbating existing chronic skin conditions.

1) Moisturize

Your genitals should be moisturized adequately with products that are gentle, fragrance-free, dye-free, and hypoallergenic.

If you have sensitive skin, thorough skincare will apply to all parts of your body.

Topical virgin coconut oil is also beneficial for skin conditions. Coconut oil can affect transepidermal water loss and skin capacitance in humans.

A study suggests it can repair dry skin in moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis.

Shea butter and vitamin E are also beneficial ingredients you can find in good-quality moisturizers. They can repair dryness by locking in moisture and preventing dryness.

Regular hand and body lotions should not be used on the penis skin. Some of these may contain harmful chemicals that are not suitable for sensitive skin areas.

2) Choose the right clothes

Loose clothing and underwear that do not chafe the skin on your penis should be worn. Avoid tight clothing, rough fabrics, and exposing your skin to too much friction.

Opt for supportive cotton underwear than polyester or low-quality fabrics.

3) Avoid hot baths and showers

Hot showers or baths can strip your skin’s natural oils and this includes the skin on your penis.

Extreme temperatures are bad for the skin and can damage it. You can adjust your bath or shower at a lukewarm or warm water temperature.

4) Gentle Cleanser

Wash the skin on your penis regularly with mild soap or even baby shampoo. Drying soaps and body washes with harsh and irritating chemicals should be avoided.

Choose topical products that do not contain chemicals that damage the skin barrier.

5) Lubricate

Always use lubrication during sex and masturbation. You can choose water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based lubricants.

Find one that is suitable for you. Avoid lubricants that contain glycerin, parabens, or irritating chemicals.

Water-based lubricants are the best hypoallergenic option.

6) Good Hygiene and Sexual Health

Poor genital hygiene can lead to numerous penile skin problems. Remember to clean the penis properly by pulling back the foreskin and washing underneath skin folds.

Use gentle products and warm water when bathing and moisturize if possible.

Healthy sex life is also essential. Use protection and keep your genitals clean at all times during intercourse.

Do not let sweat stay on your skin for too long, and change your underwear regularly. Yeast and bacteria can grow in a sweaty and moist environment.

Diagnosis and Medical Treatment

If home remedies do not work and dryness worsens, consult your doctor. It is crucial to get a definitive medical diagnosis and rule out if it is an STD or a serious medical condition.

Early intervention will prevent the worsening of the condition. If you have eczema or psoriasis, it will be helpful to get proper advice and treatment.

Moreover, a yeast infection should be diagnosed properly before acquiring over-the-counter products for treatment, such as an anti-fungal cream.

For genital psoriasis, a doctor may prescribe a low-strength topical corticosteroid.

You can ask your doctor to recommend any specialized moisturizing penis creams. This cream helps lock in moisture and prevent dryness after bathing.

Furthermore, your sexual health is an important issue when you find any changes in your genitals. Unprotected sex can increase the chances of getting genital herpes or genital warts.

Some STDs can cause symptoms that seem like dry skin. Penis skin peeling accompanied by blisters, skin ulcers, and rashes may be signs of syphilis.

Herpes can include signs of itching and tingling, which develop into ulcers and fluid-filled blisters.

Inform your doctor immediately if you have had unprotected sex and experienced dry penis skin. Refrain from sexual activities during recovery and until you find out the cause of your dry skin.

Bottom Line

Dry skin on the penis is commonly caused by simple problems such as hygiene, topical products, and clothing. Moisturizing and taking care of the skin on your penis is as important as your regular skincare.

Ignoring this problem can lead to the worst conditions and cause discomfort. It may lead to ulcers if untreated, affecting your sex life.

More importantly, the idea of contracting STD is concerning; some signs can start off to appear as dry skin, peeling, and itching.

If you notice dry skin on your penis and are not sure what to do about it, the home remedies mentioned may help with it.

However, get prompt treatment from a healthcare provider if the dryness does not alleviate, and worst symptoms show up.

The information provided is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the professional diagnosis and medical advice of a doctor.

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