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Penile itching is a term given to any itching of the penis. There are a variety of causes for this type of itching, and it can frequently be embarrassing and difficult for a man to discuss with his physician. Some potential causes of itching include allergic reactions, sensitivity to chemicals, and infections. Treatment depends on the reason for the itching and often involves medications and lifestyle changes.
In some cases, penile itching is simply a case of poor hygiene. This is particularly true in men who have not been circumcised. It is important to wash the penis thoroughly, remembering to push back the foreskin and carefully wash underneath it.
Skin disorders such as psoriasis often cause this condition. Psoriasis of the penis can cause both pain and itching in the genital area. This condition can be made worse by sexual intercourse. Eczema is another skin condition that can affect the penis. This condition can cause pain, itching, and even oozing open sores. Some men find that wearing a condom lessens the frequency and severity of the outbreaks.
Sensitivity or allergies to perfumes or dyes found in soaps, lotions, or laundry detergents are common causes of itching. Locating the offending product may present a bit of a challenge, but if the source of the reaction can be located and eliminated, the itching often goes away on its own. Switching to a non-latex condom can sometimes help as well.
If a man has unprotected sex with a woman who develops a yeast infection, he may find that he experiences temporary penile itching. This generally goes away without treatment, but it may recur unless the female partner is treated. In some cases, the man is prescribed medications as well. If the man is sensitive to perfumes or chemicals found in soaps and shampoos, he may want to ask his partner to use a milder cleanser before intercourse.
Certain lifestyle changes can often prevent or relieve the symptoms of this condition. For instance, simply switching to a soap that does not contain any fragrance may prevent itching associated with sensitivities to certain chemicals. Adding a little salt or oatmeal to the bath water may also be beneficial in reducing the itch. If none of the above methods are successful in relieving the symptoms, a visit to the doctor is recommended in order to rule out more serious conditions such as diabetes or sexually transmitted diseases. Hydrocortisone creams are often prescribed to ease the itchiness.
If your partner is prone to yeast infections you need to see a doctor about it together. I've heard of cases where the woman had the yeast infection, gave it to the man who had only mild symptoms, while she was treated. And then once the treatment was over, he gave it to her over again.
Aside from treatment, the best way to prevent this is to use a condom while she's infected (and while he's infected as well!).
Otherwise you'll have and itchy vagina and an itchy penis together and that's not fun at all.
@indigomoth - Well, if you have that kind of itching skin you should really go and see a doctor about it. It could be any number of things, and if it's an allergy it might be much more difficult than that to find the cause.
If, for example, you're allergic to the local pollen, it might be that hanging your clothes outside to dry is the culprit.
Or you might be allergic to something that you're being exposed to in more than one way.
A doctor can do an allergy test to see whether that's what's troubling you. And while they're at it, they can make sure it's not something else, perhaps more serious that's making you itch.
Plus, it's much cheaper to get anti-histamines if they've been prescribed by a doctor rather than just picking them up over the counter.
I was once convinced that I had bed bugs or some kind of infestation because I was itchy all over, all the time, particularly on the genitals.
I had my whole house turned inside out and the bed and carpets steam cleaned and bug poison sprayed all over. And still the itching continued.
It wasn't until one of my friends suggested it might be an allergy that I tried a different tactic. I washed a load of clothes with only water, no detergent and after a day of wearing them the itching stopped.
It was such a relief to realize what was wrong! I simply changed my washing powder and the itching went away for good.
So if you have got some kind of itching and you can't work out what's wrong, give that a try. I suspect this kind of thing affects the genitals worse than anywhere else simply because they get the most contact with clothes.