You may be expecting jock itch if you’ve been quite active and sweating a lot lately. But if you haven’t been engaging in physical activities and your penis is suddenly unbearably itchy, you may have gotten something far worse than jock itch.
Truth be told, penile itching is not always caused by a sexually transmitted infection. But STDs do constitute most of the reasons why your penis would become itchy. Here are six possible causes of itching in your penis and how you can get it treated.
Sarcoptes scabiei, the human itch mite, is the one responsible for scabies. These microscopic mites burrow into your skin where they lay their eggs. They usually like burrowing in the folds of your skin, but they can also find their way in the skin around your genital area and penis.
You’ll know it’s scabies when you find tiny burrow tracks or a pimple-like skin rash on your penis. And a scabies infestation is characteristically very itchy. It can also cause itching in your buttocks, legs, trunk, hands, and arms.
2. Genital Herpes
If you somehow got infected with the herpes simplex virus, then you can end up with genital herpes, a disease that can cause itching and pain in your penis and genital area. Herpes simplex type 2 virus can cause an outbreak of clear blisters on your penis as well as in the area around your anus.
If it’s your first time to experience a genital herpes outbreak, it can be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. You’ll also feel a tingling or burning sensation in your genitals, as well as mild to moderate itching. After a few days, that’s when the blisters will appear. When the blisters rupture, they become painful sores, and it may take a week before they go away.
3. Lichen Nitidus
Lichen nitidus isn’t a contagious disease, rather it’s caused by an abnormal inflammatory activity in your skin cells, causing round, flat-topped, flesh-colored bumps to appear on your skin.
It can affect your arms, abdomen, chest, and genital areas, including your penis. Lichen nitidus bumps can appear on any part of your body, clear up, and then appear at another site. The bumps are usually painless, but they can cause intense itching.
Species of Candida fungi can also cause yeast infections in men, resulting in candidiasis to develop on your penis head. This can make the tip of your penis and your foreskin very itchy.
Candidiasis can also cause a rash on your penis accompanied by a burning sensation, redness of the penis glans and foreskin. A discharge that looks like cottage cheese may also form under your foreskin. If candidiasis causes inflammation in your penis glans, it can lead to candidal balanitis.
5. Human Papillomavirus
The human papillomavirus is the most common cause of genital warts. This sexually transmitted infection can cause flesh-colored cauliflower-like warts to grow on your penis and perianal area. These warts can become itchy and they can even bleed during sex. You may also feel a burning sensation and a tenderness in the affected area.
Certain strains of the HPV virus are known to cause cancer. In fact, genital warts have been associated with both penile and anal cancer in men. Hence, if you notice a wart growing on your penis, no matter how harmless it looks or feels, make sure you get it checked right away.
Urethritis refers to a condition wherein your urethra, the tube that transports your urine from your bladder to your penis and outside your body, becomes inflamed. Urethritis can cause intense itching or burning near the tip of your penis. You may also feel pain or a burning sensation when you’re urinating or during ejaculation.
Urethritis is typically caused by a bacterial infection, usually with Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, or Chlamydia trachomatis. If you’re infected with HPV or herpes, it can also lead to urethritis. Other symptoms of urethritis include penile discharge and blood in your urine or semen.
Relief From Itching
If you scratch your penis, you may end up tearing your penile skin. This can get infected and lead to worse problems. If you don’t have any medications handy or you can’t get to your doctor right away, try applying a cold compress on your penis. This is a good remedy for itching caused by contact dermatitis and scabies, and it can also relieve inflammation.
A lukewarm bath may also help. If you mix oatmeal with lukewarm water, it can relieve skin irritation. A mixture of apple cider vinegar and warm water can also help relieve itching and irritation. However, if there’s a crack, break, or tear on your penile skin, try to avoid using apple cider vinegar.
If such home remedies are not enough to relieve the itching, then you can try over-the-counter topical creams such as steroid creams to lessen the inflammation, redness, and skin itching. There are also many antifungal medications that can help with yeast infections.
Although several over-the-counter medications are available, it’s best to get yourself examined so that you’ll know what’s causing the itchiness in your penis and so that you can get a prescription for the appropriate medication.
Maintaining Your Sexual Health
Your sexual health is not just about how sexually active you are or how well you perform in bed. It’s also about keeping yourself free from STDs and other diseases that affect your penis.
Even if you don’t have any problems getting an erection or you think you can last for several rounds of sex, if your penis is foul-smelling and dripping with discharge or full of unsightly red lesions or bumps, that can definitely make you less sexually attractive.
Keeping yourself sexually healthy is also about making sure that your hormone levels are balanced. Engaging in sexual activities may be difficult if your testosterone levels and libido are low. You can raise your testosterone levels by taking a natural male sex enhancement supplement that’s great for improving your sexual health.
It contains natural ingredients that can dramatically increase your testosterone levels and greatly enhance your libido. In addition, the herbal ingredients are all known to be potent remedies for erectile dysfunction.