Most men know that the crotch sometimes pinches. But what if the itching doesn’t go away? What is behind it and what helps
When itching, scratching just about every man from time to time in the genital area. It only gets annoying when you can no longer walk straight ahead in public because of the itchiness and the feeling just doesn’t go away for days. We explain the 6 most common causes of genital itching and what you can do about it.
Can itching in the genital area be dangerous?
You can take a deep breath: The itching on the penis or testicles is usually harmless and can be treated successfully. Nevertheless, it is important to see a doctor in the event of acute itching so that the cause can be identified. Some infections can cause itching that won’t go away without treatment.
When does itching in the genital area need to be treated?
“If the itching doesn’t go away and the quality of life is impaired as a result, you should see a doctor,” advises urologist Dr. Wolfgang Bühmann , press spokesman for the professional association of German urologists. The faster you get to the bottom of the cause, the sooner you can say goodbye to the annoying urge to scratch.
6 causes of genital itching
The reasons for the itching can be harmless, but also require treatment. But once you know where the itching is coming from, you can fight it effectively.
1. Moisture and warmth are often to blame for itchy penis
Especially in summer, the genital area of many men itches more. The reason: “Moisture and heat irritate the skin,” explains Bühmann. This type of itch is the most common. The following applies here: it is harmless, but annoying. If you sweat in the heat, you should wash your genital area regularly and thoroughly.
The itching can be reduced with the right care, such as avoiding soaps that have a pH above 7. PH-neutral cleansing (from € 3.93) lotions are better . It is better to leave perfumed shower gels on the supermarket shelf, as they can attack the protective layer of the skin.
2. Allergic reactions can trigger the itching
Even the underpants can be responsible for the annoying itchiness. For example, if you have an allergy to detergents or certain clothes. “The itching is often triggered by an allergic reaction,” says the expert.
For example, some people are allergic to synthetic laundry. Reason enough to get tested for intolerances by the dermatologist and to switch to laundry made from other fabrics, preferably cotton.
3. Chafing irritates the skin on the testicles
Scrotum irritation often occurs after long walks or a long run. Chafing is usually the cause of the annoying itching. “If the thigh rubs against the scrotum, the skin can become sore due to the moisture and friction,” says Bühmann. That too can be itchy.
Scratching is then taboo, because otherwise the skin cannot heal. Instead, use a pH-neutral moisturizer or wound and healing ointments (from € 10.40) . You should also rather postpone the next running unit until the skin has recovered.
4. Fungal and bacterial infections need treatment
You definitely do not have an allergy and the itching does not go away despite the right hygiene measures? Then fungus or bacterial infections could be the problem. These usually settle in the urethral entrance and under the foreskin and are often noticeable as redness.
Expert Bühmann: “Special creams can eliminate germs that might trigger it. Antibiotics are sometimes necessary when bacteria are the trigger.” If the itching persists, go to the doctor – with the right treatment you will get rid of the itching after 3 to 4 days.
5. Lice can leave itchy bite marks
Lice are best known for attacking the hair on the head. But lice also find their way into the genital area – provided you haven’t shaved off the pubic hair yet. “The body reacts – similar to mosquito bites – allergic to the tiny bite marks”, says Bühmann.
Incidentally, lice are not dangerous, but they must be removed. Your doctor will prescribe shampoos or lotions to kill the lice and nits (eggs) and give you ointments to reduce itching. In order to protect yourself against lice in the long term, you should actually simply shave off your pubic hair.
6. Herpes can cause itching
Herpes is famous and notorious for itchy and painful blisters in the genital area. By the way, almost everyone has the virus infection, but it only breaks out in some. “Herpes viruses are found in almost all people in the spinal fluid and cannot be permanently eliminated,” says the urologist.
Especially when the immune system is weakened, the risk of illness increases. Genital herpes heals after about 3 weeks, but treatment is usually not necessary. Your doctor can recommend specific creams, lotions, and powders that can help relieve symptoms. Very important: strict hygiene, frequent hand washing, because herpes is highly contagious. Therefore, for the sake of your partner’s sex, you should definitely wear a condom or, even better, avoid it for the time being.
Conclusion: an itchy penis is uncomfortable, but not dangerous
Once you know what is causing the great crawl in the intimate area, the solution is not far away. If symptoms persist, it is best to have a doctor clarify the symptoms. Wound ointments help with skin irritation, with fungus and bacterial infections, with the right special cream or antibiotic prescribed by the doctor, they are a thing of the past within 3 to 4 days. Regular care with pH-neutral soap also pays off in the case of profuse sweating in the intimate area. Good to know: “An itchy genital area is uncomfortable, but not dangerous,” says Bühmann.