Itchy penis: Causes of penis itch (penile itching)

Men sometimes suffer from an itchy penis. This very annoying symptom often leads to uncontrollable scratching in the genital area. Itching in the penis has many causes. This usually results from a bacterial or fungal infection, but other causes are also known. The treatment of penis itch is aimed at tackling the cause. An itchy penis may affect various parts. Very often, the itchy skin of the male genital organ is accompanied by a rash or red skin. Depending on the cause and severity, the itching can be mild to severe. The patient does not have to be afraid to consult a doctor. The itching often disappears on its own or with some home remedies, although medication is sometimes necessary.

  • Allergic reactions and itching of penis
  • Balanitis and itchy penis
  • Candidiasis and penile itching
  • Genital Warts
  • Lichen planus
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Lichen simplex chronicus
  • groin fungus
  • Penis irritation
  • Psoriasis of the penis
  • Red scrotum syndrome
  • Scabies
  • Scrotal dermatitis
  • Chicken-pox


Allergic reactions and itching of penis

Itching in your own genitals is sometimes due to an allergic reaction to clothing or the use of condoms. Skin allergies or allergic contact dermatitis (skin rash with redness and itching) are types of allergies that occur upon contact with the allergen (triggering substance). For example, many men are allergic to latex. Latex condoms are more likely to cause penile dermatitis, a skin condition accompanied by itching, swelling and red spots on the skin. Men are also sometimes allergic to contraceptive fluids or gels, causing an allergic reaction to the foreskin or penis itself. The man can reduce penile itching by identifying the triggering factor and avoiding contact with it. Furthermore, the groin area should be kept as dry as possible and the patient should avoid harsh soaps, as they may damage the sensitive skin of the genitals.

Balanitis and itchy penis

Severe itching, pain (also sometimes when urinating), irritation, redness around the foreskin and the end of the male genital organ is sometimes due to balanitis. This skin condition is the result of a fungal infection, a bacterial infection or other skin irritation. The condition affects part of the glans or the entire glans. Keeping the genitals under the foreskin clean is one of the key points in the treatment and prevention of balanitis. The doctor treats an underlying infection with medication.

Candidiasis and penile itching

The fungal infection candidiasis (thrush) causes severe itching around the genitals. Genital candidiasis often affects a woman’s vagina, but the penis may also be affected, resulting in an itchy penis and a rash on the penis. Because the symptoms are similar to an STD (sexually transmitted disease), it is important to consult a doctor. Washing the genitals regularly and avoiding harsh soaps are some treatment options. Furthermore, the patient wears loose-fitting cotton underwear so that moisture does not build up in the groin and the yeast cannot multiply.

Genital Warts

Genital warts is a sexually transmitted disease that results from an infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV). A lump in the penis, a bump on the penis that feels like thickened skin and penile itching are common symptoms. Genital warts usually disappear spontaneously within a few weeks. Other treatments usually consist of topically (applied to the skin) agents. Occasionally, surgery is required to remove the warts.

Lichen planus

Small red bumps or spots that are very itchy are sometimes a symptom of lichen planus. The itchy penile bumps are often the result of an immune system response to certain medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and some antibiotics. Lichen planus often affects the head or shaft of the penis. The condition usually resolves spontaneously , but a doctor sometimes prescribes anti-itch medications that provide relief from the itching symptoms.

Lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause. The symptoms of the rare disease most often appear on the genital area in uncircumcised men. Penile pain, penile itching, painful intercourse, dry skin on the penis and pain during urination (dysuria) are well-known symptoms of lichen sclerosus. The patient should visit a doctor with these symptoms. A physical examination is necessary. The doctor then performs a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment consists of topical steroids.

Lichen simplex chronicus

Chronic itching of the male member is sometimes caused by the itching itself. Scratching an itchy spot on the skin makes the area itch even more. This creates an itch-scratch-itch cycle. Patients with lichen simplex chronicus have difficulty resisting the urge to scratch. The cause of the itching usually starts as a skin disease or irritation such as eczema (chronic skin disease with dry skin and itchy skin), sweating, stress or abrasions of the thighs. The scrotum is usually affected, but lichen simplex chronicus may also affect the penis. To break the itching and scratching cycle, applying witch hazel is recommended. The patient places this on a cotton pad and applies it to the scrotum or penis shaft when he wants to scratch. However, it is important that the patient is sure that he is suffering from this disease and not from another underlying condition. That is why he should always see a doctor if it occurs to the penis.

groin fungus

Groin fungus (jock itch, tinea cruris) is a common fungal infection that causes intense itching around the penis. The warm, moist conditions of the groin and wearing tight underwear cause several fungal infections. The itching usually disappears without treatment, but in a number of patients the symptoms worsen. A rash may develop on the thighs. Testicle itching is another characteristic of groin thrush. If necessary, the doctor prescribes antifungal agents (antimycotics). Furthermore, it is important to keep the groin area clean and dry.Vaseline is useful for relieving the irritation / Source: Kiyok, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Penis irritation

Penile irritation is a common symptom that may result from a number of benign causes. This is caused, for example, by cleaning the penis too much, by using a new type of soap or by friction. In addition to the penis itching, there is redness on the penis. It is important to clean the penis very carefully with a damp cloth. The use of lotions, creams or soaps is unnecessary. In addition, the patient should not rub too hard. Wearing tight underwear or wearing shorts is not a good idea when the penis is irritated. The symptoms must first be given the opportunity to heal. Vaseline helps with irritation.

Psoriasis of the penis

Psoriasis is a skin condition in which the skin is chronically inflamed. This disease occasionally affects the glans or penis shaft. The exact cause of penile psoriasis is unknown, but a patient with generalized psoriasis is more likely to suffer from penile psoriasis. Genital psoriasis causes plaques and small bumps on the glans. Circumcised men often develop a scaly penis on which lesions develop that are very itchy and painful. The glans skin is very sensitive and thin. The doctor often prescribes corticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatories) for penile psoriasis. However, long-term use of corticosteroids damages the thin skin on the glans.

Red scrotum syndrome

Some middle-aged men develop red scrotal syndrome in their genitals. The scrotum becomes red. This redness sometimes spreads to the base of the penis and causes itching and a burning sensation.


Scabies (scabies) is a highly contagious skin infection caused by mites that cause an itchy rash on the body. Other symptoms include tingling, itching, itching of the scrotum, itching of the penis, redness of the penis and itching in the groin. The patient and the person with whom he or she has been in contact must visit a general practitioner within 24 hours for primary care. After the diagnosis, treatment follows with medicinal creams that kill the mites and their eggs. It is important to avoid contact with the other person during this period.

Scrotal dermatitis

Dermatitis (skin inflammation) sometimes also affects the scrotum, which then spreads to the penis. Inflammation of the skin potentially causes itching, redness and thickening of the skin. Stress may worsen itching in the penis and genital area. Gently massaging coconut oil or sweet almond oil on the itchy skin area relieves the symptoms.


Occasionally, systemic diseases such as chickenpox spread to the genital areas, resulting in penile itching. Most patients recover spontaneously from the symptoms within a week. Some patients are given antiviral medicines.

read more

  • Penis Pain: Causes of Penis Pain (Sore Penis)
  • Red penis: Causes and treatment of redness of penis
  • Skin rash on penis: Causes of rash
  • Candida balanitis: Fungal infection of the penis in men
  • Penile discharge: Discharge of fluid from penis

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