Dryness in the penis: what are its causes and what to do?

The skin of the penis is sensitive to external changes. In general, its state of hydration and color are a reflection of genital health.

Last update: 28 March, 2022

Dry skin on the penis is a common cause of concern for men. This is usually the result of loss of lubrication of the glans and foreskin. Here we tell you the most frequent causes of dryness in the penis and what to do to solve it.

Usually genital dryness is accompanied by intense itching, redness and peeling of the skin. Similarly, it is common for the person to experience discomfort when the glans rubs against underwear or during sexual intercourse.

Let’s see, then, the 7 most common causes of dryness in the penis.

1. Use of strong soaps

The use of aggressive soaps with a high pH is one of the usual causes of dryness in the penis. These contain chemicals that usually kill a large number of cells of the skin surface.

In this sense, some of the main culprits are soaps that contain polypropylene, sodium lauryl sulfate, bleach and triclosan. In addition, excessive washing with this type of soap contributes to worsening the dryness.

As usual, it is recommended to wash the skin with plenty of water and a small amount of soap with a neutral pH. In the same way, solutions for washing the skin of babies and natural moisturizing soaps can be used, after consulting a specialist doctor.

It is possible to opt for natural and handmade soaps that certify an adequate pH to avoid dry skin.

2. Allergies

There is a wide variety of products that can cause allergies when they come into contact with the penis. Studies affirm that the rubber in condoms, spermicides, retardant creams and laundry detergents can act as sensitizers in the genital area.

This is one of the frequent causes of dryness in the penis, as well as redness, peeling of the glans and intense itching. Also, some men may experience sneezing, hives, and watery eyes.

In most cases, symptoms can be prevented by recognizing and avoiding the triggering agent. On the other hand, it is advisable to use underwear made of cotton or other natural fabrics. Doctors may prescribe the use of anti-allergy and creams.

3. Chafing

Tight underwear and pants often cause friction constant on the skin of the penis during the day. This fact conditions the inflammation and flaking of the foreskin. In addition, it also favors the appearance of small painful lesions on the glans.

It is advisable to avoid tight clothing and allow adequate ventilation in the genitals when you are at home. When going out, wear loose, breathable underpants. The dryness usually goes away on its own within a couple of days of making the changes.

4. Sex or masturbation without lubrication

The practice of sexual activities or excessive masturbation, without adequate lubrication, is one of the common causes of dryness in the penis. In this way, constant sex promotes skin peeling and tenderness in the area. Another common reason is dry sex.

Specialists recommend always using the appropriate lubrication according to the type of practice. Water-based lubricants are usually the best options. In addition, it is advisable to give a prudent time between sexual encounters to allow the skin to recover.

5. Infection in the penis

Infections of the foreskin and glans or balanoposthitis are common in uncircumcised men. This is because the preputial sac tends to retain smegma, drops of urine and a wide variety of germs that prepare the ground for infections.

Studies affirm that the main microorganisms responsible for balanoposthitis are Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Similarly, syphilis infection, chancroid, gonorrhea and chlamydia are also causes of dry penis.

Some associated symptoms are as follows:

  • Pain or burning when urinating.
  • intense itching
  • Purulent discharge from the urethra.
  • Redness and swelling of the glans and foreskin.

In the presence of these symptoms Seeking care with a urology specialist is vital. Treatment may include the use of antibiotic or antifungal medications in tablets and creams.

6. Genital psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by excessive turnover of skin cells. It affects the entire body, presenting with dry skin and scaly, whitish or silvery plaques. On the penis, psoriasis involves flaking, dryness, and the appearance of irregular reddened plaques.

This condition has a chronic course, so people usually notice symptoms after a long period of time. The most common manifestations are discomfort after sexual intercourse, irritation and sensitivity in the glans.

Psoriasis is not an exclusive disease of the penis. It appears in the area of ​​​​the joints, on the scalp and in regions with friction.

7. Eczema

Eczema is a dermatological disease that presents with dry skin, rash and localized or generalized irritation. The genital form usually involves the skin of the penis and scrotum., and even extend to the inner thighs. Common variants are atopic eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

Treatment includes the use of moisturizers to reduce itching and irritation, as well as proper hygiene measures. Similarly, the doctor may prescribe topical corticosteroids and antihistamines.

A symptom not to be taken lightly

There are a wide variety of causes of dry penis. Most of these conditions are the result of exposure to irritating substances. or by friction in the genital area. However, this symptom could also signal the presence of an acute infection or a chronic systemic disorder.

Fortunately, most of these conditions can be successfully treated. For this reason, do not hesitate to consult a specialist doctor when presenting dryness in the genitals.

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