Dry penis skin can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Flaking, peeling, or a roughened appearance;
- Redness or rash;
- Darkening or discoloration;
- Soreness, especially during sexual activity.
Caring for the skin and restoring its soft, smooth texture depends on the source of the dryness. Some common causes of penile dryness, as well as the recommended treatments, are outlined here.
Causes of Dry Penis Skin
Masturbation, prolonged sexual activity, and even constant rubbing against clothing all create heat and friction. These can strip away the body’s natural lubricating oils, leading to dry penis skin. This leaves the penile tissue more susceptible to surface-level damage, meaning that even normal activities can cause microscopic tears in the outer layers of the skin. The result may be a penis that is sore and tender to the touch.
- Cease all sexual activity, including masturbation, for at least 24 hours to allow time for healing.
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate the body from the inside out.
- Wear soft, supportive cotton underwear that will protect the penis while allowing the skin to breathe.
- Apply a penis-specific moisturizer (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) that contains ingredients such as Shea butter and vitamin E.
Soap or Body Wash
Soaps and shower gels often contain detergents that are designed to clean away sweat, grease, and dirt. However, these may also strip the delicate penile skin of its natural protective oils, leaving it dry, irritated and uncomfortable.
- Use personal care products that are designated for sensitive skin. Baby washes or hypoallergenic products are good choices.
- Rinse thoroughly after washing to remove all traces of soap, body wash, shampoo, and so on.
- Apply a penis-friendly moisturizer immediately after bathing to lock in moisture.
Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is an immune reaction to environmental irritants that can present as rash, flaking, dryness and itching; this condition can be very difficult to combat. Some common triggers may include laundry detergents, soaps, latex, spermicides, deodorants and fragrances. Plants such as poison ivy, poison oak, and even ordinary grass can also cause eczema breakouts in some men.
- Avoid using deodorant or colognes in the groin area.
- Use hypoallergenic laundry detergent and fabric softener.
- Avoid soap; use a mild cleanser designed for sensitive skin, instead. Baby wash can be a good option for men who are prone to eczema breakouts.
- Look for latex-free condoms (polyurethane or silicon are two other options) or condoms that are not treated with spermicide.
- Use a soothing moisturizer intended specifically for use on the penile skin to relieve the dryness and itching.
This autoimmune condition can affect all parts of the body, including the penis and the surrounding area. On other parts of the body, psoriasis may appear as dry, peeling, silvery flakes of skin. However, in the genital area, it is more likely to present as a dry lesion that may appear smooth and red in color.
- See a doctor or dermatologist, who may be able to provide prescription creams or ointments to clear up breakouts. In some cases, oral medications or treatment with UV lights may also be prescribed.
- Avoid known skin irritants (see the preceding section on eczema) that may trigger psoriasis outbreaks.
- Take time out to relax. Research has shown that stress is a contributing factor in psoriasis, and practicing relaxation techniques may help to reduce the frequency of outbreaks.
- In addition to topical medications, apply a penis-specific nutrient crème containing vitamin A. Also known as retinol, this nutrient is known for its efficacy in treating psoriasis.
While yeast infections (caused by the Candida albicans fungus) are more common in women, men can also be affected. Individuals who have a depressed immune system due to diabetes or other systemic disorders, who are undergoing chemotherapy, or who are taking certain medications may be more prone, but yeast infections (also known as thrush) can happen to anyone. Aside from dryness and peeling, symptoms can include painful cuts or fissures in the skin’s surface, as well as a thick, pasty or chunky discharge.
- See a doctor. Symptoms of a yeast infection are common to a number of other conditions, so it is important to get a professional diagnosis.
- Use an over-the-counter antifungal medication such as miconazole.
- Avoid sexual contact; yeast infections are contagious and can be passed from one partner to another.
- Keep the groin area clean and dry.
- Use a penis-friendly moisturizer to soothe the skin and speed healing.