Penis skin is very delicate, which may be surprising considering the amount of friction and action it must endure. Its tone and elasticity help protect it from damage caused by sexual activity, but the skin itself can be prone to any number of penis health issues, and dry penis skin is certainly one of the most common complaints. Dry penis skin can be caused by a wide variety of factors; one which many people are unaware of is a medical condition known as ichthyosis vulgaris.
The name ichthyosis vulgaris is certainly offputting. “Ichthyosis” is a term that refers to a whole family of skin conditions, many of which are extremely rare. Ichthyosis vulgaris is one of the five main forms of ichythosis – and fortunately, it’s one of the milder forms. It’s also one of the more common forms (“vulgaris” in fact, means “common” in Latin); about 1 in every 300 people are affected by it.
So what is it, exactly? Ichthyosis vulgaris is a condition in which skin cells do not behave as they are supposed to. The skin cells start out the way they should, but when they get to the uppermost layer of the skin, the cells aren’t able to separate properly. This causes several layers of skin cells to build up over each other, creating a “scaly” look to the affected area. The scales have a fine, pale look to them.
Although it’s possible to have this scaling effect over many different parts of the body, it’s usually confined to one area. The lower legs are the most commonly affected, but other parts of the body can also be a target – including the penis and the area around it.
Ichthyosis vulgaris is a genetic disorder. People who contract it are born with a genetic predisposition, marked by the presence of too little profilaggrin, a protein that is needed in the epidermis. How severe the condition is depends upon how little profilaggrin the body can naturally produce.
Often this form of skin disorder appears early on in childhood, but it may not appear until much later. In some cases, the skin effects are fairly mild, and it is often diagnosed as dermatitis or another common skin condition.
For many people ichthyosis vulgaris can vary, often becoming much better in the summer or in certain climates. And in many cases, it disappears as a person ages.
Dry penis skin
When dry penis skin is caused by ichthyosis vulgaris, it requires the same treatment as when found on other parts of the body. Special moisturizing ingredients may be recommended to ease the dryness. In addition, a person with ichthyosis vulgaris needs to make sure they stay well hydrated, which in turn keeps the skin more hydrated; drinking a healthy amount of water each day is recommended. They should also be sure to use mild soaps on their skin and mild detergent when doing the laundry; the presence of harsh chemicals or fragrances can exacerbate the problem.
Dry penis skin, due to ichythosis vulgaris or other causes, will respond to treatment more effectively if the skin is in good health otherwise. Daily use of a first rate penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can play an important role here. First, be sure to select a crème that includes a combination or potent moisturizing ingredients, such as a high-end emollient (like Shea butter) and a natural hydrator (like vitamin E). Second, keep the skin in even better shape by finding a crème with alpha lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant. This will help to find and eliminate excess free radicals which, left unchecked, can wreak oxidative damage upon the penis skin.