A guy may think that an itchy penis is meant to be scratched, but most women on a date with him would disagree – which is one reason why keeping an itchy penis away is crucial, along with the fact that sometimes an itchy penis indicates a penis health problem. The kinds of itchiness and the reasons for that itchiness can be many and varied; one of the less common reasons is something called intertrigo. To learn more about it, simply read on.
Intertrigo is a kind of inflammatory rash (making it a form of dermatitis) that is most often found in areas where skin rubs against other skin. Armpits are a popular place for intertrigo, as are the neck, thighs and buttocks. The penis and balls are also prime targets for intertrigo.
Basically, intertrigo occurs when bacteria or another agent, such as a fungus, meets folds of skin that rub against each other. For example, men who are overweight may find that the underside of their “spare tire” develops a rash of intertrigo from rubbing against the pubic pad. Areas where skin folds in on itself or meets other skin is ideal for intertrigo, because such areas tend to be warm and moist, which is what the agents that cause intertrigo need to develop and grow.
The rash that denotes intertrigo tends to be reddish, sometimes very bright, looks quite raw, and can cover a fairly significant area of skin. It tends to be sore and, as can be deduced for its role in creating an itchy penis, often wants to scratched. In some cases the irritation of the skin rubbing against skin may cause the rash to ooze a liquid.
On the penis, the intertrigo may come from the penis rubbing against the balls, the thigh or other nearby parts; however, it is more often due to penis skin rubbing against itself when the penis is a flaccid “accordion” style stage. The presence of stray drops of urine on the penis often accounts for the bacteria that causes the condition.
Embarrassingly, intertrigo is known in children by the name diaper rash – a name that adults may not care to have attached to their skin condition.
Most of the time, intertrigo responds to simple self-care treatments. These include:
– Washing the affected area with a mild soap and water.
– Patting the area dry and keeping it as dray as possible. Ideally, the affected area needs to be exposed to the air, something that may be difficult to do when it occurs on the penis.
“Airing out” by sleeping naked may help, as can using absorbent powders to help keep the area dry.
– Using zinc oxide over a hydrocortisone cream twice a day usually helps speed recovery.
In some instances, intertrigo may be stubborn; if it persists for more than two weeks or becomes especially irritated, it’s best to see a doctor, who will likely prescribe steroids as a first step.
Although intertrigo can cause an itchy penis, it is best to avoid scratching if possible. The irritation from scratching simply delays the healing process.
When a man has an itchy penis, whether from intertrigo or not, it often means the penis skin is dry and could benefit from a regular regimen that includes a top flight penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Search the ingredients list and be sure the selected product includes both a high end emollient (such as shea butter) and a natural hydrating agent (such as vitamin E). The skin also can be protected if the crème contains a potent antioxidant, such as alpha lipoic acid. This can help prevent damage from oxidative stress from the presence of too many free radicals.