You may be alarmed when you notice dry skin on penis, but in the majority of cases, it isn’t due to something serious. The skin on the penis is generally very sensitive and dry foreskin may cause discomfort and even irritation.
There are a number of reasons why a person may develop dry skin on penis or dry foreskin. But, don’t worry as in most cases these problems aren’t due to genital herpes, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or even genital warts. Dry skin on penis occurs due to unlubricated sex, frequent masturbation, or harsh materials like soaps.
Most cases of dry skin on penis can be treated with natural and homemade remedies and making lifestyle changes like avoiding harsh soap or using natural moisturizer.
Read on to explore the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment options for dry penis.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry skin on penis
If you have a dry foreskin, these are the signs and symptoms you are most likely to experience.
- Redness of the skin
- Fine lines, wrinkles, or cracks on the skin
- Itching or flaking of the penis skin
- Penis skin peeling
- Tight skin (especially occurs after contact with water)
- Bleeding or deep cracks
If you are suffering from more than one symptom, you should look into the remedies for treating dry penis.
Causes of dry skin on penis
We have listed down the most common causes for dry skin on penis or dry foreskin.
1. Drying soaps
Harsh or drying soaps are the most common cause of dry skin on penis and dry foreskin. Harsh cleaners like soap tend to have a drying effect on the penis. You should only wash your penis with warm water. And, if you feel like using a cleanser, stick to a mild soap or baby shampoo. After using the product, rinse thoroughly to make sure that no soap remnants are left on the penis skin.
Also read: 9 Ways To Get Rid Of Winter Dryness
2. Tight Clothing and chaffing
Another major factor responsible for dry foreskin is wearing skin-tight clothing. Tight clothing and underwear can cause rubbing and chafing in the genital area. Which can result in dryness and thus, dry skin on penis.
In uncircumcised men, tight clothing can also cause moisture or fungus buildup under the foreskin which can lead to dryness and infection. Thus, you should opt for cotton and loose underwear. If you wear y-cuts, then switch to briefs.
You should also consider switching to hypoallergenic laundry detergent and fabric softener.
Many people have allergies to latex, fragrance, spermicide, or personal deodorant. These allergies may cause dry skin on penis. If you have a latex allergy, you’re likely to have a swollen, itchy, and red penis after coming in contact with a condom. The symptoms can occur immediately or even 48 hours of use.
If your dry skin on penis issue is accompanied by sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, or wheezing, then you may be suffering from an allergic reaction. And, if you suffer from a latex allergy, consider switching to a polyurethane or silicone condom. You can also go for specialized penis moisturizing creams.
Also read: Top 4 Common Myths About Skincare Busted
4. Dry sex and masturbation
A lack of lubrication on prolonged or frequent sexual activity can lead to dry skin on penis. A dry penis can eventually lead to itching, flaking, or peeling of the skin. Lubrication not only prevents dry skin on penis, but it also makes sex and masturbation more pleasurable. Therefore, you should always give lubricants a try. Whether you use a water-based, oil, or silicone-based lube, choose the one that is organic, glycerin, and paraben-free to avoid irritation.
However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to go for a water-based gel or lube.
Also read: Common causes of left testicular pain
5. Genital psoriasis
Psoriasis is another possible cause of dry skin on penis. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that affects male genitalia. This type of psoriasis is known as inverse psoriasis and it appears as dry and red lesions on the skin.
If you spot signs of psoriasis, you should immediately consult a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe you low-strength tropical corticosteroids.
Eczema is a common skin condition that can cause dry foreskin. Two types of eczema affect the penis: irritant contact eczema and atopic eczema. Eczema can also cause bumps and itching.
If you suspect that you may have eczema, you should consult a dermatologist. And, if you already have an eczema diagnosis, you can use a low-strength tropical corticosteroid cream. However, only do so after consulting your doctor as it can cause penis skin thinness.
7. Yeast or Fungal Infection
Yeast or fungal infections can cause dry skin on penis followed by a rash, white patches, swelling, or irritation. It can also become painful to have sex, masturbate, or to even urinate.
To treat such infections, you should keep your penis clean and dry and use antifungal creams. For a yeast infection, you have to apply the cream on the head of the penis and for uncircumcised men, under the foreskin. It will take 10-12 days to fully recover and it’s best to abstain from sex for those recovery days.
Home Remedies to treat dry foreskin
- When treating dry skin on penis, abstain from all sexual activity including self-stimulation for at least 24-48 hours as the penis requires time to heal. Drink plenty of water, around 2-3 litres a day to keep your body and penis hydrated.
- Depending on the cause and severity of the dry penis you may need to use over-the-counter lotions and creams or those medically prescribed by the doctor.
- While bathing, avoid harsh chemicals that are in soap. Instead, opt for warm water, mild soap or baby shampoo. You can use special products that are designed for sensitive skin.
- You can use a moisturizing penis cream or lotion. Lotions that have shea butter and vitamin E in them help in reducing dryness and locking moisture. Natural and organic oils like coconut oil are great for treating dry skin on penis.
- When you engage in sexual activity again, use lubricants and silicone condoms.
The bottom line is that dry skin on penis is usually not a serious condition. However, if the dry skin persists even after trying the remedies, it is best to see a doctor.