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Itching in the perineum

neurologist
  • Published:
    18 November 2022
  • Updated:
    16 February 2024
Itching in the perineum

    The majority of men during their lifetime experienced itching in the perineum, the head of the penis. This condition is not considered to be life-threatening but can be very uncomfortable. Typically, men try to reduce the discomfort of scratching, which worsens the situation, and the itching is just getting stronger. Also, strong mechanical rubbing traumatizes delicate tissues.

    Let's look at the most common causes.

  • Deficiency of personal hygiene. The situation can be caused by insufficient personal care (infrequent hygiene procedures, such as taking showers or changing underwear) but also by too frequent washing of the genitals and the use of irritating care products (soaps, shower gels). This condition is called orthogenic contact eczema - it is not only itchy but also can cause erythema and the formation of scabs. With prolonged exposure, peeling and hyperkeratosis may appear.
  • Mechanical friction. Prolonged sexual intercourse with insufficient lubrication from the partner can lead to excessive friction which leads to penile skin trauma and irritation, resulting in inflammation and discomfort. This is typically accompanied by redness and slight swelling of the skin of the penis tissue.
  • Stress. Psychogenic itching occurs due to psycho-emotional overstrain, and overfatigue. In most cases, it is not accompanied by external changes.
  • Improper choice of underwear. Lingerie made of synthetic fabric, too tight or inappropriate cut obstructs heat exchange and causes increased sweating and irritation of the delicate tissues of the perineum, followed by itching and burning. 
  • Use of poor-quality lubricants and products not intended for use as lubricants during intercourse. For example, vegetable oil, petroleum jelly, and body creams. These products used improperly can cause allergies or contact dermatitis. It is manifested by itching, burning, swelling, and inflammation of the skin, as the appearance of blisters on the areas of skin that encountered the harmful substance.
  • Sexually transmitted infections. After unprotected sexual intercourse, itching in the glans, urethra, and perineum, accompanied by urethral discharge, rashes on the skin of the penis’s head and body, perineum, increased body temperature, and general malaise may appear. 
  • Scabies. Yes, it still occurs. The typical localization of itching and rash-abdomen, pubic area, anterior surface of the thighs, and interdigital spaces. The scrotum and penis may be involved in the pathological process. Examination reveals traces of scabies and scabies passages in the form of lines of 4-7 mm with vesicles or papules at the end. 

    If you are experiencing itching in the perineum, you should eliminate the possible causes listed above to avoid sexual health problems. Diseases associated with itching in the perineum are treated by a dermatologist or urologist.

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