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Non-Specific Penile Irritation

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Last updated November 5, 2021

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What is non-specific penile irritation?

Irritation of the penis is common, and can come from a number of causes. Common causes include cleaning with a new kind of soap, cleaning too much, or chaffing. Environmental exposures such as sweat, poor hygiene, and even uncomfortable underwear can irritate the penis and cause symptoms.

Itching may be caused by inflammation from rashes from infections, dermatologic skin conditions, and sexually transmitted infections.

Rarity: Common



You should only clean your penis very lightly with a damp cloth. Do not use soap or scrub very hard. Do not wear tight underwear or pants until symptoms improve.

You can apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to help with irritation, but avoid lotions or creams, as the perfumes and other chemicals in them can make the irritation worse.

See a doctor if the irritation doesn’t go away in a few days or if it worsens, even after you’ve removed potential causes. Also see a doctor if you have any sores, a fever, or urinary symptoms.

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