Read below about penis itch, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your penis itch from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having penis itch

Penis Itch Quiz

Penis Itch Symptoms

Itching of the genital area can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. Fortunately, most cases of penile itching are benign and can be easily treated.

Other symptoms associated with penile itching may include:

Penis Itch Causes Overview

Itching is the result of inflammation and is commonly due to rashes caused by infections, dermatologic skin conditions and environmental exposures. Many of these rashes are caused by sexually transmitted infections, but there are also conditions that are not sexually transmitted.

Sexually transmitted causes:

  • Bacterial: Many types of outside bacteria can enter the body easily via the urinary tract, including sexually transmitted bacteria such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. Bacterial infections are often the main cause of penile itching and its associated symptoms.

  • Viral: Sexually transmitted viral infections, such as herpes, can cause penile itching as well as many associated symptoms such as blistering and painful penis bumps. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is viral infection and results in itchy genital warts.

  • Other: Organisms such as lice and mites that like to invade dark areas of moisture (the genital area) can also cause intense symptoms of itching. Such organisms require direct skin contact with another infected person and, as a result, can be transmitted during unprotected sexual intercourse.

Non-sexually transmitted causes:

  • Dermatologic: Dermatologic causes involve any condition involving the skin, nails and hair. Many non-sexually transmitted bacteria and fungi can infect the skin and cause itchy rashes. Fungal infections affect the skin and can cause rashes that result in intense itching and discomfort. Candida fungi are common on the skin and can overgrow in the genital area causing itching.
  • Irritation: Scented soaps, lotions, toiletries and other body products can irritate the genital tissue and cause itchy, dry skin.
  • Environmental: Keep in mind that not all causes of penile itching are medically related. Environmental exposures such as sweat, poor hygiene and even uncomfortable underwear can irritate the penis and cause symptoms.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Penis Itch

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced penis itch. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Penile Irritation

    Irritation of the penis is common, and can come from a number of benign causes. Common causes include cleaning with a new kind of soap, cleaning too much, or chaffing.

    Symptoms should resolve within one week.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    penis itch, penile redness
    Symptoms that never occur with penile irritation:
    fever, painful urination, testicle pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Urinary Tract Infection

    In women, the opening to the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is very close to the anus, and bacteria from the anus can easily escape and travel up the urethra. These bacteria can infect the bladder, and cause what is known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

    Symptoms most often go away within 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, signs of urinary tract inflammation, urinary changes
    Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection:
    signs of urinary tract inflammation
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  3. 3.Scabies

    Scabies is a highly contagious skin infection caused by mites that produce an itchy rash on the body.

    Rash and intense itching should subside within 2-4 days with treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, vulvovaginal redness, feeling itchy or tingling all over, butt itch, elbow itch
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Penis Itch Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having penis itch.

    Penis Itch Quiz
  4. 4.Lichen Sclerosus

    Lichen sclerosus is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause. It's most commonly on the genital region and occurring in women who are post menopausal.

    Can be lifelong; however, symptoms will come-and-go with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, vaginal pain, painful sex, dry skin on the outside of the vagina, painful urination
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Genital Warts

    Genital warts are one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. It is caused by infection by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). While it cannot be cured, treatment may help.

    Infection with HPV cannot be cured, but the warts themselves can be removed surgically or sometimes resolve themselves in a matter of weeks.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    small groin lump, skin-colored groin bump, marble sized groin lump, painless groin lump, scaly groin bump
    Symptoms that always occur with genital warts:
    scaly groin bump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris)

    Tinea cruris is a common fungal infection of the skin in the groin area. It can cause ring-shaped redness, and sometimes itching or pain.

    With treatment the rash should be gone within 2-3 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    groin redness, groin itch, scabbed area of the groin, rash, itchy rash
    Symptoms that always occur with jock itch (tinea cruris):
    groin redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Penis Itch Treatments and Relief

If you are experiencing an itch and discomfort in your genital area, you should make an appointment with your physician. The earlier you can be seen, the faster your penis itch symptoms will resolve. Furthermore, most causes of penile itchiness are treatable for most men.

Based on your penis itch symptoms your physician may:

  • Test your urine to see if you have an infection
  • Swab the penis to collect skin cells and determine if bacteria, yeast or other organisms is causing inflammation.

Depending on the findings, your doctor may prescribe the following:

  • Antibiotics. It is important to take the antibiotics as instructed to be effective.
  • Topical steroid cream. If your itching is due to a dermatologic condition, your doctor may prescribe a topical steroid cream to reduce the inflammation and skin changes.
  • Antifungal medication or cream. Similar to antibiotics that treat bacteria, antifungals treat fungal causes of your penis itch symptoms.

If you are looking to prevent these penis itch symptoms, there are things you can do at home and easily change in your routine to help your keep discomfort at bay:

  • Limit the use of any scented bath and body products to reduce risk of irritation.
  • Use lubrication and condoms during sexual activity to protect yourself from irritation and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Wear breathable clothing around the genital area such as cotton or bamboo. Maintain proper hygiene keep your genital are clean.

Make another appointment with your doctor or go straight to the hospital if:

This can be a sign of a serious infection that requires immediate medical attention.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Penis Itch

  • Q.Do you notice anything going on with your penis?
  • Q.Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • Q.Do you notice anything going on with your testicles or scrotum?
  • Q.Have you noticed any changes in the color of your urine recently?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our penis itch symptom checker to find out more.

Penis Itch Quiz

Penis Itch Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced penis itch have also experienced:

    • 16% Penile Skin Changes
    • 8% Penis Pain
    • 5% Scrotal Itch
  • People who have experienced penis itch had symptoms persist for:

    • 36% Less Than a Week
    • 23% Less Than a Day
    • 18% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced penis itch were most often matched with:

    • 57% Scabies
    • 28% Urinary Tract Infection
    • 14% Penile Irritation
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having penis itch

Penis Itch Quiz