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What Are the Common Causes of Dry Skin on the Penis?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Dry skin on the penis can be a very uncomfortable situation, especially if the dry skin has begun to crack or scale in some manner. There are a number of causes of dry penile skin, some of which are easily treated by making a few simple changes in hygiene. Others are of a more serious nature and may require the attention of a physician in order to resolve the issues.

In some cases severe dry skin on the penis may be the result of a reaction to the type of soap used during bathing. The condition may not appear immediately after beginning to use a new soap, requiring a few days or weeks to manifest. Often, switching back to another type of soap, especially one that contains a greater amount of moisturizing agents will correct the problem in a short period of time.

Washing with a strong soap and extremely hot water can also lead to dry skin on the penis. To correct the situation, make it a point to use a soap containing a moisturizer while using lukewarm water. The combination will leave behind an equitable amount of the natural oils that the body secretes to keep the skin supple and healthy, while still leaving the penis and surrounding area clean and fresh.

Another common reason for dry skin on the penis has to do with a change in products used to clean the clothing that comes in contact with the skin. As with bath soap, there is the chance for an adverse reaction to the residue of detergent remaining in clothing as it is worn through the day. Changing back to a detergent that did not cause problems in the past will also allow the dry penile skin to begin healing.

Masturbation without the use of some type of lubricating agent can also lead to dry skin of the penis. In order to avoid the problem, males should make it a point to use some type of water-based lubricant, as this will help to avoid the chafing action that can irritate and dry the skin. Washing immediately after using a moisturizing soap with lukewarm water will help remove the residue of the lubricant, a step that is necessary since the product could cause discomfort as it dries.

Along with the more benign reasons for dry skin on the penis, there is also the potential that a sexually transmitted disease or STD is the root cause of the problem. If the man has been sexually active at any time over the last several months and then he notices dry patches anywhere along the penis, seeing a physician is extremely important. Identifying the presence of a sexually transmitted disease early on not only makes it easier to deal with the issue, but also minimizes the potential for the development of a number of health issues later on.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By anon995916 — On Jun 10, 2016

Something that wasn't mentioned in this article was psoriasis. I've had dry skin on my penis for quite some time and have tried many different creams etc. Some worked for a short time but it always came back. I last tried an ointment called Psoriasin and it worked right away and within a few days to a week the skin was back to normal and the dry skin hasn't come back.

By anon994031 — On Jan 07, 2016

I had this recently. It was to the point it hurt to be touched, the skin was cracked and peeling off in layers. I used my girlfriend's lotion mixed with I think Noxzema or some kind of moisturizing cream twice a night for about three days then waited four days and it was all better.

By SeanH — On Apr 03, 2015

I have had dry skin down there in the past, and an all natural penis health creme applied daily really helped me out. I say "all natural" because there are cremes out there that contain weird, synthetic ingredients. I don't want that kind of stuff in my body. Stick to cremes that contain shea butter and vitamins A and E.

By anon974532 — On Oct 18, 2014

What is the best method to use on a dry penis?

By anon964453 — On Aug 05, 2014

My penis feels dry, and when I masturbate, I never use lubricating agents or anything. Could that be the cause? Isn't it quite annoying to use that every time?

By anon350064 — On Oct 01, 2013

The fastest healer moisturizer for thin skin by way far is Blistex Medicate ointment for lips. Might not work for STDs. The cooling sensation is the menthol and the actual fast healing itself.

By anon349748 — On Sep 29, 2013

I feel scratchy on the skin of my penis and this has been happening for quite sometime now, but after I masturbate it subsided. What is the cause for this scratchy feeling? Please advise.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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