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What Are the Symptoms of Penis Scabies?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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Penis scabies is a contagious parasitic infection that affects a man's genitals, and is caused by mites that are scientifically referred to as Sarcoptes scabiei. They infect the skin and cause intense and persistent itching. Most people get scabies on other parts of the body, but genital infection is possible as well. When a man has them on his genitals, they can affect both his penis and his scrotum. A man can contract scabies as the result of sexual or skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, and topical medications are often used to kill the mites.

When a man has penis scabies, he has a parasitic infection that affects the skin of his penis. Scabies is caused by a tiny parasitic mite known as Sarcoptes scabiei. These mites burrow into the skin of the penis and cause intense itching as well as burrow tracks, bumps, or blisters. Usually, the itching associated with penis scabies is intense, and men may notice that it worsens at night.

While a man may develop penile scabies, this is not the most likely location for this mite infection. More often, they develop between a person's fingers or in the creases of the armpits. A person may also develop them on his waistline, in his elbow crease, or on his feet or buttocks. The knees and shoulder blades are usually susceptible as well, and a woman may get them in the area under her breasts. Interestingly, children are more likely to develop them in such places as the scalp or the face as well as the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet.

Scabies isn't really a sexually transmitted disease, since its primary source of spreading isn't sexual contact. Basically, any type of skin-to-skin contact can put a person at risk for the infection, as it is highly contagious. An individual can, however, catch it from an infected partner during sexual activity. Interestingly, the source of infection is usually human — scientists assert that scabies-infected animals cannot spread the mites to human beings.

Treatment for penis scabies, as well as scabies that affect other parts of the skin, typically involves a topical medication. An oral medication may make a better option if the man's penis proves sensitive to creams, however. Additionally, antihistamines can prove helpful for temporarily controlling the annoying itching, though they don't help get rid of the infection.

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.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon996463 — On Sep 03, 2016

I've been recently itching like crazy, I've looked up pictures and read about symptoms enough to conclude I have scabies. During the start of the infection the shaft of my penis started to itch and looks exactly like the photos on google its doing the dry scab effect like the other parts of my body.

I noticed someone posting about that there's cream for your penis as well as your body to treat it. What should I do about the scars? I'm so scared my penis is going to look different after I treat this dreadful skin disease.

By SeanH — On Dec 01, 2015

I thought I had scabies a while back, but it turned out to be really severe dry skin that caused a rash and a pretty intense itch. My doc suggested I use a penis health creme and it worked great. I still use this creme because my girlfriend likes how it keeps my penis skin smooth and soft.

By anon354476 — On Nov 08, 2013

So, I know I have a bug bite on my penis. Is it still safe to have protected sex with my girlfriend?

By literally45 — On Oct 27, 2013

Has anyone had penis scabies cause nodules on the penis? Is that common? I know that I have scabies on my penis and I am treating it, but today I also saw a nodule. It's scaring me.

By ZipLine — On Oct 26, 2013

@ddljohn-- My doctor told me that scabies is very infectious and that I could even get it from hugging someone or wearing someone's clothes.

I had a scabies infection last year, after I returned from a backpacking trip. I wasn't the only one actually, a few others in my group got it. So one of us probably picked it up from somewhere and spread it to the others. We were hanging out and sleeping in close proximity for almost a month, so that made the scabies easier to spread.

I had itching and red bumps all over my body including my penis. It was horrible. My doctor gave me a topical cream and an oral medication to treat it. It took a few days to see the effects, but I was pretty much treated after a week.

So it might be scabies. I suggest seeing your doctor now because the sooner you treat it, the faster it goes away. Plus, if you let the infection spread, you will get more red spots and they will get bigger and can leave scars. Check out some scabies images and you'll know what I mean.

By ddljohn — On Oct 26, 2013

Which symptoms of penis scabies show up first?

I've been experiencing itching on my penis and genital area for the past few days. It does get worse at night and I haven't been getting much sleep because of it. Showering with cool water seems to help, but the itching returns the next day. I don't have any other symptoms right now. Could it be scabies?

The weird part is that I haven't had close physical contact with anyone in a long time. So I don't know how I could get it.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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