What Causes Dry Skin on the Penis?
Dry skin is one of the most common complaints among men. It affects about 50% of males and it’s caused due to various factors like sun exposure, smoking, diet, genetics etc.
The skin is made up of three layers: epidermis (outermost layer), dermis (middle layer) and hypodermis (innermost layer). Epidermal cells are responsible for producing the outermost protective barrier called the stratum corneum. Dermal cells produce water-soluble substances such as oil, waxes, proteins and vitamins A, D, E and K. Hypodermic glands secrete mucus which helps keep the body moist.
Dry skin is characterized by dryness, scaling, flaking or peeling of the skin. It may occur anywhere on the body but it is most commonly found around the genitals and groin area. Dry skin can affect any age group including infants, children, adolescents and adults.
Causes of Dry Skin on the Penis?
1. Antibacterial Soaps
Antibacterial soaps containing triclosan, an additive used to kill bacteria, are damaging the skin’s natural protective oils which keep it moist. The result is dry or itchy skin and sometimes skin rashes. This affects the sensitive skin on the genitals and causes more problems than it solves.
2. Men’s Skin Products
Most men’s skin care products are either generic or unisex, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Many women’s skin care products are formulated with certain ingredients that men do not need or want.
3. Skin Irritants
There are many skin irritants that can cause dryness in the genital region such as: harsh laundry detergents, underwear made with scratchy fabrics, rough toilet paper, and some spermicides.
Some prescription medications, especially blood pressure drugs, can cause dry skin. If you think a medication might be causing your dry skin problem, talk to your doctor about possibly trying a different brand or changing the dose.
5. Lack of Moisturizing
This is very common in men and women who do not pay attention to skin care during their bathing routine. Just like other body parts, the genitals need attention and care to stay healthy.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Penile lichen sclerosus (balanitis xerotica obliterans) by D Clouston, A Hall, N Lawrentschuk – BJU international, 2011 – Wiley Online Library
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The acetowhite test in genital human papillomavirus infection in men: what does it add? by B Kumar, S Gupta – Journal of the European Academy of …, 2001 – Wiley Online Library
Caring for the uncircumcised penis: what parents (and you) need to know by CJ Camille, RL Kuo, JS Wiener – CONTEMPORARY PEDIATRICS …, 2002 – cirp.org
The paradox dividing testosterone deficiency symptoms and androgen assays: a closer look at the cellular and molecular mechanisms of androgen action by M Carruthers – The journal of sexual medicine, 2008 – Elsevier
Precancerous penile lesions in young men by JW Mcaninch, CA Moore – The Journal of urology, 1970 – auajournals.org
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