Dry penile skin is more than just a minor cosmetic problem - it can cause discomfort and embarrassment, and it can even impair a man’s ability to perform well, not to mention making the tissue more susceptible to infection. Some of the causes of a dry, itchy penis may be surprising, and addressing them is an important aspect of penis care. Here are just some of the things a man may be missing in his diet and other daily habits that can damage his penile health.

1) Vitamin A. This fat-soluble vitamin plays an important role in overall skin health. It is found in many moisturizers and cosmetic products and can improve the quality of the skin’s surface. It can be obtained from fruits and vegetables that have an orange color (such as carrots, sweet potatoes and peaches) as well as dark green, leafy vegetables.

2) Vitamin C. Vitamin C has both antioxidant and skin-building properties and is vitally important to a healthy penis. Vitamin C can help to keep the skin oxygenated, allowing for faster repair of dry, damaged tissue. Vitamin C can be found in many food sources, including citrus fruits, onions, tomatoes, peppers and dark green, leafy vegetables.

3) Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known as the "miracle vitamin" because it is needed for so many of the functions carried out in the body on a cellular level. An adequate supply of vitamin D is needed for healthy, smooth skin. It is produced in limited quantities in the body and requires exposure to sunlight; it is also added to enriched food products such as milk and bread. Vitamin D is frequently found in skin creams and moisturizing lotions.

4) Vitamin E. This vitamin has received considerable attention lately as an important component of skin health. It is frequently used in treating chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, both of which are characterized by dry, itchy, distressed skin. It is also beneficial for skin that is generally healthy, because it works to lock in moisture and boosts the skin’s natural lubricating properties. Vitamin E is found in green, leafy vegetables as well as fortified cereals, and it is often added to body creams and lotions.

5) Water. The skin naturally loses water throughout the day, and this needs to be replaced in order maintain adequate hydration levels. Without it, the skin can become dry and papery, even when other nutrients are present in adequate amounts.

Steps for improving dry penile skin

To improve the look and feel of the penis, men can take the following positive steps - and, in doing so, they may find that they feel healthier and more energized in general:

- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Men should strive for five to seven servings a day, looking for fruits and vegetables in a wide array of colors and textures to be sure they are getting a good supply of the various vitamins and minerals they contain.

- Don’t skimp on the healthy fats. True, too much fat - or the wrong kind of fat - has been linked to health problems like obesity and heart disease. On the other hand, the body needs a certain amount of fat to carry out its basic functions, including maintaining healthy skin. Heart-friendly fats that do not contain cholesterol come from plants; olive oil, for instance, is a good source of dietary fat and can add plenty of flavor and texture to the diet.

- Stay hydrated. It is important to replace body fluids that are lost through sweating, urination, other metabolic processes or even just rubbing against clothing. For overall health, men should be consuming at least 8 8-oz. glasses of water per day; doing so can lead to a better skin tone and texture as well as reducing that dry, rough feeling.

- Make use of a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). A quality product that contains a high-end moisturizer such as Shea butter, combined with the hydrating capacity of vitamin E, can provide almost instant relief for dry, itchy penile skin. A cream that is fortified with vitamins A, C and D can also work from within to create skin that is smooth, supple and responsive, rather than dry, dull and parched.