You’re not alone if you’re suffering from dryness around the penis. It’s the worst place that dry skin can happen, and is very common for all men, in all walks of life. Dry skin can start as just an annoyance or irritation and turn into a very painful cracking of the skin, leading to open sores and painful broken and split skin.

Dry skin, while common and normal especially during the winter months, can make sex uncomfortable, not to mention being embarrassing. Before you freak out about the dry and peeling skin, make sure you’re honest with yourself about what could be causing the dry skin on your penile shaft. Some of the more typical reasons are outlined here.

1) Have you recently slept with someone using a latex condom? It’s possible you have a latex allergy that you’re unaware of. Many doctors recommend always using hypoallergenic condoms that are less likely to cause any irritation to the very gentle downtown area. Aside from latex condoms, maybe you’re putting on lotion with an irritant, or using a soap or deodorant that is leaving you with dry penis skin and irritation. Either way, hypoallergenic is always the safest bet.

2) During intimacy, friction and rubbing of the penis can cause uncomfortable dryness and irritation. Make sure there is adequate lubrication in order to keep everything soft, smooth and moisturized.

3) Tinea Cruris, commonly referred to as jock itch and can be very unpleasant for those affected. It is a fungal infection that causes a red, itchy rash on the legs, genital area and penile skin. It usually starts in the genital area and can spread down to your upper thighs and continue down to your knees if not treated.

4) If your dry skin is accompanied by a rash, swelling, pain or discharge coming from your penis, you may want to seek medical treatment as this can be an indication of something more serious, like an STD. If the dry skin on your penis becomes crusty or there is a foul smell accompanied by the discharge, go to a doctor as soon as possible.

For optimal genital health, make sure to regularly check yourself for anything unusual on the penis and surrounding area. Another way to stay healthy is to always take your vitamins. This is of the utmost importance, especially for penis health. Vitamin A helps combat nasty penile odors while Vitamin C helps with proper blood flow, the firmness-maker. Vitamin B5 helps maintain healthy tissue and while we’re on the subject, are you wondering how to hydrate your penis? Make sure you’re getting proper amounts of Vitamin E as it provides a barrier that locks in skins natural moisture. Combine that with Vitamin D, which keeps blood vessels healthy and you’ll be set.

In order to keep your genitals clean, you need to properly clean your foreskin by pulling it back and thoroughly cleaning the tip of your penis as well. After correctly washing the genital area, dry and moisturize your skin with a product made specifically for skin, like a penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin). This particular health crème is a super weapon, containing vitamins and nutrients essential to the wellbeing of private area skin, like vitamin C, for collagen production, and Shea butter, which hydrates the skin leaving the area soft and smooth. Keep the penis skin clean, dry, and hydrated for optimal health.