Considering the fact that the penis is put through some pretty physical exercises during sex and masturbation, it’s surprising that penis skin itself is rather delicate. But that’s all the more reason to take good care of it and practice excellent penis health techniques to maintain healthy penis skin and avoid dry penis skin. There often are easily identifiable reasons for dry penis skin, such as dry weather or air conditioning. But sometimes the cause can be more difficult to identify. Such is the case with ichthyosis vulgaris, a rare genetic condition.

About ichthyosis vulgaris

“Ichthyosis” has its basis in the Greek word for fish, and that’s understandable because one of the characteristics of ichthyosis vulgaris is that it tends to create a scaly appearance (like fish scales) as it dries out the skin. There are several forms of ichthyosis, and ichthyosis vulgaris is the mildest – fortunately. As mentioned, it is a rare genetic condition, affecting perhaps 1 in 300 people, so not many men will suffer from it.

So, ichthyosis vulgaris produces very dry skin, which takes on a scaly appearance. How does it do this?

Like other parts of the body, the skin has a process for rejuvenating. When old skin cells reach a certain point, they essentially die and then are shed. But when a person has ichthyosis vulgaris, something happens that gets in the way of that shedding. As a result, old, dead skin cells accumulate while new skin cells try to push through to the surface. This battle results in the scaly appearance of the skin and in its dryness. The scales can be whitish, greyish, or brown in appearance, with darker skin usually having darker scales.

The dryness results in cracked skin, and sometimes the cracks can be pretty deep. Many patients report that the deeper cracks are somewhat painful.

Most of the time, the scales appear in the lower legs, but they can appear anywhere, and they have resulted in scaly dry penis skin in some cases.

Where does it come from?

People are often afraid they will “catch” ichthyosis vulgaris if they touch the scales, but this is not the case. Because it is a genetic condition, it is something one is born with; it is carried in one’s genes. It’s not something that can be passed on to another individual simply by touch.

Ichthyosis vulgaris tends to be more pronounced in a person if they are in a cold, dry climate; warm, moist climates provide a soothing effect that decreases the severity of the disorder. Thus, for some people it may “come and go” with the seasons.

When ichthyosis vulgaris causes dry penis skin, it can have an impact on a man’s self-esteem and also on his ability to attract sexual partners. While it is not contagious, many partners might still opt to avoid coming into such close personal contact with it.

Treating the condition usually requires keeping the affected area nice and moist, as well as keeping the body as a whole well-hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. The use of very mild soaps and detergents rather than heavily scented ones or those with many chemicals also helps.

Whether dry penis skin is due to a genetic condition like ichthyosis vulgaris or another reason, a man still needs to make use of a first-class penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Since keeping the skin well-hydrated is key, the chosen creme should contain both a high-end emollient (such as shea butter) and a natural hydrator (such as vitamin E). It’s advisable to find a creme that also contains vitamin B5, a vital nutrient that is required for cell metabolism and the maintenance of healthy tissue.