Penis pain may be the worst sort of pain for a man. It can be an aching, throbbing, smelly, hot, angry experience that could have a man baffled as to the cause. Of course, the mind frantically jumps to sexually transmitted infections, but there are scores of other reasons for penis pain. Here are a few that are more common than men think, as well as ways a man can deal with them. Happily, many are easy to fix and allow men to go from having a sore penis to a happy penis quickly.

Penis Pain #1: Penile Injury

Got a lot of ouch in the genital area without any rashes or infection? It’s likely the most common cause for pain, a penile injury. It can happen virtually anywhere at any time. Everything from Saturday morning mud-football, sexual acrobatics, and accidentally walking into an open cabinet door can all lead to a penile injury. Thankfully, most times it doesn’t require a visit to the doctor. If it persists more than a week, make an appointment.

For minor injuries, pain reliever and cool (not cold) compresses are the treatment. Also, give the penis some rest and stay away from any activities that could endanger your little friend, including all forms of sex and masturbation, until he is all good again.

Penis Pain #2: Smegma

Smelling a bit of funk in the junk? If it smells like sour cheese and sweat, it may be smegma. If there’s a grayish-white, cottage-cheesy discharge, it’s almost certain. Smegma is a naturally made cocktail of fatty acids, sterols, lipids, and dead cells. It also can attract dirt, sweat, and bacteria into the mix. When it overgrows, it brings on an unpleasant odor and a red, angry, sore penis that spits fire when urinating. Pleasant, right?

Mostly a week of cleaning the big guy gently and consistently will dissolve the issue. If it doesn’t clear up after that, head to the doctor’s office.

Penis Pain #3: Balanitis

If the penis appears angry and infected, especially on the head, it may be balanitis. Balanitis is an infection of the foreskin and the head of the penis. This can also be the “next step” once smegma overgrowth goes into warp speed. Head to the doctor for help. If a man can’t urinate, he needs to go to the ER.

The doctor can also check for phimosis and paraphimosis, which are two conditions that affect the foreskin and often have balanitis as a symptom.

Penis Pain #4: Peyronie’s Disease

The trouble with the curve isn’t just a Clint Eastwood film, it’s a serious problem that can result in a very sore penis. If the curve is 20 percent or more, it could be Peyronie’s disease, which affects more than 20 percent of men, usually those over the age of 40. Peyronie’s results from a buildup of scar tissue that forms in the penis after years of use (or misuse).

If a man suspects he has Peyronie’s, he should see his primary care doctor or urologist for treatment.

Prevent Penis Pain

The best way to prevent a sore penis is to take good care of it on a daily basis. Practicing safe sex, knowing when to say when, and using protective gear when necessary are all great steps to prevent penis pain.

One of the most basic ways to avert penis pain is to adopt a regular hygiene ritual. It’s as simple as cleansing the penis daily (as well as after sweat sessions of every kind) with a gentle cleanser and tepid water. Be sure to wash thoroughly, pulling the foreskin back gently to ensure a truly clean member.

After a good wash, rinse, and dry, use a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) to seal in hydration and fortify the skin. Use creams with a variety of natural vitamins and nutrients to guard against bacteria and nerve damage, while building up collagen for skin elasticity and boosting blood for strong erections.