A sure-fire way to ruin a sexual encounter is a foul-smelling genital area. While we’re all accustomed to the normal range of human body odor, a particularly stinky member can be a catastrophe and cause real damage to both an evening and your reputation. It’s even worse if you’re experiencing itching, redness or swelling, because those symptoms together could be an indication of something more serious than just a smelly package. If you’re on a mission for penis odor control and it is a serious problem, keep your symptoms in mind and consider the following causes, as well as a few tips on how to get rid of bad penis smell.

1) Pubic hair is a common culprit that traps sweat, dead-skin cells, oil and bacteria that combine in the dark, moist environment of the groin to produce odors down there. The hair traps natural moisture and makes it almost impossible to stay totally dry, which is a recipe for bacteria and odor. In order to maintain freshness, keep yourself well-groomed and maintained or remove it all together. Tip for those with pubic hair: make sure to towel dry completely after bathing, so as to keep your nether-regions as dry as possible from the start. This could save you from some embarrassing penis odor issues.

2) Smegma is a combination of dead skin cells, moisture, skin oils and sweat. Found in both males and females, it is more commonly found in uncircumcised men, as smegma tends to collect under the foreskin. Smegma is a thick, cheese-like substance that allows bacteria to fester and grow and can also cause redness and irritation. In order to prevent or rid yourself of smegma, ensure properly cleaning of the penis and foreskin, paying very close attention to the folds of the skin.

3) Balanitis is inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis. While this is most common in uncircumcised men, it can appear in circumcised men, too. Improper hygiene can contribute to skin irritation, including both lack of cleansing and too much cleansing. The penis may produce a thick, lumpy and foul-smelling discharge. If these symptoms exist, seek treatment from a medical professional to ensure proper management.

4) Non-cotton clothing does not breathe well and traps heat and moisture, a breeding ground for nasty bacteria that can cause a foul odor when combined with your natural sweat and musk. Buy cotton underwear, as cotton is a breathable fabric and gives your private area the space and air circulation it needs to stay fresh. Jeans are infamous for keeping heat and moisture trapped, so make sure to wear proper underwear under that denim.

5) Yeast Infections frequently occur in men, although they are not as common as female yeast infections. Foul-smelling discharge, tight foreskin and itching are symptoms that can pop up due to candida, the fungus that causes this problem. Candida is normally present on moist skin, but having relations with an affected partner can transmit the infection.

Most of the time, smelly genitalia is just caused by a good old fashioned need for a shower or bath. 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.