One of the great reliefs in life is that which comes from scratching a mighty itch. Unfortunately, when a man has an itchy penis, seeking relief can lead to the embarrassment of being caught with his hands down the front of his pants. An itchy penis is one of the more common penis health matters and the list of potential causes is long. This article will look at one of the more obscure potential causes, pityrosporum folliculitis.

About pityrosporum folliculitis

Also sometimes called mallassezia folliculitis, pityrosporum folliculitis looks a lot like acne - and often is misdiagnosed as such. It presents as lot of little red raised bumps pretty much anywhere on the body, including on the penis. Acne occurs when hair follicles get all plugged up with excessive oil and dead skin cells. A similar occurrence brings about pityrosporum folliculitis, except in this case it is a yeast that is responsible for the clogging up of the follicles. (That yeast, by the way, is the mallassezia yeast, which accounts for the alternate name for the condition.)

That may sound a bit odd, but the fact is that yeast live in and on the body naturally, and mallassezia under normal circumstances is harmless. It’s just when there’s too much of it for the follicles to handle that it becomes an issue. Aside from being itchy (sometimes exacerbatingly so) and perhaps marring one’s appearance, they are basically benign.


Anyone can get pityrosporum folliculitis, but it does tend to occur most often in adolescent boys and young adult men. It is much more likely to occur in humid climates, but even people in cold parts of the world can contract it if other conditions are right. People whose sebaceous glands produce a lot of oil are also more prone to develop it, as are people who sweat a lot. (Both oils and sweat encourage the yeast to overproduce.) In addition, some medications and treatments may bring it about, especially use of antibiotics or of steroids like prednisone. And, as with so many conditions, a person whose immune system is compromised or suppressed may be more likely to develop it.

Often, pityrosporum folliculitis is misdiagnosed as acne, and basic acne medications have little to no effect on it. Most often, doctors recommend treating pityrosporum folliculitis with an oral mediation specially formalized for fighting yeast. Sometimes a topical treatment is used, if a person is unable to tolerate the oral medication; however, in general the topical mediation is less quickly effective. In recent years, some doctors have reported success in treating the condition with photodynamic therapy, in which specific measured light exposure is used to eliminate the excess yeast production.

Again, proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary, as using the wrong treatment (such as one intended for acne) may result in the condition lingering for months.

In some cases, if the itchiness of the skin is especially bad, the doctor may recommend treating that symptom separately. This often involves the use of antihastamines, which are generally very effective at helping to resolve itchiness.

In addition, a man may find additional relief from an itchy penis brought about by pityrosporum folliculitis if he regularly applies a first class penis health oil (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Just as antihistamines may help alleviate some of the need to scratch, so too can finding a proper oil that can keep the penis skin moist. For this goal, the oil should contain both a high bend emollient (such as shea butter) and a natural hydrator (such as vitamin E). The oil can further strengthen the skin if it also includes alpha lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant that fights damaging oxidative stress.