Men’s health specialists often hear from patients with concerns about peeling penis skin. Dry, itchy, flaky skin is unattractive, to say the least, and it can be alarming, especially for men who may have neglected to cover up during a recent encounter. Fortunately, in most cases, there is a simple explanation, and the itching and peeling can be treated easily at home through improved hygiene techniques and ongoing attention to penis care. On the other hand, some men may require more intensive treatment, including prescription medications, so it is best to check with a doctor for proper diagnosis.

Some common causes of dry, peeling penis skin

1) Eczema - Also known as dermatitis, eczema is a superficial inflammation of the skin that is usually caused by an irritant in the immediate environment. It can appear as a raised rash with peeling skin, and it can be moderately to severely itchy. Men who have a rash with peeling skin and an itchy penis may be treated with over-the-counter cortisone creams. As these medications can be damaging to the skin with long-term use, all instructions should be followed for use, and a moisturizer should be applied at the same time.

2) Psoriasis - This chronic condition is an autoimmune disorder in which the body overproduces skin cells, causing rough, reddened skin with flaky, whitish or silvery patches. On the penis, this can appear as dry skin, with a red layer underneath. Psoriasis is generally treated with topical creams.

3) Allergies or intolerances - Skin allergies or intolerances to environmental irritants can result in itchy, peeling skin, as well as redness and rashes. Men who have known allergies should avoid contact with allergens that might trigger a reaction and may use antihistamine creams or moisturizers to deal with any symptoms.

4) Candida (yeast) or other fungal infections - Fungal infections, including yeast infections (thrush), can cause itching, peeling and dryness of the skin, as well as swelling and a thick discharge. Fungal infections generally require treatment with a topical antifungal cream.

5) Balanitis - Swelling of the foreskin, along with itching, redness, soreness and peeling, are often diagnosed as balanitis, an umbrella term for inflammation of the foreskin and glans. This is most often caused by poor hygiene, although skin infections are also indicated by these symptoms. Cleaning the area well, and in some cases applying medicated creams, are generally recommended for treatment.

Checklist for dry penis skin care

Once the source of the problem has been determined, men should follow their physician’s recommendations for care, including using any prescribed medications as directed. In addition, they can support the healing process and improve overall penis health by observing the guidelines here:

1) Keep the skin clean. Skipping a shower once in a while won’t cause much harm, but men who neglect their hygiene on a regular basis are prone to recurring skin infections.

2) Wash with warm, not hot water. Hot water tends to leech oils from the skin, rinsing away the natural lubricants that keep the skin soft and supple.

3) Use sensitive skin cleansers and detergents. Body care and laundry care products often contain harsh soaps or detergents that wash away the oils from the skin, leaving it feeling dry, itchy, tight and uncomfortable. Using hypoallergenic or sensitive skin products can prevent overly dry skin from developing.

4) Drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration starts on the inside; men should follow the 8-glass-a-day rule for smoother, plumper skin.

5) Make use of a penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). A top-drawer product made with natural emollients like Shea butter and vitamin E can soothe the skin, lock in moisture and provide a smooth, even, attractive appearance.