The penis doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, and while sex education both in school and at home may give a guy much of the information he needs to take good care of what he’s got, some situations are bound to arise for which a man is not quite prepared. When this occurs, a man may have questions about what he’s experiencing, particularly about whether it is a sign of poor penis health and how to resolve it. Below is a list of common questions related to the penis along with their answers.

1) Why is the skin cracked? Just like skin on any other part of the body, penile skin can become dry and cracked. The penis is subjected to friction from many sources, including a man’s clothing, his hand and partners’ bodies. If he’s prone to dry skin generally, then he’s more likely to experience it downstairs.

2) What is this odor? A light, natural musk is nothing to worry about. But a man with persistent, strong and unpleasant odor emanating from his member should consider this a sign that he may need to ramp up his hygiene routine. This is particularly true for men with foreskin, as smegma buildup beneath the sheath can attract bacteria that causes odors. For some men, wiping away the smegma once a day in the shower is sufficient; others may need to remove it more frequently.

3) Can masturbation cause a rash/blisters? Some men experience a sudden burst of redness, bumps and/or blisters after a bout of rough solo play. And yes, these symptoms could be attributed to masturbation. However, men who are sexually active should know that there are many kinds of bumps and sores that are symptoms of sexually transmitted infections, and so should be sure to have any unusual signs checked out. If the irritation is caused by the hand, guys can prevent further issues by using more lubrication during solo activities.

4) What are these bumps? Some guys have chronic bumps on their penises that are not attributed to infections. These may be either Fordyce spots or pearly penile papules. Fordyce spots are small and white or yellow, and appear on the shaft and/or head of the penis. Some women have Fordyce spots on their vulvas, and some people have them in their mouths. They are totally benign. Papules are also benign; they are white bumps that form on the ridge of the penile head in one or more rows.

5) What is this bend? Men who watch a lot of adult videos (unless the videos are of the amateur variety) are likely used to seeing manhoods that are straight as an arrow when hard. This can lead to some dismay for men who have curvature down there. But there’s nothing wrong with a curve, so long as it doesn’t interfere with sexual activities (including causing pain for one’s partner). While some older men may experience curvature as a result of scar tissue in the penis (Peyronie’s disease), a bit of a bend is not necessarily a sign of disease or disorder.

Many common penis health concerns involve skin condition, and this is an area that any man would do well to pay attention to. Keeping skin hydrated in general, and lubricated during sexual activity in particular, can prevent chafing and irritation that put the penis out of service for a time; these practices can also help ensure that the skin stays sensitive in the long run. Using a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) is a smart way to ensure the health of the manhood skin. Look for a combination of moisturizers, like Shea butter and vitamin E. Vitamin A is another great ingredient, since it fights odor-causing bacteria. Along with proper washing, using a health crème can boost penis health and keep the member inviting to partners.