Phew! Sometimes a guy doesn’t realize how much penis odor he’s packing until he peels that layer of underwear off and is struck by how much smell wafts up to his nose. (And when he imagines what that must smell like to a partner offering to give him oral sex, he is legitimately horrified.) Of course, sometimes he doesn’t smell a thing – but that doesn’t mean he’s penis odor–free. Penis odor has to reach a certain level for a guy to notice it himself, but that means other people have noticed long before he did. Since sweat is basically the major factor in this common penis health issue, reducing sweat is one way of battling rank penis odor.

Here are a few sweat-related tips on helping to control or reduce unwanted penis odor:

- Be hygienic. This should go without saying, but shower frequently, especially if it is hot and/or one engages in physical activities that produce sweat. Change into fresh clothes daily, if not more often – again, if one sweats heavily, changing underwear more often will help. Consider shaving the crotch if sweat is really problematic, as this can help reduce sweat and sweat retention a little bit.

- Watch the overhang. Men with a bit of a belly, and especially those who are obese and have a significant overhang, need to pay special attention to washing the underside of that overhang. This is true for all men but even moreso for hairy-bellied men. The underside of the belly fold can trap sweat and create a truly rank smell. While it is not directly on the penis, it contributes to overall odor in the crotch region.

- Remember the penis pals. By the same token, be sure that the balls are washed as thoroughly as the penis itself. They are not immune to sweat. And, of equal importance but too often neglected, the perineum – the area between the balls and the butt – should be included in a thorough washing routine.

- Get more antioxidants. Surprisingly, antioxidants – which are amino acids typically found in the body – can help prevent sweat from creating a stink. When the skin is deficient in antioxidants, our natural oils break down faster, and aromas that are naturally held within them are released by the presence of sweat. Even worse, these particular aromas are more persistent and harder to get rid of than the normal variety.

- Use an antiperspirant on it. Sweaty gents most likely already apply an antiperspirant under their arms, but if penis odor is a real problem, they may want to consult with a doctor about using something directly on the penis and balls. There are antiperspirants manufactured specifically for the groin, which take into consideration the special sensitiveness of penis skin.

- Consider padding. He-men of the world may balk at this, but one special trick for helping reduce penis odor caused by sweat is to wear maxi pads. Designed for women to help stanch blood flow, maxi pads can be worn in the front of one’s briefs. They can help absorb excess moisture and odor and can be disposed of after a few hours of sweating (and replaced by another, if needed). This can be an especially wise choice if a guy can’t change underwear and is sweating heavily.

Fighting sweat that causes penis odor is one way to overcome this common problem. Another thing that is a big help is regularly using a superior penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Be sure that the crème selected has both vitamin A and alpha lipoic acid. Why? Well, vitamin A has well-known antibacterial properties that can help eliminate some of the bacteria that results in persistent penis odor. Alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant and, as mentioned above, antioxidants help produce natural oils and keep them from creating odor by breaking down.