Penis odor happens. For some men, it’s an occasional nuisance; for others, it’s a constant concern. A light musk is not only natural, but pleasant. However, strong, persistent and foul odor can cause significant embarrassment for a man. It can also pose a formidable obstacle to a healthy sex life. There are several steps men can take to reduce penis odor, some of which are healthy and others that are bad for penis health. Learning the right and wrong ways to deal with the issue can help men take the best care of themselves possible while pursuing a remedy.

The Bad

Men for whom a regular washing schedule is not sufficient to reduce the odor wafting from the groin region may be tempted to reach for fragrant products to at least cover up the smell. Scented soaps, body washes, lotions and sprays are all common recourses taken by men for whom masking the smell seems the only option.

While this temptation is understandable, it is really best avoided. Scented products generally contain chemicals that can irritate and damage the delicate skin of the penis, sometimes even interfering with the skin’s ability to experience normal sensations. Even some natural fragrant products are best avoided - astringent ingredients like citrus and mint may sting the member.

Aside from the possible harm fragrant products can cause to the penis, it’s worth noting that simply covering up a problem is inferior to addressing it at the root.

The Good

There are several safe steps men can take to reduce penis odor. Men for whom these steps are ineffective may want to get checked by a doctor for infections. Certain bacterial or fungal infections can come along with persistent odor, and getting rid of the smell requires treating the underlying cause. Often, when an infection is present, odor is not the only symptom. Abnormal discharge, burning upon urination and/or a rash may be present as well.

Barring infection, the following odor-reduction steps are likely to prove effective for most men:

- Trim the hedges: A thick mound of pubic hair invites sweat to the region; sweat invites bacteria, and bacteria invites odor. The extent of manscaping a guy pursues is a matter of personal taste. He can simply tame the shrub or remove it altogether by shaving himself bare down there.

- Powder up: Sweat-prone men may need an additional measure to reduce wetness in the region. Using a powder to keep the area dry, particularly in the hot months or when performing manual labor, can help.

- Wear loose, cotton boxers: Breathability is an important factor when choosing undergarments. Loose-fitted boxers made of cotton allow for good air circulation, which helps reduce sweat.

- Wipe smegma away: Intact men know that it’s important to gently retract the foreskin and wash away any buildup underneath while showering. But for some men, once a day might not be sufficient to prevent odors. Such men can wet their fingers in the bathroom and wipe smegma away numerous times a day, such as every time they urinate.

Use a penis health crème. Some men have excess odor in the groin due to the presence of bacteria, and using a product with the natural anti-bacterial ingredient vitamin A can be useful in addressing the problem. A quality penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) will contain this and other ingredients to support optimal penile health. Look for vitamin C, which promotes collagen production for firm, youthful penis skin as well as acetyl L-carnitine, an ingredient that encourages optimal nerve health. Skin care is for men, too, and not just any product is appropriate to apply to the penis. Adding a penis-specific product to a man’s care regimen can give him the leg up he needs to reduce odors and present the most appealing package possible.