Among the many complaints about penis problems, unpleasant and off-putting odors are one of the most common. As a rule most men don’t like to talk about this kind of issue with their health care provider, but a fishy penis smell can be embarrassing and it is certainly not a turn-on for a potential sexual partner. Fortunately, getting rid of an unpleasant penis odor can be as simple as cleaning the skin properly and applying a penis crème which contains natural antibacterial agents and moisturizers.

Causes of fishy penis odor

Unpleasant penis odors are generally a sign of bacteria on the penis skin, especially in uncircumcised men. Dr. David King, director of urology services at the El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos, CA explains that "the most common causes of bad smell around the penis would be related to poor hygiene and skin infections."

Hygiene-related penis odor

Foul penis odor often occurs when dead skin cells build up underneath the foreskin, attracting bacteria which create a fishy smell directly related to lack of proper cleansing. To address this problem, Dr. King recommends that all men pull back the foreskin completely and wash the area underneath with warm water and a mild cleanser. In addition, it is important to dry the area carefully as bacteria thrive in warm, moist places and to pull the foreskin back to its original position.

Yeast infection

Aside from poor hygiene, skin infections can also cause a fishy smell. Thrush, or yeast infection, is often the cause of penis odor and can affect both circumcised and uncircumcised men. Aside from an unpleasant smell, a yeast infection is often accompanied by a cheesy, whitish discharge, as well as uncomfortable burning and itching. Painful urination may also occur if the infection has affected the urethra, or opening at the tip of the penis.

Bacterial vaginosis (in sexual partners)

Men whose female sexual partners are affected by bacterial vaginosis, a condition which also causes a fishy smell due to imbalances in body chemistry, may also experience the odor on their own penis. Again, washing carefully and moisturizing the penis skin can help to address this problem.

Other causes of penis odor

Some of the less-common causes of penis odor include urinary tract infections; the bacteria that cause the infection may spread to the outside of the penis, around the urethral opening, resulting in a detectable fishy smell. In addition, some diabetics are affected by a condition known as ketonuria, in which waste products from the breakdown of fatty acids can accumulate in the urine and cause a fishy odor.

Promoting a healthy penis

Fortunately, most cases of bad penis odor can be resolved fairly easily. As mentioned earlier, proper hygiene is the first step. Aside from keeping the area, clean, men can take the following steps to prevent or eliminate unpleasant penis smells:

1.    Moisturize. Overly dry penis skin often develops minute fissures which allow the bacteria that are often responsible for a fishy smell to penetrate. Natural moisturizers such as shea butter work well for sensitive penis skin, while those containing vitamin E create natural moisture barrier that prevents dehydration.

2.    Reduce the presence of bacteria on the skin. Nourishing the penis skin with natural anti-bacterials such as vitamin A can help to eliminate the presence of odor-causing bacteria and to prevent bacterial infections. In addition, vitamin C can help to boost the immune system and protect the body from disease.

Applying a specialized formula containing penis vitamins moisturizers and other nutrients (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) as part of the daily personal care regimen may help to keep the penis clean, healthy and odor free.