Men who are serious about penis health (and that really should be all men) make it a habit to inspect their members and the surrounding area for anything that looks or feels out of place. That should include checking out an itchy penis to make sure that it’s not being caused by a condition that needs treatment - such as scabies. Not every itch is cause for concern, but a persistently itchy member should inspire a guy to take a close look for the cause.

What are scabies?

Scabies is one of those scary terms that conjures up images of a grossly unhygienic individual - but in fact, most people don’t have a very precise idea of just what scabies is.

In fact, scabies refers to a very persistent infection that is characterized by an itch that is relentless. It physically presents as bumps or blisters; often an itchy penis resulting from scabies will present with what appear to be small pimples. In many cases, the number of bumps or pimples can be quite large. And while this article is focusing on scabies on the penis, they can occur on many other parts of the body as well.

What causes scabies?

Scabies is caused by tiny little mites (called Sarcoptes scabiei) that are invisible to the naked eye. They get underneath the skin and create an infection, which results in the profusion of bumps. Some people who have a compromised immune system may contract a form known as Norwegian or crusted scabies; in these cases, the lack of an immune response may allow for hundreds or thousands of mites to invade the body, creating infection throughout the body. However, most people who experience scabies contract the "normal" version, which, while annoying, is not dangerous.

Scabies is considered a very contagious disease, and it is frequently passed on through sexual contact, so yes it is classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be contracted through other forms of skin-to-skin contact; from sharing clothes worn by a person with scabies; or from sleeping in bedding in which scabies mites are present. Worldwide, about 300 million cases of scabies occur annually.


No over-the-counter medications have been shown to cure scabies, although they may help to relieve symptoms associated with the condition. Doctors can prescribe specific drugs for killing the mites that cause scabies and for clearing up the resulting infection.

If a person has been infected with scabies, it is usually necessary to take steps to remove mites from clothing, bedclothes, towels and furniture that may be harboring the pests. Fabrics should be washed in soapy, hot water, while furniture and carpets should be thoroughly vacuumed; after vacuuming, the bags should be disposed of. It’s recommended that shoes be sealed in a plastic bag for a week before being worn again.

It’s also recommended that a man refrain from partner-based sexual activity until he is sure that the scabies is gone. While wearing a condom will provide some protection, the mites could still be passed on from parts of the body not covered by the condom.

Fortunately, not every itchy penis is caused by scabies - but a man should be prepared in case it is. One thing that can help with some of the symptoms is to apply a top notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) to the penis. This will not cure the scabies, but a really good crème can help alleviate the symptoms - including that insistent itch. A crème that is blessed with both a high end emollient (shea butter is a marvelous one) and a natural hydrator (such as vitamin E) will moisturize the skin and provide soothing relief. Maintaining healthy penis skin in general will also help minimize the rash associated with scabies, so a crème with a vitamin B5 is valuable. This vitamin is associated with penis cell metabolic improvement and the maintenance of penile cells in a robust manner.