The scrotum itches - what's behind it?
Itching in the testicle area is not uncommon and can be aggravated by sweating in particular. In the case of itching in the crotch, insufficient hygiene is often the cause. But other medical causes can also hide behind the symptom of itching. Fungi, bacteria, mites or other pathogens can cause similar symptoms. A dermatologist can provide clarity here and determine who is responsible. However, a family doctor or urologist can also be helpful in making a diagnosis.
Classic causes are:
poor intimate hygiene and care
Chafing from clothing that is too tight
Inflammation of the testicle by germs (fungi, bacteria, viruses, mites, ...)
Sexually transmitted diseases (pubic lice, chlamydia, gonorrhea, scabies, ...)
There are several causes of itchy testicles. If washing the genital area is neglected and sweat and germs accumulate, itching can occur. Most of the time, cleaning the genital area in the shower or bath is enough to let the skin breathe for a short time. However, poor intimate hygiene is not the only cause. Intimate hygiene also plays a role. Particularly with dry scrotum skin, the skin is irritated and begins to itch. In the worst case, the dry heat in the underpants can rub the skin. However, underwear that is too tight can also lead to irritation by rubbing against the skin. In addition, you should also pay attention to new detergents and consider whether it is a possible allergic reaction.
An infection with germs such as bacteria or viruses, but especially also fungi on the scrotum, are conceivable causes of itching. If a rash occurs in addition to the itching, this can also speak for a fungal infection. It should also be possible to rule out the possibility of a genital herpes outbreak or a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea, pubic lice or chlamydia. In scabies, the testicles are actually always affected and, in addition to severe itching, small papules occur that can also affect the penis shaft.
To find the correct cause, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist who has a professional background in skin and venereal diseases. Alternatively, urologists and general practitioners are also a good point of contact for itching on the scrotum.
You might also be interested in these topics:
- Inflammation of the testicle
- Mushrooms on the scrotum
Fungi such as Candida albicans live naturally on human skin or in the intestines. As a rule, however, the immune system and other germs that colonize humans ensure that there is no excessive spread. Poor hygiene or factors such as stress that weaken the immune system can lead to an imbalance and a germ that can spread particularly well. Often men then notice a burning sensation and itching in the area of the scrotum and penis as well as a reddish rash and an unusual odor. The skin may become flaky and the scrotum or penis may swell. A doctor may prescribe an antifungal drug that can stop the fungal attack.
Read also: Fungal infection on the testicles or fungus on the penis
The dermatologist first looks at the skin of the testicles and uses the appearance of the region to assess which diseases are possible. In most cases, a trained dermatologist can identify the cause with relative certainty at a glance. In order to be able to reliably detect germs such as fungi or bacteria, a swab can be taken from the skin. Often, however, a drug is given for treatment before the result of the smear is known, as the visual diagnosis is usually correct and the smear is only used for checking and possibly a resistance test.
A biopsy, in which a piece of skin is removed and examined under a microscope, can be done to clarify the cause, but is an absolute rarity and is only done in everyday clinical practice if an atypical cause is suspected, as all common causes are excluded could.
These articles might also interest you:
- Diseases of the testicles
- Inflammation of the testicles
Itching rarely occurs alone and is usually accompanied by other symptoms. However, these can help to find the cause and better classify the clinical picture. In the text below you will find various symptoms that can occur in addition to itching in the testicle area.
If the skin is flaky and itchy, the likelihood of a fungus is extremely high. The term tinea inguinalis describes a fungal infection in the groin or genital area. The mushrooms usually grow in a circle, which is why the scaling is more in the edge area where the mushroom is active. In particular, men who sweat a lot in the genital area and wear tight, tight trousers, as is common in cycling, for example, are more affected because fungi feel good where it is damp and warm. Although fungi on the skin are part of the normal flora, they can also be transmitted during sexual intercourse or through clothing or towels used in common. The dermatologist usually recognizes a fungus through a visual diagnosis and can prescribe an anti-fungal agent (antifungal).
If the itching is moderate and flaking is still present, pseudomycosis due to erythrasma can also be considered. It is caused by bacteria and should also be treated by a dermatologist.
Read more about this under: Fungi on the testicles
If the skin is dried out, the natural skin barrier is no longer intact and therefore more sensitive to external stimuli. That leads to itching. The skin also loses a lot of fluid. Oily creams can ensure that the protective barrier of the skin is restored and the fluid is stored. However, it is also important to drink enough water to supply the body with sufficient fluids. Fruit and vegetables also often contain a lot of fluids. However, alcohol and cigarettes dry out the body and should therefore be avoided.
Further information on male skin care in general can be found here: Skin care for men
Oozing skin on the testicles
In general, weeping areas of the skin occur almost exclusively as part of eczema or a rash. on. The causes for this can be very different. Fungal or bacterial infections are an important cause that should be investigated. The wet spots are often caused by bubbles, which sometimes only exist for a very short time, so that you often go unnoticed. It is also not uncommon for this secretion to become encrusted and change the skin condition as a result. It is important to keep the areas dry so that no more germs come in and worsen the problem. Powders or pastes that can dry out the wet areas are often used in this context.
Redness of the testicle
Reddening is a classic sign of inflammation and can therefore be caused by bacteria or other pathogens. But also abrasive clothing, lack of intimate hygiene and irritation from sweat or just a new detergent that the fine skin below does not tolerate can be responsible for the symptoms. Therefore, you should be able to narrow down possible triggers by careful consideration.
Lotions or creams can be used to relieve irritation. To achieve a cooling effect, water-based care products such as lotions or gels are recommended. But powders can also help to minimize friction from clothing, even if this was not the original cause of the discomfort.
Pain in the scrotum
If the scrotum hurts, a doctor should be consulted. In the worst case, it can be dangerous circulatory disorders, testicular torsions or inflammation in the testicles, which can reduce fertility. A urologist can use a physical exam or ultrasound imaging to find the cause.
However, if pain and itching occur at the same time, and clothing that is too tight that rubs against the skin or can trigger an allergic reaction, it is also possible that it is a harmless trigger. If in doubt, it is safer to go to the doctor, as some sexually transmitted diseases can cause pain, especially when urinating.
Read also: Testicular pain and pain in the testicles
Burning of the testicles
Burning and itching in the crotch may be lichen sclerosus et atrophicus, a skin disease that initially leads to burning and itching of the testicular and genital skin and later to nodules and whitish discoloration.
If the burning sensation occurs while urinating, an infection with a skin germ or a pathogen transmitted through sexual contact is possible. A doctor should be seen to find the correct diagnosis.
Nodules in the crotch
In the case of itchy nodules in the genital area, scabies should definitely be clarified. This is a contagious disease in which the scabies mite can be transmitted through prolonged direct physical contact. Therefore, sexual intercourse is a very common source of infection. As a rule, a dermatologist prescribes the neurotoxin permethrin, which only needs to be administered once. However, it is also important to follow the dermatologist's instructions on how to behave, such as washing all kinds of textiles at at least 60 ° C or avoiding close skin contact with others for approx. 24 hours after administering the medication, so as not to infect yourself or other people.
Also Read: How Contagious Is Scabies And Symptoms Of Scabies
Treatment and therapy
Depending on the cause, the treatment is very individual. If a pathogen is the cause, a drug can be administered, regardless of whether it is fungi, bacteria, mites, lice or the like. The complaints should then get better soon. It is important to follow the instructions for use, as shortened intake of antibiotics, for example, promotes the development of resistance.
If inadequate hygiene or skin care is the cause of the discomfort, regular cleaning of the genital area and changing of underwear should help. For dry and irritated skin, it is advisable to use a nourishing cream or lotion that contains urea. However, a dermatologist can recommend the most suitable personal care products.
Duration and forecast
The duration and prognosis are very dependent on the underlying disease and the size and severity of the findings. In general, however, the prognosis is good and should resolve promptly in most cases if adequate treatment is used. However, it is important to carry out the therapy to the end, otherwise the symptoms can come back. However, intimate hygiene and care should always be considered.
Despite the itching, you should urgently avoid scratching the skin, as the micro-lesions and open wounds create a portal for normal skin germs and pests. This can make the symptoms worse and last longer.