Maintaining good hygiene and care of your genitals reduces the chances of developing problems like skin irritations and some common infections. Often it is assumed that men know the steps to good penis care, but it never hurts to remind yourself of the best practices. The same basic principles apply whether you have a foreskin or have been circumcised.
There are things you can do to look after yourself.
- Gently wash your penis each day. Carefully pull back and clean underneath the foreskin, as well as the tip of your penis (the glans) using only water and a very gentle soap. Don’t scrub this sensitive area.
- Make sure you gently pat dry the tip of your penis, the area underneath your foreskin and the rest of your penis. Replace the foreskin over the tip of the penis before putting on your underwear.
- Make sure your underwear has been properly washed, thoroughly rinsed and fully dried before wearing.
- Make sure you wash your hands before you pass urine or touch your penis. This is especially important if you have been handling anything that might irritate your penis, such as chemicals, chilli peppers or heat rub.
If you don’t wash underneath the foreskin correctly, a cheesy-looking substance called smegma may begin to gather.Smegma is a natural lubricant that keeps the penis moist. It’s found on the head of the penis and under the foreskin. If smegma builds up in the foreskin, it can start to smell, stop you easily pulling your foreskin back, and become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause redness and swelling of the head of your penis.
‘Off-putting smell’: It’s really surprising how many men don’t clean underneath their foreskin. Not only do they regularly develop complications from poor hygiene, but it’s also very off-putting for a sexual partner.
While regular personal hygiene is important, too much washing with soap and shower gels can cause soreness. Gently washing your penis once a day with warm water is sufficient to maintain good hygiene. If you want to use soap, choose a mild or non-perfumed soap to reduce the risk of skin irritation. It may be tempting to use talc and deodorants on your penis, but these are best avoided because talc will get under the foreskin, where it may cause irritation. Circumcised men have to be just as careful about cleaning their penis. Gently washing the penis with warm water once a day is sufficient.
Testicles and pubic area: Don’t forget to clean the base of the penis and the testicles, where sweat and hair can combine to produce a strong smell, just as unpleasant as in your armpits. These areas need frequent washing to stop sweat from accumulating, especially as they are enclosed in underwear for most of the day. Make sure the area between the base of the testicles and the anus is also clean and odor-free. Look out for any unusual lumps or swellings in your testicles that weren’t there before.
Last but not the least, Penis is the body part that men arguably value the most, so you owe it to your penis to always keep it clean, healthy and fit for purpose. Give it the care it deserves and you may not be the only one to benefit – your partner will probably be grateful too. So, gently wash the penis with warm water each day when you’re having a shower or bath.