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Solving the Itchy Penis: Is It Jock Itch or Herpes?

MD - General Medicine
Sexologist, Delhi  •  17 years experience
Solving the Itchy Penis: Is It Jock Itch or Herpes?

When a man has an itch that just won't go away, it's natural to start to worry about what might be causing it. That's especially true when it's an itchy penis he's dealing with. To make matters worse, a man who is sexually active might have cause to believe he has contracted herpes, even if he practiced the best penis care possible during his encounter.

The good news is that for most guys, that itchy penis will turn out to simply be a case of bad jock itch. But for others, the dreaded news of a herpes infection is in their future. How can a guy get insight into which diagnosis he will get for that itchy penis?

The symptoms of jock itch

Many guys wind up with jock itch at some point in their lives, and it's certainly no fun. The biggest symptom is an unrelenting, maddening itch, which can actually morph into pain rather quickly. The pain will be centered on the inner thighs, buttocks and groin. It's especially prominent in the darker areas of the body, such as the bend between the thigh and the torso. That's because it's caused by a tiny fungal spore that thrives in moisture and darkness. That's also why men who tend to work out a lot and sweat plenty down there are more likely to develop jock itch. To make matters worse, a guy will often develop an inflamed, red rash along the affected areas.

The symptoms of herpes

Herpes also presents with terrible itching, which is why men will often worry that their itchy penis is caused by this sexually transmitted disease. In addition, a guy might notice that he feels as though he is coming down with the flu, complete with muscle aches, headache, fever and even swollen lymph nodes. Shortly after this, a guy will start to see tiny blisters appear. They might look like a red rash at first, which can make a man think it's just jock itch. But as the situation progresses, that redness will turn into blisters, very warm to the touch, that are filled with fluid. When the blisters pop, it creates a crusty sore that can be quite painful.

Why they might seem similar

In the beginning of each situation, a man might see redness and some spots that create an overall rash. But in jock itch, the redness might be interspersed with tiny blisters, especially near the edges of the red areas. These tiny blisters don't pop, rarely excrete fluid and go away quickly. With herpes, on the other hand, the blisters pop and turn into sores, and they linger for two weeks or so before they dissipate. In addition, remember that a herpes outbreak often comes along with flu-like symptoms; jock itch does not.

Appropriate treatments

The best treatments for jock itch and herpes are quite different. For jock itch, a doctor will prescribe an anti-fungal cream to be slathered on the area for a few days. This usually works quite well. A guy will also need to step up his penis care game and pay more attention to careful showers, especially after workouts or other sweaty events.

Herpes typically requires a course of medication during breakouts. Some people will choose to take medications on a daily basis to prevent breakouts in the first place. Again, good penis care is essential, especially the use of a condom during sexual activity. This not only protects a guy's junk, but protects his partners from contracting herpes from him.

For any condition that might cause an itchy penis, a man should reach for a specially formulated penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). The use of this crème can help ensure good daily penis care. A crème that contains alpha lipoic acid to fight the free radicals that can cause skin damage is always a good idea. And since treatments for an itchy penis often result in dry penis skin, a crème that contains luxurious Shea butter and a dose of healthy vitamin E is recommended.

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