While not generally considered a vital organ like your heart or lungs, many men would say a healthy and happy penis is vital to their overall health, confidence, and well-being.
When you have issues like erectile dysfunction, your mental and physical health risks increase significantly. So here are some simple hygiene rules for a healthier penis and a happier you.
Make this your daily hygiene routine:
Wash your penis every day. Concentrate on gently cleaning the glans (the tip of your penis) with warm water and mild soap. No need to scrub, obviously. It’s best to use a soap for sensitive skin with no added scent or chemicals that cause irritations. Don’t use scented deodorants, colognes, body washes, or lotions that may contain heavy perfumes or even alcohol on the penis as you can negatively impact sensitivity.
If your foreskin is intact, gently pull it back, and wash and rinse the head of your penis and underneath the foreskin daily with warm water and mild soap to prevent infection. But don’t pull too hard because this can cause injury. After cleaning the tip of your penis, clean the base of your penis and your scrotum with the same gentle motion, warm water, and mild soap. Finish this step with a quick self-exam of your genitals:
Stay relaxed as you hold the top of your scrotum
Move your fingers and thumb gently down each testicle to feel for abnormalities
Lumps or hard tissue abnormalities can feel like grains of rice up to grape-sized
You should feel a natural lump on the back of your testicles called the epididymis
Next, feel for tissue damage or lesions on the shaft of your penis to the head by squeezing lightly and noting lumps or tenderness.
If your foreskin is intact, pull back the skin, and examine the area visually and by touch.
After washing your genital area, pat it dry with a clean towel. If your foreskin is intact, remember to pull back the skin to dry off any moisture and prevent further infection. Wearing clean and dry underwear is essential to good hygiene. While hand-washing is essential after every bathroom break, you should also have clean hands before you urinate if you’ve been handling chemicals, heat rubs, or even naturally spicy foods that contain skin-irritating chemicals (chili peppers are a painful example).
Routine genital self-exam may only take a minute or two, but it can be a lifesaver. Some things to watch out for include:
Sometimes there will be thick, white discharge under an intact foreskin called smegma. Too much smegma may encourage bacterial growth and infection, or the discharge may harden under the foreskin. If you’re concerned about an unpleasant odour or smegma build-up, follow the hygiene rules above. Don’t scrub the area or pull the foreskin because harsh handling can cause an injury or a tear.
A rash or itch, pain or tenderness, or a discharge around the head of the penis may be an infection called balanitis. It’s treatable, but it is common when an intact foreskin isn’t cleaned correctly.
Irregular penis hygiene can also cause phimosis, causing the intact foreskin to constrict and unable to be pulled back.
If you have concerns about abnormalities while examining your penis, don’t put off calling your healthcare provider. They’ve seen it all before, and in most instances, what worries you is often nothing. But better to be safe than sorry. Good penis hygiene can take you a long way, but not all penis problems are preventable by good hygiene. If you experience symptoms like the following, it’s best to consult your doctor.
Unusual changes to how or when you ejaculate sperm
A sudden decrease in sexual desire
Bleeding when you urinate or ejaculate
Burning when you urinate
A rash or wart on your penis or around your genitals
A painful bend or curve to the penis that makes intercourse too difficult
Unusual discharge from your penis
An injured penis that causes you severe pain
If you still find it embarrassing to talk to your doctor about your symptoms, think of it this way. It’s your body, and you owe it to yourself to take charge of your health.
Why Are Regular Exams Important?
Take charge of your health and schedule an annual physical with your doctor. Your physical should include an examination of your genitals, like the self-exam we explained earlier. Gentlemen who invest in their health and wellness can reap the physical and mental benefits for life, including better sex and increased intimacy with those you care about. Of course, It’s not always easy to prioritize yourself, but at Pecker Nectar we know the good things are hard! We are after all, advocates for men’s sexual health.