Arguably, the most valued possession on a man, the penis needs the utmost care. Can we get some amen first?!

When most people think about penis health, they think about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and erectile dysfunction only. While these conditions can certainly affect the health of your penis, penile health is about so much more than that. Yes please!

Penis health will help it perform the duties it was created for. Give it the care it deserves and you may not be the only one to benefit – your partner will probably be grateful too. Speaking of which, Valentine’s is around the corner and you need to be on your A-Game.

How do you clean the penis:
Gently wash the penis with warm water when you’re having a shower. If you have a foreskin, gently pull it back and wash underneath. When it’s time to dry off, tenderly retract the foreskin again so you can dry the head of the penis with a towel. Then pull the foreskin forward back to its normal position.

If you don’t correctly wash underneath the foreskin, a cheesy-looking substance called smegma may begin to gather. Did you know that 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, called balanitis.

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, which is common.

It may be tempting to use deodorants on your penis but it is best to avoid this because they might get under the foreskin and cause irritation. It is also key to note that excessive cleaning removes essential body oils that would normally keep the skin moist and reduce friction. What we are trying to communicate here is that always keep the balance when cleaning your penis.

Don’t forget to clean the base of the penis and the testicles, where sweat and hair can combine and produce a strong smell, just as unpleasant as that in your armpits.

These areas need frequent washing to stop sweat from accumulating, especially as they are enclosed in underwear or boxers for a bigger part of the day. Make sure the area between the base of the testicles and the anus is also clean and odor-free. You can read more about how to keep the butt crack area clean here .

Effects of not cleaning the penis regularly
It leads to build up of smegma
You are likely to get penile thrush
It will become a breeding ground for bad bacteria that could result in infections

Everything else you need to know about penis hygiene

If the head of your penis becomes painful, itchy red, and has a discharge, you may have a treatable condition called balanitis. It’s more common if you have a foreskin. And the bacteria and fungus that cause it like the warm and moist conditions under there.

Skin disorders, infection, poor hygiene, friction from sexual activity, and using too much soap could also cause the condition.

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