Have you been noticing an itchy scratch on your penis? The chances are that it could be scabies. It is an infestation of small parasitic mites that can affect various parts of your body. These mites usually prefer warm places like skin folds or genital areas like the penis.
A less common variant of scabies is nodular scabies. Often involving the genitalia, it is characterized by pruritic (urge to scratch), firm, and persistent nodules. Usually, this variant represents the hypersensitivity reaction to reserved mite parts.
Read on to know about the symptoms of scabies and how to prevent them!
Scabies symptoms may vary depending on the genital area. Here are some of the common symptoms of scabies.
Scabies on Scrotum
Raised pimple-like bumps and intense itchiness are some of the main scabies scrotum symptoms. They occur when mites reproduce on the surface of your skin and lay eggs.
Also read: What is Balanitis?
Scabies on Testis
Symptoms for scabies on the testes or testicles include crusty, blister-like sores and raised red lines.
Scabies on Penis
Scabies on the penis can arrive like raised bumps or blister-like sores. One of the most common symptoms, however, is intense itchiness that usually worsens at night.
In individuals experiencing scabies for the first time, these symptoms may start showing after 4-6 weeks. Excessive scratching can also lead to secondary skin infections.
In most cases, a qualified doctor can diagnose scabies with a physical exam. An individual with itchy skin and marks or blister-like sores probably has scabies. But, while most people experience itchiness, not every person will have scabies. Doctors confirm scabies by taking a sample and analysing the skin scraping.
They check for the presence of mites or their eggs under a microscope. That said, some other conditions may be confused with scabies. These include lice, flea bites, syphilis, and eczema.
Scabies on Penis Treatment
If you’re worried about scabies, don’t be. It’s a treatable condition. You can avoid it by not coming in contact with individuals who have scabies. It’s also essential to avoid being near their belongings. That said, it is vital to take prompt treatment for scabies on the penis. More so if you have a weak immune system.
So if you have scabies on your penis, doctors might recommend taking showers with hot water. Scabicides are another thing that they might recommend. These are scabies mite killing medications that come as creams and pills.
Permite lotion is another popular treatment. As an antiparasitic medication, it works by killing the mites and their eggs. You must read the instructions and follow the doctor’s prescription for optimal effect.
Here are some of the medications that your doctor might recommend:
- Steroid Cream to help relieve swelling and itchiness
- Antibiotics to heal and prevent the infection
- Antihistamine medication like Benadryl to control itching
For all those individuals who have scabies on the penis, here are a few tips that you can follow to avoid the infestation from spreading:
1. Remember to wash your bedding and towels in hot water
2. Dry all the washed clothes at high heat
3. Carpets and mattresses are some items that you can’t wash. So clean them with a vacuum
4. Avoid sex until the mites have disappeared
Additionally, if the symptoms persist for more than 3-4 weeks after starting treatment, you must visit the doctor.
Also read: Penile infections
While you can’t prevent scabies from spreading to your genitals if you already have scabies, here are some of the things you can do for general prevention.
- Do not share linens and avoid close contact with people who have scabies. You must wait till they complete their treatment.
- Practise personal and intimate hygiene regularly
- Limit your time in overcrowded areas and spaces
- Intervene at the first sign of potential concern
- Avoid sharing clothes or towels with other individuals.
Hima Gopinath, Kaliaperumal Karthikeyan (2020) Genital scabies: Haven of an unwelcome guest (U.S. National Library of Medicine) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7529175/