Feeling an itch in the groin region, especially in the testicles, is a relatively common condition and which is not generally related to a health problem, as it usually happens due to sweat or constant friction in that area, throughout the day.
However, if the itchiness is very intense and causes little wounds in the skin, it could be the first symptom of a more serious problem, like an infection or skin inflammation.
Therefore, if the itchy feeling does not disappear quickly, it’s best to visit a urologist or a dermatologist, before using any kind of cream or treatment. The doctor can identify if there really is a problem and recommend proper treatment.
The main causes for itchy testicles include:
1. Excessive sweating
Excessive sweating in the private parts is the main cause for an itchy feeling in the scrotum and, for that reason, this symptom usually happens at the end of the day or after doing some intense exercise.
Therefore, bad hygiene is one of the main causes of itchiness due to sweat buildup. In addition, if good hygiene is not adopted, eventually there may appear some infections in the region, due to fungi, as these multiply easily in warm and damp areas.
What to do: you should always try to clean yourself properly and have a shower at least once a day, and every time you sweat a lot after physical exercise. The itchy feeling usually goes away after having a shower.
2. Constant friction
Constant friction is also one of the main causes of itchy testicles. This problem is more common in cyclists and runners, as they spend many hours doing repeated leg movements, which ends up causing friction in the scrotum area.
What to do: the best thing to do is to avoid friction by not doing repeated leg movements that last a long time. However, if that is not possible you can avoid discomfort by using a groin protector, wearing cotton underwear, and washing yourself well after you have finished doing exercise.
3. Pubic hair removal
Men who remove their pubic hair regularly may feel itchy in the testicle area, especially two to three days after removing the hair. This is because when the hairs start growing again, and pass the skin barrier, they can cause a slight discomfort similar to itchiness.
Even though this sensation disappears after the first hair removal sessions, it can also go on for a while longer, depending on the person’s sensitivity.
What to do: two simple ways to ease the growth of new hair, and decrease the itchy feeling include using a blade to remove the hair in the direction it grows and to keep the skin well hydrated.
4. Fungal infections
The main cause of fungal infections in the groin area is known as Tinea cruris, and it happens when the region is very hot and damp for several hours, leading to excessive development of fungi. That’s why this infection is very common in men who do not shower right after doing exercise or who wear underwear made of synthetic fabrics, which do not allow the skin to breathe.
In these cases, there may be red blotches on the skin, as well as itchiness.
What to do: in most cases, adequate hygiene in the private area removes the infection and relieves the symptoms. However, it is also recommend to wear underwear made of cotton or another natural fabric, which allows the skin to breathe naturally and avoids the development of fungi. In more severe cases, it may also be needed to see a doctor to start appropriate treatment, which may include the use of an anti-fungal creams such as Clotrimazole.
5. Allergic reaction
As with any other part of the skin, the scrotum can also get slightly inflamed due to an allergy. The most common reason for this is wearing underwear made of synthetic materials, such as polyester or elastane, but the allergic reaction could also be due to a soap that contains perfume or chemicals.
What to do: to avoid allergies in the groin region it is recommended to wear 100% cotton underwear. However, if the itching feeling does not improve, it is also advised to try a different soap to wash the genitals, preferably one without chemicals or other potential skin irritants. In more severe cases, a visit to a doctor may be needed, to get a prescription for a lotion with corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone.
6. Lice or crabs
There is a type of louse that can develop in the pubic area and that causes a lot of itchiness, as well as red skin. Even though at the beginning of the infestation it is not possible to see these lice, as time goes on and the amount of lice grows, it is generally possible to see little black dots moving in the pubic hairs.
The transmission of this type of louse usually occurs due to sexual intercourse and so this condition may be considered a sexually transmitted disease.
What to do: remove the lice using a fine-tooth comb after having a shower and use an antiparasitic lotion or spray, prescribed by a dermatologist.
7. Sexually transmitted diseases
Even though it’s not as common, itchy testicles can also signal a sexually transmitted disease (STD), especially herpes or HPV. These infections are very common after unprotected sexual intercourse so if you feel constant itchiness, please visit a urologist.
What to do: if you suspect a sexually transmitted disease, please visit a urologist to confirm the diagnosis and start proper treatment, thus avoiding serious complications from these diseases. To avoid this type of disease altogether, use a condom, especially if you have intercourse with a new partner.