Groin itching can be very common. When you feel it, it is normally accompanied by reddish coloring of the skin and can feel like a burning or tingling sensation.
“This may or may not be associated with painful urination, pain during ejaculation, other gross penile lesions or discharge coming out of the urethra,” adds Dr. Patrick H. Tuliao, a fellow at the Philippine Urological Association and general urologist sub-specializing in oncology, endourology, laparoscopic, and robotic urologic surgery.
There are a number of reasons you can feel an itch down there—from allergies to soaps and detergents to the more serious problems like sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Some of the most common causes, according to Dr. Tuliao are:
1) Urethritis is the medical term for inflammation of the urethra, which is a common cause of penile burning sensation. Itching may be accompanied by pain and discomfort during urination. It develops because of bacteria or virus caught through sexual contact.
2) Cystitis or the inflammation of the bladder is a problem older men are more likely to deal with. It is triggered by urinary tract infection. It may be itchy and inflamed.
3) Prostatitis or prostate inflammation can also be associated with a burning sensation in the genitals. It is likely to occur from certain sexual practices such as having anal sex and having too many sexual partners.
Though itching of the groin may not seem like an emergency, it is important to consult a doctor immediately.
“Itching in the penis can be sign of a sexually transmitted infection,” Dr. Tuliao warns. “Itching associated with urethral discharge, genital ulcers and other skin lesions, should prompt anybody to consult with a physician as soon as possible.”
“The treatment for penile itch depends on the cause of the itch. If it’s due to an allergy, treatment involves avoidance of the allergen with or without medical therapy. If it is due to an infection, then treatment involves antibiotic/antiviral therapy,” he notes.
As tempting as it may be, avoid scratching your crotch because it “will only help spread the infection or worsen the skin inflammation.” This may feel very uncomfortable and may cause further complications such as breaks in the skin and open sores.
Dr. Patrick H. Tuliao conducts consultations at The Medical City, Manila Medical Hospital, and University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center.