Dry skin on the penis can be a very uncomfortable situation, especially if the dry skin has begun to crack or scale in some manner. There are a number of causes of dry penile skin, some of which are easily treated by making a few simple changes in hygiene. Others are of a more serious nature and may require the attention of a physician in order to resolve the issues.
In some cases severe dry skin on the penis may be the result of a reaction to the type of soap used during bathing. The condition may not appear immediately after beginning to use a new soap, requiring a few days or weeks to manifest. Often, switching back to another type of soap, especially one that contains a greater amount of moisturizing agents will correct the problem in a short period of time.
Washing with a strong soap and extremely hot water can also lead to dry skin on the penis. To correct the situation, make it a point to use a soap containing a moisturizer while using lukewarm water. The combination will leave behind an equitable amount of the natural oils that the body secretes to keep the skin supple and healthy, while still leaving the penis and surrounding area clean and fresh.
Another common reason for dry skin on the penis has to do with a change in products used to clean the clothing that comes in contact with the skin. As with bath soap, there is the chance for an adverse reaction to the residue of detergent remaining in clothing as it is worn through the day. Changing back to a detergent that did not cause problems in the past will also allow the dry penile skin to begin healing.
Masturbation without the use of some type of lubricating agent can also lead to dry skin of the penis. In order to avoid the problem, males should make it a point to use some type of water-based lubricant, as this will help to avoid the chafing action that can irritate and dry the skin. Washing immediately after using a moisturizing soap with lukewarm water will help remove the residue of the lubricant, a step that is necessary since the product could cause discomfort as it dries.
Along with the more benign reasons for dry skin on the penis, there is also the potential that a sexually transmitted disease or STD is the root cause of the problem. If the man has been sexually active at any time over the last several months and then he notices dry patches anywhere along the penis, seeing a physician is extremely important. Identifying the presence of a sexually transmitted disease early on not only makes it easier to deal with the issue, but also minimizes the potential for the development of a number of health issues later on.