Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why do I have irritated penis glans, bad odor?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have irritated penis glans, bad odor?


There are periods of time, where the skin on my penis glans get irritated, having a really bad odor. This irritation occurs randomly and my disappear in 10-20 days, especially if I apply 'Sudocrem' for keeping the area dry. This issue first appeared 3 years ago and all medical exams regarding STDs/Herpes were negative back then. Since then, my penis glans gets irritated about once every 2-3 months. Did you ever met a similar issue? Thank you in advance!


The irritated penis glans and bad odor is not normal and it is important that you visit your primary care doctor. Men have foreskin that cover the penis. Some men are circumcised at birth. If you fall into the category of men who are not circumcised you will have to do a little more work to keep the glans of your penis healthy and clean. The foreskin usually covers the glans unless it is erect during sexual intercourse. For most of the day, the foreskin is a place where bacteria can grow, which can cause odors. After you urinate, urine can also be retained under the foreskin and irritate the glans. You can try to wipe the head of your penis dry with toilet paper after you urinate to minimize the amount of urine that is trapped under the foreskin. You should also pull back the foreskin once a day to clean the head of your penis with warm water. If you do not clean under the foreskin, you can develop something called smegma which is an accumulation of skin, bacteria, and urine. Smegma is white and usually trapped behind the glands of the penis and has a very foul odor. These are some lifestyle measures that you can follow before making an appointment with your primary care doctor. If you are sexually active, you should tell your doctor so he/she can order tests to rule out an STD's that may be contribute to your condition.

Need more info?

See an urologist today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.