ZocdocAnswersCan a stubble cause irritation to the penis?

Question

Can a stubble cause irritation to the penis?

I shave my pubic are and when the stuble gets to long and pokes/rubs on my penis it gets irritated and itch. The same thing happens when I have sex with a woman that has stubble on her vagina.

Answer

Yes, stubble from shaving the genital area can lead to local skin irritation. Hair is made of proteins including keratin that creates a firm structure that can irritate the surrounding skin with poking and rubbing. There are several ways to manage this including either more regular shaving or simply letting the pubic hair grow back out. At long lengths, the hairs do not have the same proximity or rigidity that leads to skin irritation. It may be possible to try softeners such as conditioners as well. Of note though, local irritation to the skin can have other causes as well. For example, shaving with a dull razor can lead to cutting and scraping of the overlying skin, which may lead to burning and rash. Rarely, open skin wounds can get infected and may require antibiotics. Additionally, rashes from sexually transmitted diseases can also present as rash and itching. For example, pubic lice (commonly referred to as crabs) and scabies (pubic mites) are infections by microscopic parasites that can lead to itch and rash. Genital warts and herpes can also lead to cutaneous abnormalities associated with skin irritation. Therefore, if you have continued skin irritation I recommend that you see your doctor for further evaluation and testing if necessary. It is important to practice safe sexual practices, and if you find that you have developed open wounds due to shaving or scratching, please avoid sexual activity until fully healed as the represent openings for blood/sexual fluid borne conditions such as HIV and hepatitis. Again, please speak with your doctor about your concern.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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