You may have been told that your testicles will itch when you have a medical condition such as an STI and that is not entirely wrong information. But that is not the only reason. Itchy testicles can happen if you sweat more than usual around your groin region. The testicles are ball-like shaped tissue below your penis which is covered by the scrotal sac. Having an itch on or around your testicles or your scrotum, the sack of skin that holds your testicles in place, isn’t uncommon. Not bathing for a few days can cause your testicles to itch. Now let us look at some medical conditions that can cause the testicles to itch.
Dry skin around your genital area is common if you walk around in dry heat. Exercising for long periods of time at a time can also cause your skin to get irritated or chafed. In some cases, the skin can be rubbed away enough to cause bleeding.
The signs of irritation are skin feeling raw to the touch, there is redness or rash on the skin and there are surface-level cuts or openings in your skin
Fungi are tiny living things almost invisible to the human eye. They can form on the skin and cause disease. Fungal infections can easily develop around your genital area and testicles if you have unprotected sex or poor hygiene.
A common fungal infection of the genitals is Candidiasis. Candidiasis is caused by the Candida fungi. They live in or on your body in your intestines and skin. If they grow out of control, they can cause an infection. This can cause your testicles to get itchy.
Genital herpes is a type of viral infection that can be spread during sex or physical contact with infected skin. The testicles can feel extremely itchy or uncomfortable when an infection occurs. Other symptoms of genital herpes include:
- feeling exhausted or sick
- burning or itching around your testicles and penis
- blisters around your genital area that can pop and become open sores
- pain while urinating
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), often referred to as a sexually transmitted disease (STD), caused by bacteria. It can infect your genital area as well as your mouth, throat, and rectum. It’s easily transmitted by unprotected sex. Gonorrhea can make your testicles itchy and swollen.
Genital warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). You may not notice genital warts even when you have an outbreak because they can be extremely small.
Like warts on other parts of your body, genital warts usually look like small, discolored bumps that may or may not be itchy. They’re often cauliflower-shaped and appear in large groups together with other warts. They may appear right on your scrotum or as far away as your inner thighs. When you have genital warts, you may notice swelling in the area or bleed during sex.
Chlamydia is an STI spread by a bacterial infection. It can be spread even if you don’t ejaculate during sex. Like many other STIs, it can also be spread through genital sex as well as oral and anal sex.
Chlamydia can make your testicles itchy and even swollen. Chlamydia usually makes only one testicle feel painful and swollen, which is one of the most distinct signs that you may have an infection.
Pubic lice (Pthirus pubis, often known simply as “crabs”) are a type of lice that live in the pubic hair around your genital area or in areas with similarly coarse hair.
Like other types of lice, pubic lice feed on your blood and can’t fly or jump. They can only be spread by coming into contact with someone who has them. This can happen by touching someone in an area where they have a lice infestation.
Pubic lice can’t spread disease or infection when they feed on your blood, but they can make your testicles and genital area feel itchy as they crawl around in your pubic hair. You may also notice a powder-like substance in your underwear or small red or blue spots from louse bites.
Trichomoniasis is a bacterial STI caused by the Trichomonas vaginalis bacteria. Trichomoniasis infects women more, but it can be transmitted to men during unprotected sex. Many people who get Trichomonas infections never have any symptoms, but it can cause irritation or inflammation that can make your genital area feel uncomfortable and make it more painful to have sex.
Scabies is a skin infection that is caused by a mite. The microscopic scabies mite, or Sarcoptes scabiei, is transmitted when you have direct skin contact with an infected person. It may take several weeks for symptoms to appear after infection. Common symptoms include itching and a rash. People with scabies also experience intense itching symptoms at night.
How are itchy testicles treated?
The treatment for itchy testicles depends on the cause of the itch. For many of these cases, good personal hygiene will resolve the itching. For others that are caused by tiny living things, you might need to see a doctor.
For skin irritation and chafing
Chafing and irritation can be treated using lotion or powder that prevents your skin from rubbing against another surface of the skin. Using bandages or gauze to cover up a chafed, the irritated area can also help make your testicles less itchy.
To treat fungal infections
Fungal infections can go away on their own, but you may need to be treated with antifungals or antifungal creams and ointments. See your doctor for antifungal medication if you believe a fungal infection is causing your testicles to itch.
To treat genital herpes
You may need to take an antiviral medication, such as valacyclovir (Valtrex) or acyclovir (Zovirax), for a genital herpes outbreak. The treatment lasts for about a week, but you may need long-term medication if you get outbreaks frequently.
To treat gonorrhea
Gonorrhea infections can be treated and cured with prescription medication. Talk to your doctor about getting treatment as soon as you notice symptoms. Long-term complications of gonorrhea, such as infertility, can’t be cured once the damage has been done.
To treat genital warts
Genital warts can be treated with medicated ointments for your skin, such as imiquimod (Aldara) and podofilox (Condylox). In some cases, your doctor may need to remove warts by freezing them (cryotherapy) or performing surgery to remove them.
To treat chlamydia
To treat pubic lice
Pubic lice can be treated with medications prescribed by your doctor or by over-the-counter treatments. Thoroughly washing the affected area and applying the medication helps kill many of the lice, but you’ll still need to comb through the hair to remove the rest yourself. You can buy kits for lice removal at many drugstores.
To treat trichomoniasis
Trichomonas can be treated with several doses of tinidazole (Tindamax) or metronidazole (Flagyl). After taking the medication, don’t have sex again for at least a week.
To treat scabies
Your doctor can prescribe ointments, creams, and lotions that can get rid of scabies and treat the rash and itching. Most topical treatments for scabies are applied at night when the mites are most active. It’s then washed off in the morning.
Some of these conditions may require you to talk to your doctor about a treatment plan or medication in order to take care of the source of the itch.
How to prevent itchy testicles
- Shower at least once a day or after you’ve been outside for a long time, especially if you’ve been sweating a lot.
- Wearing condoms or using oral dams during sex can help prevent the spread of almost any STI.
- Get tested for STIs regularly.
- Talk to your sexual partners if you find out that you have an STI. It’s likely that you either transmitted the disease to them or contracted it from them, so make sure that you and your partners get treated to prevent the infection from spreading any further.
Practicing personal hygiene can prevent most causes of itching around the testicles. Have your bath at least once a day. And if you have been outside for too long or you exercise for a long time, make sure to bathe as soon as possible and moisturize the groin area.