Testicular Itching: Causes, Treatments and When to See a Doctor

Testicular Itching: Causes, Treatments and When to See a Doctor

Having a constant urge to scratch an itchy scrotum can be an embarrassing problem for many men. The skin folds around the scrotum and the warm moist environment in the groin create an environment where germs easily flourish. In many cases, a bacterial or fungal infection is to blame for the itching around your testicles. However, sometimes the itching in your scrotum could be a symptom of a more serious ailment.

Getting rid of an annoying itch from your testicles is usually possible by using some effective home remedies. For example, you can make natural testicular ointments from ingredients like coconut oil, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and apple cider vinegar. These have antimicrobial properties and help to reduce itching. Applying these remedies to the sac that holds your testicles helps to soothe scrotum irritation and quickly reduce the urge to scratch. Some oils also help to kill off pubic lice or scabies, that can also cause severe itching in the pubic and groin area.

One of the problems caused by testicular itching is that frequent itching can lead to more complications. For example, scratching your scrotum can cause the itch to get worse, which can then lead to more intense scrotum itching. There is also the risk of causing a secondary bacterial infection in your groin area that can be more problematic to heal.

In this article, you will learn about the reasons why your scrotum itches and how to stop itchy testicles. You will also find out when itching around the scrotal region is an indication of a more serious condition.

Symptoms of Testicular Itching (Itchy Scrotum)

Tight underwear, chaffing, and moisture between your scrotum and upper thighs mean that testicular itching is very common. Very often the scrotal itching will be accompanied by other symptoms that can cause the itch to become more intense.

If you have a very itchy scrotum, you will usually notice a red rash on the scrotal sac. The itchy rash may also spread to the inner thighs or cause itching on the base of your penis. If the itching is caused by a yeast infection, then you may have bumps around the testicles.

Depending on the severity, some inflammatory skin conditions can cause the skin on the scrotum to become very red and it could start oozing fluid before crusting over. In these cases, itching the scrotum will just make it worse and may even cause the skin to crack. Sometimes, blistering on the scrotum and around the genital area could be a result of an STD.

Causes and Treatment of Itchy Scrotum (Testicular Itching)

Usually, good hygiene of the genital area is the first step to getting rid of an itchy scrotum and addressing the underlying health condition. However, too much washing around the genitals with soaps may cause dry scrotal skin and strip away the protective barrier that keeps your skin healthy.

Let’s look at the causes of an itchy scrotum and what you can do to get relief from itching testicles.

Scrotal dermatitis (atopic and allergic)

Scrotal dermatitis, or eczema on the testicles, is a common reason why your testicles itch so much. There are a number of reasons why dermatitis can affect the genital area and cause an intense urge to scratch your groin.

A study published in the Oman Medical Journal reported that the common symptoms of scrotal dermatitis are severe itching, patches or red scaling skin, and thickening of the scrotal sac. Researchers said that factors like stress, sweating, and irritants coming into contact with the scrotum can cause itching and skin scaling.1

Other researchers have found that not rinsing away soaps can also cause eczema of the scrotum.2 According to some studies, constantly itching the scrotum in cases of dermatitis can lead to thickening of the skin. It was even found that sperm count improved in men when dermatitis in the groin was treated properly.3

How to treat scrotal dermatitis

One of the best ways to treat scrotal dermatitis naturally and get rid of the embarrassing scrotal itch is to use virgin coconut oil.

The journal Dermatitis reported that coconut oil contains moisturizing and antibacterial properties that help in treating eczema and dermatitis. Regularly applying coconut oil to eczema-damage skin resulted in fewer skin infections and improvement in the symptoms of dermatitis.4

To stop your scrotum itching so much, apply a little virgin coconut oil 2-3 times a day. This helps to keep your skin moisturized and will help get rid of the itchy red patches of skin on your testicular sac.

Another natural treatment for itchy skin caused by dermatitis is to apply diluted raw apple cider vinegar (ACV). Studies into the anti-itch effect of compounds in apple cider vinegar found that they help to reduce the skin’s pH level and soothe itching. Apple cider vinegar is also a natural antiseptic and will kill off any germs in the groin area.

Just dilute raw unprocessed apple cider vinegar with equal parts of water. Apply the remedy with a cotton pad to the itchy part of your scrotum to reduce the urge to itch and help treat dermatitis. Repeat 2-3 times a day until your scrotum skin is no longer itchy.

You can find other natural ways to cure dermatitis such as chamomile oil, witch hazel, oatmeal, and aloe vera in my article on 13 natural remedies to get rid of eczema.

Lichen simplex

Lichen simplex describes the itch-scratch-itch cycle that often accompanies testicular itching. This means that in many cases of scrotal itching, scratching the itch causes it to become more intense and severe. Dermatologists report that many skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and infections can cause lichen simplex.5

The Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, & Leprology reported that lichen simplex is a common reason for itching in the genital region. After studying many patients, it was found that, in the majority of cases, lichen simplex mostly affected the scrotum and caused chronic scrotal itching for many months.6

To help stop chronic scrotum itching and scratching, try using some witch hazel. Doctors from WebMD say that many people use pure witch hazel to stop skin itching, irritation, and inflammation in many skin ailments.7

To stop testicles itching so much, apply pure witch hazel to the itchy area on your scrotum. This will also help to reduce the severity of itchy testicles that are due to other inflammatory skin conditions.

Jock itch

Jock itch is a common ailment that causes scrotum itch. According to Dr. William Shiel on MedicineNet, jock itch mostly affects the groin area of males and refers to any kind of itch of the scrotum, inner thighs, and groin area. The classic symptoms of jock itch on the scrotum are a pink or reddish itchy rash that is painful and has an unpleasant odor.8

Dr. Laurence Knott on Patient.info says that a common cause of jock itch is a fungal infection (tinea cruris). The warm, moist, and airless environment of the groin allows fungi to infect the skin of the groin. This causes the scrotum to become itchy and irritable and the red rash on the scrotum may spread to the inner thighs.9

How to treat jock itch

One way to treat jock itch is by applying a natural testicle itching ointment containing tea tree oil. A study from 2015 found that the antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil helped to treat jock itch infections. In fact, the natural tea tree oil remedy was just as effective as popular pharmaceutical creams used to treat jock itch.10

To make your own ointment to relieve an itchy scrotum, you can mix tea tree oil with coconut oil. This creates a soothing antibacterial remedy to help treat various fungal and bacterial skin infections.

To make your own anti-itch ointment to reduce scrotum itching, this is what you should do:

  1. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
  2. Apply the ointment to your itchy testicles.
  3. Repeat the application 2-3 times a day to help kill the infection in your groin area.
  4. Use daily until you no longer have irritation and itching around your scrotum and upper thighs.

You should also try to keep the area as dry as possible to help speed up the healing process. For other natural treatments for jock itch, such as calendula oil, colloidal silver and aloe vera please read my article about the best natural remedies for tinea cruris (jock itch).

Scrotal candida

A candida yeast infection can affect the scrotum causing it to become very itchy. Candida usually lives on the skin and doesn’t do any harm. But certain conditions like a weakened immune system and the moist environment of the groin can cause the candida fungi to overgrow. The result is severe scrotal itching.

Dr. Laura Martin on WebMD says that yeast infections around the male genitalia will cause bumps on the scrotum.11 Dr. Jose Hidalgo on Medscape says that along with the itching, you may also have a red rash with small amounts of white discharge.12

To help treat a candida infection on your testicles, you can use the mixture of virgin coconut oil and tea tree oil previously mentioned. The Journal of Medicinal Food published a study showing the anti-candida properties of coconut oil. When comparing coconut oil with a popular anti-candida pharmaceutical, it was discovered that coconut oil was more effective.13

Alternatively, you can make a natural topical treatment to relieve scrotum itching by combining clove oil and cinnamon oil. Both of these essential oils have proven healing properties in treating yeast infections.14

All you have to do is mix 3-5 drops of clove oil and cinnamon oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply the ointment to the itchy rash on your scrotum 2-3 times a day to kill off the infection and soothe the scrotal itching. Repeat every day until the candida infection on your scrotum has gone for good.

Intertrigo of the scrotum

Intertrigo is a condition that occurs between folds of skin and can cause intense scrotal itching. The groin is a common place where intertrigo occurs because of the warm, dark, and moist conditions. Also, friction and the lack of air circulation just aggravate the scrotum itching even more.

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that intertrigo in the genital area at the scrotum can also cause a red rash that is very itchy and oozes fluid. The infected skin area may also give off an offensive odor.15

To help reduce the need to scratch your scrotum, Dr. DerSarkissian recommends trying to keep your skin dry and cool. You can also try applying witch hazel to get rid of the rash and soothe scrotum itchiness.

Pubic lice and scabies

Intense scrotum itching, especially at night, could be a sign that you have pubic lice or scabies. These tiny lice and mites can infect the area around your groin and cause a rash and sores along with the itching.

According to the journal BMJ, scabies causes a severe itch and the scabies mites often affect the male genital area. Even after successfully treating scabies, the itch in the scrotum and genitals can still persist for up to 6 weeks.16

Dr. John Cunha on MedicineNet says that pubic lice are often transmitted by sexual contact. They live in the coarse pubic hair around the genitals and can cause itching around the scrotum. You may also notice the lice crawling or eggs in your genital area.17

To get rid of pubic lice or scabies mites from around your genitals, you can try neem oil. One study into the acaricidal effect of neem oil found that it effectively killed off scabies mites.18

All you need to do is apply neem oil to your genital area once a day. Leave it on for a while then shower. This is because neem oil has a pungent smell. Repeat the neem oil application daily until you no longer have any lice or mites that cause itchy scrotum and pubic area.

Other natural remedies for scabies include tea tree oil, coconut oil, and clove oil. For other natural treatments to treat pubic lice please refer to my article about effective home remedies for lice.

Psoriasis of the scrotum

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that can affect the scrotum and cause patches of itchy skin. Most doctors agree that people who suffer from psoriasis in general, are at higher risk of the skin disease affecting their genitals.

According to the journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, psoriasis commonly affects the groin area. This can cause itchy, scaly skin on the scrotum and can itch chronically. There may also be white lesions on the patches of itchy skin. Usually, the only way to treat psoriasis is to manage the itch.19

To help reduce testicular itching caused by psoriasis, you can use diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) on the affected area. Dilute 1 part of ACV with 3 parts of water and dip a damp warm washcloth in the liquid. Apply the compress for a few minutes to your scrotum for instant relief from itching. Repeat a few times a day when you have a flare up of psoriasis symptoms.

For other natural treatments to relieve psoriasis, such as capsaicin cream, baking soda bath, omega 3 fish oil and vitamin D please refer to my article on 12 natural ways to relieve psoriasis.

Red scrotum syndrome

Although a rare condition, some men suffer from red scrotum syndrome that makes the testicles very itchy. The Journal of Dermatological Case Reports reported on cases where men had chronic itching of the scrotum and a red testicle sac. Along with the itchy testicles, they experienced burning and pain in the genital area.20

Genital herpes and other STDs

Genital herpes is a viral infection that can cause sores and itching on the scrotum. This is a highly contagious infection that can be transmitted by direct skin contact.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, genital herpes starts off as itchy patches on the scrotum or penis. These then blister and fill with pus or fluid before crusting over. It is recommended not to have sex with a person who has itching, scabs, or sores around their genitals.21

Other sexually transmitted diseases can also cause itching in the penis and groin area, and because they are highly contagious and can be easily spread, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible for the proper treatment.

When to See a Doctor

Most cases of scrotum itching are fairly harmless and will be healed with the proper treatment and keeping your groin area as dry as possible.

You should see your doctor if the home remedies in this article don’t help with itching around your testicles and you still have the urge to scratch your scrotum. This is especially true if you notice signs of a secondary bacterial infection.

Also, if you develop sores and blisters on your scrotum or you have signs of a sexually transmitted disease, you should visit your doctor. This is important because some conditions of the scrotum that cause itching and sores are very contagious.

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Article Sources

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  2. JAMA. 1967:199(4):283.
  3. Fertil Steril. 1990 Feb;53(2):379-81.
  4. Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.
  5. DermNetNZ. Lichen simplex.
  6. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2011 Jan-Feb;77(1):28-36.
  7. WebMD. Witch hazel.
  8. MedicineNet. Jock itch.
  9. PatientInfo. Fungal groin infection.
  10. NJDVL. 2015;13(1):24-30.
  11. WebMD. Ringworm or candida?
  12. Medscape. Candidiasis clinical presentation.
  13. J Med Food. 2009 Dec;10(2):384-387.
  14. Acta Biol Hung. 2016 Jun;67(2):205-14.
  15. WebMD. Intertrigo.
  16. BMJ. 2005 Sep 17; 331(7517): 619–622.
  17. MedicineNet. Public lice (crabs).
  18. Vet Parasitol. 2014 Aug 29;204(3-4):323-9.
  19. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2009; 7: 62.
  20. J Dermatol Case Rep. 2011 Sep 21; 5(3): 38–41.
  21. AAFP. What should I know about genital herpes?

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