Male genital itch

ITCHY genitals are a common presenting complaint in the sexual health clinic, and warm weather always seems to result in an influx. 

In men, itch is often associated with a reported rash or irritation, however examination may be unremarkable. 

Natural moisture and warmth in the genital area may mask signs such as scale and colour changes. Despite this, the examination remains an essential part of the consultation and may assist in diagnosis or exclusion of common causative conditions.

Genital itch is more commonly due to dermatoses (such as dermatitis and psoriasis) than infection, and it should not be assumed that a fungal infection is present without microbiological confirmation. 

The duration of the itch provides a clue to the cause, with acute itch (less than six weeks’ duration) more likely to be due to infection. Dermatoses commonly cause chronic itch (more than six weeks’ duration).

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