How Do I Get Rid of Dry Skin in My Private Area? Tips & Treatment

Medically Reviewed on 2/16/2022
How Do I Get Rid of Dry Skin in My Private Area
Dry skin in your private area can usually be treated by avoiding harsh products, tight clothing, and hot showers

Dry skin in your private area can usually be treated by avoiding harsh products, tight clothing, and hot showers.

Although dry skin in your private area is usually not a serious condition, it can make you feel itchy and awkward. Here are tips for both women and men when it comes to getting rid of dry skin in your private areas:

Women

  • Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals, such as vaginal douches or feminine hygiene spray, as these can upset the acidic balance of your vagina and cause dryness and itching.
  • Avoid using an excessive amount of laundry detergent when washing clothes.
  • Avoid the use of over-the-counter anti-itch creams because these products can worsen itching.
  • Avoid excessive shaving and scratching.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes.

Men

  • Wash your penis well, including the area under the foreskin if you aren’t circumcised.
  • Change underwear frequently if you sweat a lot.

Women and men

  • Limit showers or baths to less than 10 minutes and use warm (not hot) water.
  • Wear loose undergarments and clothing made of natural fibers.
  • Use mild, fragrance-free, moisturizing soap to cleanse the area.
  • Use a soft towel to pat the skin dry.
  • Keep the skin well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Manage stress, as stress can aggravate eczema and other skin conditions.
  • Stop smoking (nicotine can reduce blood flow, which may cause dry skin).

What can cause dry skin in your private area?

Dryness and itching in the private area can be caused by:

  • Eczema, which is an inflammatory skin condition that can cause dryness and itching
  • Psoriasis, which causes red, itchy, scaly patches
  • Fungal skin infection
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Irritation from sweating or wearing tight clothes
  • Irritation caused by:
    • Very hot showers
    • Overzealous cleaning
    • Harsh personal hygiene products
  • Lack of humidity in the air
  • Hot weather
  • Certain topical ointments

Common conditions that cause a vaginal itch only in women include:

Eczema of vulvar skin could be caused by exposure to an irritant or allergen, such as:

  • Harsh soaps and detergents that contain alcohol and astringents
  • Chemical wipes
  • Panty liner adhesives
  • Synthetic fiber underwear
  • Chemically treated clothing
  • Vaginal secretions, sweat, and urine
  • Perfume, talcum powder, and deodorants

While dry skin is typically not a cause for serious concern, it can cause severe itching and even scabbing. In extreme cases, it may cause bleeding, infection, and hyperpigmentation.

Who is at risk of developing dry skin around the private area?

Dry skin is a common condition that can affect anyone. Some people are more prone to develop dry skin, such as people who live in dry climates or who have certain health issues such as allergies and diabetes.

Age and hormonal changes such as menopause can also cause dry skin in the private area, as the skin becomes thinner and sweat glands produce less moisture.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/16/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Mayo Clinic. Dry skin. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/symptoms-causes/syc-20353885

American Academy of Dermatology. Dry skin: Who gets and causes. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/dry-skin-causes

Cleveland Clinic. Dry Skin. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16940-dry-skinitchy-skin

Mayo Clinic. Psoriasis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840

National Eczema Society. Female genital eczema. https://eczema.org/information-and-advice/types-of-eczema/female-genital-eczema/

Harvard Health Publishing. Managing common vulvar skin conditions. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/managing_common_vulvar_skin_conditions