Pubic lice and itchy penis: to shave or not to shave?

There are many things that come with having a penis and, unfortunately, the prospect of occasional penis itchiness is one of them. Although having to scratch once in a while isn’t a big deal, it can become annoying, distracting, and downright embarrassing when the itch becomes chronic, as is often the case when the dreaded pubic lice are the cause of that itch. Paying more attention to the health of the penis can help decrease the chance of getting pubic lice. But still, accidents can happen, and a man must be prepared to know how to deal with these unwanted visitors.

So what are pubic lice?

Most adults can recall “lice” in their schools, incidents in which a child brought lice to school, which were spread from one student to another. Pubic lice are related to head lice, but luckily they don’t spread that easily.

More commonly known as crabs (due to their crab-like appearance), pubic lice are tiny, usually less than one-tenth of an inch. They are parasites that usually live in the groin, although they can sometimes be found in other hairy parts of the body, such as the armpits or the chest. These little insects are harmless in the sense that they do not transmit disease, but once they enter the skin and begin to feed, they produce a hard-to-resist urge to scratch.

Most of the time, pubic lice are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact during sexual intercourse; more rarely, they can be contracted from the sheets or towels of an infected person. Since lice tend to accumulate on pubic hair rather than on the shaft of the penis, using a condom is often not effective in preventing the spread of pubic lice.

Shaved off

Since lice tend to settle on pubic hair, it has often been assumed that shaving the penis area is a good way to remove these pests from the body. The theory is that often the act of shaving will remove the lice, and the absence of a warm, furry place to hide will make it easier to detect and eliminate persistent invaders.

But that’s not really a correct assumption. While it is true that the razor can get rid of some of these crabs, it only catches a small percentage of them. Many more remain on the skin, and because they are so small, they are difficult to find with the naked eye.

So does that mean a man shouldn’t shave? Not at all. While shaving the crotch may not cure the itchy penis caused by pubic lice, it does make the area more inhospitable to pubic lice and also makes it easier for a doctor to spot them with a magnifying glass. In addition, the absence of a thick coat of hair facilitates the application of products that can be useful to eliminate pests.

After shave

Once the area has been shaved, it is more receptive to medications that can kill pubic lice. Although there are over-the-counter medications that work well, it is wise to consult with a physician first to determine the most effective course of action to take.

Pubic lice are more of a nuisance than anything else, but an itchy penis can embarrass a man and be detrimental to his self-esteem. The urge to scratch can be reduced by regular use of a superior penis health cream. (Health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven to be gentle and safe for the skin.) Well-hydrated penile skin is less likely to require itchiness, so using a cream with a combination of excellent moisturizers (such as shea butter and vitamin E) is highly recommended. Also, make sure the cream is equipped to keep the penis skin in general good health; a cream with alpha lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and the resulting oxidative stress, can be especially beneficial.

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