This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


5 Common Causes Of Smelly Penis

About Smelly Penis:

It is quite rare for penis to have a foul odor. However poor hygiene practices often at times leads to certain infections which can cause foul smell to emanate out of the penis. These conditions are fairly benign and simple home remedies are good enough to take care of it. Very rarely, medical intervention is required to treat smelly penis. This is especially in cases where the individual is affected with a sexually transmitted infection. In addition to the foul smell, there will also be pain and soreness in the penile area making it tough for the individual to urinate or partake in any sexual activity. These conditions require intervention from a healthcare provider at the earliest possible time to prevent the infection from spreading [1].

Antibiotics and antifungals are mostly given to treat infections that cause smelly penis. Additionally, it is recommended that individuals wash the penis every day with soap and warm water to keep the area clean and then pat it dry before wearing undergarments. This is because wearing them with a wet penis will provide breeding grounds for bacteria to grow and cause infections causing smelly penis [1].

It is also essential to avoid any product or fabric that the individual may be sensitive to in order to prevent the condition from worsening. Let us know about the 5 common causes for smelly penis [1].

5 Common Causes Of Smelly Penis

5 Common Causes Of Smelly Penis

The common causes for a smelly penis include:

Smegma: This is a common medical condition that develops due to poor hygiene practice where the penis is not cleaned regularly. This condition arises when there is accumulation of necrosed skin cells and natural oils present on the skin surface that keep the penis moist. This results in a foul odor discharge of cheesy white substance from the foreskin. This condition is seen more in males who have an uncircumcised penis as the accumulation occurs around the head of the penis [2].

Aside from smelly penis, smegma also causes irritation and erythema around the penis. The individual will also find it tough to move the foreskin for sexual activity from an erect penis. The constant accumulation of necrosed cells and natural oil proves to be a good breeding ground for bacterial infections [2].

Balanitis: This is a condition in which there is inflammation of the glans which is the tip of the penis. Poor hygiene is the primary cause of balanitis along with common infections like psoriasis or an allergic reaction to soaps, lotions, or at times ingredients of a condom can also cause balanitis. If the individual has a suspicion that inflammation is the cause of smelly penis then a consultation with a physician is recommended to get treatment for this condition [2].

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: This is yet another cause for smelly penis. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the primary conditions that cause foul odor to emanate from the penis. Apart from smelly penis, the individual will also have white colored discharge from the penis along with painful urination. Testicular pain is also at times seen with sexually transmitted diseases in males [2].

In cases of gonorrhea, the individual may experience a green colored discharge from the penis along with painful urination. Individuals who have been involved with unprotected sex before the onset of symptoms should get checked for a sexually transmitted disease and get treated for it [2].

Nongonococcal Urethritis: This is also one of the causes for smelly penis. This condition occurs when there is inflammation of the urethra. The urethra joins the penis to the bladder and helps urine to pass through. Sexually transmitted diseases are the primary cause for urethral inflammation, although in many cases the real cause remains unknown [2].

In addition to smelly penis, an individual with nongonococcal urethritis will also complain of white discharge from the penis, increased urinary frequency and urgency, and pain with urination. There will also be soreness and irritation of the skin in the penile region. It is important for an individual who has the above symptoms to consult with a physician to get treatment for gonococcal urethritis [2].

Urinary Tract Infection: This is also one of the common causes of smelly penis. An individual is said to have urinary tract infection when bacteria or virus infiltrates the urinary tract. The individual will complain of cloudy urine with increased urinary urgency. The individual will also have a burning sensation while urinating [2].

Some of the common risk factors which increase the risk for an individual to develop urinary tract infections include renal stones, prostate enlargement, and diabetes. It is important to get the urinary tract infection treated at the earliest to prevent any complications occurring from it such as spread of the infection to nearby organs [2].

Treatment of smelly penis depends on what exactly is causing it. If it is caused due to poor hygiene then just cleaning it regularly will clear the smell from the penis. The soap used to treat the penis should not have any artificial perfumes to prevent irritating the skin and increasing the chances of infection. If infection is believed to be the cause of smelly penis then identifying and treating the infection is required [2].

Antibiotics and antifungals both orally or in the form of creams can be bought either over the counter or orally. If the infection is severe then stronger medications will be prescribed by the physician for treating the infection [2].

In conclusion, smelly penis in majority of the cases is caused due to poor hygiene practice. Thus cleaning the penis with soap and water every day and patting it dry before wearing any clothes over it is necessary to prevent smelly penis. Some of the other causes of smelly penis include smegma which is a condition in which there is accumulation of necrosed cells and natural oils from the skin begin to accumulate. This results in a foul odor coming from the penis. At times, there is also discharge from the foreskin of the penis [2].

Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia also at times can cause smelly penis. Urinary tract infections are also one of the common causes of smelly penis. If an individual has any of these conditions that are causing smelly penis then a consultation with a physician is recommended who can diagnose and treat the condition [2].


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 11, 2019

Recent Posts

Related Posts