For men who love skiing, ice fishing, snow-mobile riding and other cold-weather sports, the winter months can be the most exciting time of year. On the other hand, although the sun is lower in the sky and there are fewer concerns about harmful UV rays, weather conditions can still be harsh on sensitive skin. While many men are savvy about carrying lip balm, and some may even admit to using skin lotion against the drying effects of winter on the face and hands, extra penis care is also needed at this time of year.
Many men experience penis symptoms such as the following during the coldest part of the winter:
- Reddened, chapped, flaking skin – even when dressed against the weather, the cold can sap the skin’s natural moisture, resulting in chapping. In addition, heating the home or workplace tends to dry the air, creating an arid environment that can be harsh on sensitive skin. These factors can lead to discomfort and put an end to any plans of long evenings in front of the fire with an intimate partner.
- Chafing from clothing – Heavier winter clothing and sports gear such as ski pants can create extra chafing in the groin area, wearing away at the delicate skin and causing dryness and irritation. Dry, cracked skin is prime territory for bacterial and fungal infections to take hold, causing further unpleasant symptoms and prolonging the problem.
- Chapping due to physical activity – Even on the coldest days, men can work up a sweat when exercising or playing outside. While the cold air can be invigorating during exercise, once the body begins to cool down, the dampness in the groin area combined with the chill can lead to chapped, sore, distressed-looking skin.
When to get help
Dry, cracked and irritated or reddened skin is not always a sign of chapping or dehydration. Some common skin conditions such as balanitis, thrush and lichen planus – to name a few – can result in similar symptoms. If the chapped-looking skin is accompanied by a whitish, chunky discharge, if the skin feels warm to the touch, or if the condition does not respond quickly to treatment, treatment by a qualified medical professional may be necessary.
Keeping the cold at bay
In order to avoid the damaging effects of winter on the penis, men can take some common-sense steps to beat the cold:
1. Layer up. Dressing for the weather is really a no-brainer, but it does make a difference. While not foolproof, dressing in warmer clothing can protect the body against the drying effects of the cold. Starting with comfortable, non-binding underwear made from cotton can protect the penis from direct contact with rougher fabrics such as wool. For sports, undergarments that wick moisture away from the body are recommend, as they can keep sweat from accumulating. Long underwear is ideal for wearing under ski pants or regular clothing and can keep the area both warm and dry.
2. Keep it clean. Washing away built-up dead skin cells and oils can help to keep the penis skin healthy and maintain the integrity of its surface. Using regular soap is not recommended, as these can contain harsh chemicals that may further dry the skin. A mild cleanser made from natural ingredients may work best.
3. Moisture Matters. The most effective way to prevent dehydration and chapping is to keep the area well-moisturized. All-natural moisturizers such as shea butter or coconut oil are highly effective, and shea butter, in particular, is gentle on sensitive skin. A preparation of vitamin E provides a natural barrier to retain the skin’s hydration, fighting the effects of cold weather and the chafing caused by heavy clothing.
4. Nourishing the penis. To prevent the cold winter months from taking a toll, it is important to replace the nutrients that can be depleted through dry, stressed skin. Applying a quality penis nutrient formula (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) as part of the daily care routine can help to replenish the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are needed to promote healthy, smooth skin, fight off bacteria and other invaders, and maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance.
For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: http://www.penishealth101.com. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.