In recent years, some papers and magazines have reported an encouraging theory concerning itchy penis problems. Maintaining good penis health helps avoid this problem, but even the most hygienic man still suffers from an itchy penis occasionally. Anything that helps decrease the chance of an itchy male appendage is welcome news. But is there truth to this particular theory, which holds that the increasing popularity of pubic hair shaving is impacting the need to scratch?
An old custom
Of course, people have been de-nuding their nether regions for centuries, with it documented at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians. But, if “trend” stories can be believed, it does seem that there has been an upturn in the amount of pubic shaving in recent years, in both women and men.
But why should removing pubic hair have a positive impact on an itchy penis? There are two general lines of thought in this area.
One, by shaving away the pubic hair, a man is “cooling off” his midsection a bit. Less heat generates less sweat, which in turn brings less bacteria. Bacteria cause rashes and irritation that initiate the need to itch.
Two, shaving not only shaves away any pubic lice which might be in the area (and responsible for some of the most persistent genital itching), it also removes their “habitat” and thus keeps them from returning to create problems anew.
These are good explanations. Unfortunately, there are some flaws in this reasoning which may impact how much good shaving might do.
So what are the flaws in the arguments in favor of pubic shaving to reduce the likelihood of an itchy penis?
Starting with the “cooling off” theory, there is definitely some validity to it. A shorn manhood area is indeed cooler, and therefore may reduce sweat-related itchiness. However, some men find that the act of shaving actually enhances itchiness, from cuts or scrapes. Waxing may eliminate this, but even then the absence of a thatch of hair removes a protective layer from the skin. Exposed, it may react negatively from rubbing against underwear or trousers, or to chemicals in soaps, cleansers and detergents. So it seems that for some men there is a trade-off which may negate the anti-itching gains experienced.
What about the lice issue? Indeed, one reason why shaving in far-ago Egypt was popular was the belief that it helped eliminate nasty crabs. And it is true that shaving (or even better still, waxing) is likely to remove some of the nasty little buggers from the skin. However, it is not likely to remove them all. Certainly reducing the number of pubic lice present would help to reduce itching, but it would not eliminate it. More importantly, the lice left behind would continue to reproduce. Reducing pubic lice is good, but ultimately a man really needs to take steps to get rid of them entirely.
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