When it comes to sex, comfort and excitement go hand-in-hand. That’s why getting down to the main event is often made better with a generous application of lubricant – in fact, most women say the sex is better when lube is involved. Any man who practices good penis care also knows that lubricants are great for adding a bit of spice to the masturbation experience as well.
But sometimes, a man might walk away from a sexual encounter with a red penis, or even worse, a red and itchy penis. Though his first thought might be a sexually transmitted disease, the culprit might be much simpler and less frightening: It could be the lube he was using.
Why does lube lead to a red penis?
Lube is specifically designed to be used on the most private areas of the body, so it makes sense that it would be mild and gentle to the skin. However, some people find that lubes are quite irritating. This is especially true if it is a ‘warming’ lube or one that has something added to it for flavor, color or sensation. These added ingredients can be enough to leave a man with a red penis, and possibly even leave his partner with a very itchy situation as well.
But in some cases, it really is the lube itself that causes the problem. This often results from a man using plenty of lube during sex, but when it’s time to clean up, he’s not very careful about making sure all of it is washed away. The excess lube left on the skin can dry rather quickly, and that can lead to the telltale itchiness and redness.
For some men, it’s the type of lube that’s at issue. Oil-based lubes tend to last longer and feel slicker than water-based or silicone-based, but the petroleum product of an oil-based lube can lead to skin irritation. Silicone-based lubes are tougher to wash away than water-based, which means they are great for longevity, but a man should always wash them away carefully to avoid a red and itchy penis situation. The same is true for water-based lubes, which tend to rub away rather fast, and that can lead to more generous application.
Finally, remember that some lubes have spermicidal ingredients. Though these can be great for an added layer of protection against pregnancy, they can be harsh on the penis skin. If a man is using this type of lube, it is very important to shower after sexual activity, so as to get rid of any lingering spermicide.
How to ease the red or itchy penis
The good news is that a red or itchy penis as a result of lube is easy to fix. A man should simply take care to wash the area very thoroughly, and if he sees any redness, swelling, irritation or rash, consider switching lube before the next encounter. If the problem persists, make an appointment with the doctor to figure out what is going on and how to alleviate the problem – it is possible that an ongoing reaction is caused by an allergy to one of the ingredients in the lube.
One of the best things a man can do to help his penis heal is use a high-end penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). A man who is serious about healing his penis skin from the issues with lubrication can look to a crème that includes L-arginine, an amino acid that improves blood flow and thus speeds up healing, as well as acetyl-L-carnitine, which protects against peripheral nerve damage. But perhaps the most important component for healing is a combination of Shea butter and vitamin E, both of which hydrate and soothe the sore, red penis skin.