We’ll get straight to the point: You need to keep your junk fresh. You need to prevent fungal infections. You need to prevent chafing and itching. You need to keep your balls ventilated and your hair trimmed.
Read more: 10 things you didn’t know about your penis (and balls)
But it can mean far more than just showering, too. There are some things soap can’t fix, but that can be solved with other preventative measures.
Your testicles stay tucked inside a dark, damp chamber all day. It can be a prime breeding ground for fungus, yeast and more. For that, you need a lineup of powders, creams, soaps and even the right underwear fabric to minimise the threat.
We spoke with dermatologist James Collyer about the topic. He’s the medical director at Modern Dermatology in Seattle and specialises in men’s skincare concerns.
Here are Dr Collyer’s suggestions for keeping everything clean, fresh, smooth and, above all, healthy.
1. Wear the right underwear
Cotton seems like the obvious fabric choice, but Dr Collyer says it might magnify any already persistent perspiration problems.
“Cotton is not great for ventilation,” he points out. “Though, boxer briefs and boxers tend to be better than briefs for ventilation.” So, avoid briefs if you insist on cotton.
If you want the best sweat-wicking, anti-microbial fabric, then Dr Collyer suggests microfibre.
“It tends to breathe well, and any mesh areas in the groin will keep air moving through.”
In other words, no accumulation of moisture, and it’s an unfavourable environment for bacteria that’s favourable for you.
Read more: The truth about how your underwear affects your sperm
2. Consider starting the day with powder
A moisture-absorbing powder will keep your nether region dry throughout the day, thus preventing the sweat accumulation that leads to infections, odour and chafing.
And you’ve got two main choices: talcum or starch-based.
“Talcum-based products tend to work longer against perspiration than corn starch-based products,” Dr Collyer says. He suggests finding a powder with antifungal properties, too.
Read more: 6 things you need to know before you go commando
3. And, should you need it, have an antifungal cream at the ready
“Jock itch is caused by yeast and fungus,” Dr Collyer says. It grows in the damp, poorly ventilated crotch area. “You need an antifungal cream to kill this infection,” Dr Collyer says.
Apply the cream once or twice daily for one to two weeks, until any sour smells and itching resolve.
Read more: 9 problems with your crown jewels you can prevent
4. Never let sweat linger
This is obvious, but still necessary: “Always shower after workouts,” Dr Collyer says. “Don’t sit in sweaty clothing and always wear clean underwear.”
Lots of infections are caused by the bacteria nesting inside your underwear or gym shorts, and you should minimise the time they spend on your body, since the bacteria can multiply and migrate quickly.
Read more: 5 scientific reasons you should be sleeping butt naked tonight
5. Wash with moisturising bar soap
Dr Collyer says to avoid exfoliators, scrub brushes and loofahs when showering, because they can irritate the skin – and the testicle skin is sensitive.
“Use a standard, nourishing bar soap,” he says. He always tells his patients to stick with Dove, since it moisturises while also killing germs.
Read more: Does your penis smell?
6. And keep everything trimmed… but not too trimmed
There are hygienic benefits to trimming your balls.
“Hair can harbour odour and some different forms of bacteria,” Dr Collyer says. “However, pubic hair also helps decrease friction,” so you should leave some hair, even if you’re going to trim it shorter.
Leave anything from a centimetre to an inch if you want a trim-but-not-too-trim result.
Don’t use anything besides an electric trimmer on your junk, and avoid putting it right on the skin, since it’s easy to get nicks and to experience irritation on the thin skin.
Read more: Here’s how to manscape your taint
This article was originally published on www.menshealth.com
Image credits: iStock