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Itchy Balls: Causes, Cures, and the Case for Scratching in Public

It’s one of the most irresistible urges known to mankind, something any guy would do all day if it weren’t a social taboo: scratching your balls. As a matter of fact, half of you guys are probably fondling your family jewels as you read this.

But if you asked the average dude why he’s scratching his scrotum, you’d be hard-pressed to get an answer other than “Feels good.” The question remains: How do you tame a pair of itchy testicles? Is it as simple as switching laundry detergent? Or do you need an STD test?

There are several causes for itchy balls, ranging from benign inconveniences to legit medical conditions that require a doctor’s visit. Let’s take a look at the most common culprits, and what you can do besides compulsively scratch yourself.

Poor Hygiene

It doesn’t take a genius to know that your genital area is a breeding ground for bacteria. A failure to scrub your scrotum regularly can cause a buildup of dead skin cells, oil, and sweat, leading to a buildup of bacteria and fungi.

These microorganisms release waste chemicals that cause itchy balls and fungal infections like dermatophytes and candidiasis (yes, they’re as horrific as they sound). Poor hygiene is also a common cause of an itchy butthole.

Solutions: Wash your balls, dude. If itching doesn’t ease up, ask your doctor about antifungal creams.

Jock Itch

Also known as tinea cruris, jock itch is basically athlete’s foot on your nuts. It’s a scrotal skin infection caused by excessive sweating in the groin area. While usually harmless, jock itch isn’t ideal unless you want to spend your waking hours scratching your testicles.

Solutions: Shower immediately after workouts and use over-the-counter antifungal powders/creams. Do NOT use greasy lotion or ointments—they induce swamp ass and make jock itch even more miserable. Instead, fight moisture with a daily dose of DUDE Powder.


Runners beware: when your inner thighs rub up against your nuts too much, the friction can cause an itchy rash. Left unchecked, chafing can cause blisters and cracked, scaly skin.

Solutions: Lather up with lotion or wear an athletic supporter.

Contact Dermatitis

Laundry detergents and body washes often contain mystery chemicals that trigger allergic reactions or contact dermatitis within a few hours or days of exposure. The most common symptoms of contact dermatitis are dry, red, blistered skin in the affected area.

Solution: Switch to hypoallergenic or natural body wash and laundry detergent.

Manscaping Issues

Thoughtlessly hacking away at your pubes is a recipe for ingrown hairs and razor bumps, both of which cause intense itching that will make your life a living hell.

On the other hand, if you never whack the weeds down there, you’re susceptible to developing pubic lice. Also known as crabs, these tiny insects live on coarse human body hair and usually spread through sexual contact. Itching is the most common symptom of crabs, and it’s usually the worst at night.

Solutions: If you’re shaving your pubic hair, use warm water, plenty of shaving cream, and glide a sharp razor with the grain of your hair, not against it. If you suspect pubic lice, your local drugstore most likely carries an over-the-counter treatment.


For some guys, itching in the genital area might be the first sign of a sexually transmitted infection such as human papillomavirus (HPV), genital warts, genital herpes, gonorrhoea, or chlamydia

Solution: First of all, invest in a pack of condoms—better to fork up a few bucks for rubbers instead of God-knows-how-much for STD treatments. If you think there’s a chance you have an STD, call your doctor or visit a testing clinic.


Is It Acceptable to Scratch Your Nuts in Public?

When it comes to the issue of public nut-scratching, the internet is divided. Pro-scratch constituents contend that an itch is an itch, and neither men nor women should suffer because of the stigma.

Anti-scratchers, on the other hand, point out the lack of hygiene that goes with touching one’s genitals, even in a non-sexual way. Hygiene aside, most people don’t want to live in a world where people walk around with their hands down their pants.

Both camps make strong arguments, so we landed on a bipartisan verdict: If you must scratch, maneuver, or un-stick your balls in public, the hand must remain over the pants and the act must be quick and discrete (two seconds or less).

Case closed. Itch gone.

Cure That Itch Dude