The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Hello. I'm a 19 year old male that was just wondering if you could answer a question I have.

Well, I've been having comfort issues lately. To put it bluntly, is it normal for the skin on the scrotum to stick to the shaft of the penis like some sort of weird adhesive? The skin there is ridiculously sticky. No itchiness or redness. I just feel really irritated down there. I didn't have this problem (or at least I didn't notice it) until a few months ago, but it bothers me greatly and I am uncomfortable all day long. I even tried to ignore it, since I thought it may just be in my head, but that didn't last long, and it's bothering more than ever. I also had this during the end of winter so I don't think it's summer heat related either.

For your information, in case it helps you figure it out, I went to a urologist for this and for testicular pain a few months ago. It turns out I had a varicocele, but he said there was no skin irritation. I had a bilateral varicocelectomy in April, but I was uncomfortable before then, so I don't think the surgery is related. I asked a different doctor if the temperature change from the varicocele could cause irritation, but he said no.

Also I'm pretty sure they are Fordyce spots, but are there any things that they are mistaken for that would cause me to be uncomfortable? (I haven't had sexual relations so it can't be an STD.)

Any ideas? I can't figure it out. Thanks so much for your time.


There are medications which have as a side effect sticky skin, but I'm going to assume that this isn't your problem since it the use of these medications are fairly rare.

A varicocele means that one or more valves in a vein in your scrotum wasn't working. The valves are to keep blood from pooling in the extremities and keep the blood flowing in one direction. A failed valve allows blood to pool, which stretches the vein and is painful. While healing skin is sometimes sticky, since this has been going on prior, I agree that this isn't your problem.

So instead of trying to figure out exactly what is wrong, let's work from the other direction. Sticky skin is generally caused by by damp or oily skin. Neither of these would be unusual in a teenage boy. As you are aware, acne and oily skin problems are not isolated to just the face.

Sweating can not only make the skin more sticky, but it also flushes oils to the surface of the skin which can then lead to additional problems.

So let's assume that it is something mundane, like too much moisture or oil, and see if we can get you more comfortable. To find the combination that works for you, I'm going to suggest trying some of the following. Don't do them all at once, just try one or two for a week or so and see if there is an improvement. If there is, but not enough, add something else. If it is the same or worse, drop that one and move to something else.

  1. I assume you are showering regularly. If not, you need to bathe once a day. Use a plain soap, not one heavily loaded with creams. While the creams make your skin feel soft, they have a tendency to accumulate on the surface and we are trying to cut down the amount of oils present. Make sure you rinse completely after soaping down. Any left over soap can cause irritation. Also avoid over washing, that is using soap on your genitals more than once a day. Stripping the oils from your skin too often can lead to irritation.
  2. If you are using any body lotion, stop applying it to your genitals. Again, this increases the amount of oil present and might lead to a sticky skin surface.
  3. If you are shaving your genitals, stop and allow the hairs to grow back in. The hairs God put there have a purpose, they keep the surface of the penis away from the surface of the scrotum. In addition they push the fabric of your clothing out just slightly, allowing better air circulation. The first week or two will be itchy as the hairs reform, but it will fade and the irritation should decrease.
  4. When you are done bathing, make sure you are completely dry before dressing. Towel off and then shave before getting dress. This will avoid trapping moisture against the skin.
  5. Get some body power and apply a small amount to your genitals before you dress. This will absorb excess moisture and oils and provide some slickness between the surface of your penis and scrotum.
  6. Switch to looser undergarments, such as boxers, to allow for more air circulation.
  7. Wear very loose, thin shorts when you sleep or for a period of time try wearing nothing when you sleep to see if that makes an improvement.
  8. If you have been getting chubby, loose the excess weight. Extra fat causes more sweating and oilier skin.