Should I not wash my genitals because of irritation?

Last updated on September 15, 2020


Should I wash my genitals? I am circumcised, and I have read and heard that soap can irritate the genital region. Therefore, I have ceased washing the genital area, including pubic hair.


For your mom’s sake and others around you, get out the washcloth. There is a potential problem with uncircumcised boys getting soap trapped underneath the foreskin. Rinsing really well avoids this problem, but generally, the suggestion is to us little or no soap for the area under the foreskin. This does not apply to circumcised boys, since they don’t have foreskins. Besides both circumcised and uncircumcised boys need to wash the genital region because it is warm and moist. This makes it a breeding ground for fungus, which can lead to jock itch, and bacteria, which causes bad smells. Soap kills bacteria and gets rid of the oils and skin cells that bacteria feed on. It also washes off the fungus spores.


Doesn’t pubic hair have a natural smell?

Hair has no smell, whether it is the hair on your head or your pubic hair. Any odors you smell are coming from bacteria feeding off your sweat and oils.

“Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans; it is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and what they do (break sweat down into acids) that eventually causes the unpleasant smell. The smell is perceived as unpleasant, many believe, because most of us have been brought up to dislike it. Body odor is most likely to occur in our feet, groin, armpits, genitals, pubic hair and other hair, belly button, anus, behind the ears, and to some (lesser) extent on the rest of our skin.” [“What Is Body Odor (B.O.)? What Causes Body Odor?” Medical News Today].