A little chafing or dryness is one thing, and most men learn to expect these issues as a natural outcome of frequent masturbation or an enthusiastic roll in the hay. On the other hand, when the problem goes beyond chafing, resulting in an inflamed, sore penis, this may be a cause for greater concern. Fortunately, in many instances, penile swelling can be easily resolved with at-home penis care. Some causes of penile inflammation are described here, along with some tips for soothing sore penis and cautions about when medical treatment is the only answer.
Causes of penile swelling
A fair number of different issues can cause swelling of the foreskin or of the penis itself. One of the most frequent causes is simply a reaction to excessive friction, usually the result of rough handling during masturbation or sex, as well as a lack of adequate lubrication during the process. A large percentage of men also experience occasional bouts of balanitis, an inflammatory condition of the glans, or head of the penis. This can be caused by yeast or other fungal infections, or it may just be the result of poor hygiene.
Some of the more serious causes of penile swelling include priapism, an erection that lasts longer than four hours and is not the result of sexual stimulation. An endless erection sounds like fun, but it is actually painful and is considered a medical emergency; failing to seek immediate treatment can result in permanent tissue damage that may interfere with sexual function over the long term. Peyronie’s disease, where a knot of scar tissue on the shaft of the penis causes unnatural bending or curvature of the penis, may also be characterized by soreness and swelling. While Peyronie’s disease may resolve on its own over time, medical treatment is generally recommended to remove the hardened tissue before it becomes a serious impediment to sexual function.
Tips for soothing a sore penis
Unless the cause of penile swelling is immediately obvious – swollen skin after a particularly vigorous solo session, for instance – it is always best to get the opinion of a medical professional, in case more than a minor injury is at play.
However, there are some things a man can do before the appointment to calm the pain and reduce the inflammation:
1. Take a break – This may seem simplistic, but a surprising number of men exhibit a tendency to plow ahead, even when the penis isn’t really up to the task. In the case of simple irritation, this can result in more soreness and a longer healing time; in the case of an underlying injury, the act of penetration can compound the injury and make treatment more complex and difficult. Taking a few days off never hurt anyone, and the stress-free time can allow irritated tissues to heal and return to normal.
2. Add ice – An ice pack is an old, but trusty solution to soreness and inflammation. Applying an ice pack or frozen gel pack to the area can help to ease the soreness and throbbing, as well as speeding the rate at which the swelling subsides. Ice packs or gel packs should not be applied directly to bare skin, as this can cause a frost bite-type injury. Instead, wrapping the pack in a towel is recommended.
3. Try anti-inflammatory medications – Over the counter NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen can help to reduce swelling and ease pain. Men who use other medications, who are under treatment for another medical condition, or who are sensitive to any of these substances should not use them without a doctor’s OK.
Once the penile tissues have returned to normal, men can help to prevent further injury by keeping the penis in top condition. Eating right, exercising, and taking things easy during intimate play sessions are recommended; and keeping the penis clean can help to prevent topical infections such as balanitis.
In addition, applying a targeted penis nutrient formula (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) to the penile skin may assist in keeping the skin moisturized and boost its natural healing properties, leading to greater protection and a reduced chance of infection or injury.
Tips for Soothing a Sore Penis