Most men, especially those who are sexually active, are on high alert for any changes or abnormalities of the penis skin. When rashes, bumps or other lesions appear, guys will often jump to the conclusion that they have contracted an STD – herpes is often the first concern men will bring up with their doctors when attempting to diagnose a penis skin problem.
While herpes is highly contagious and is certainly something to watch out for, a number of other conditions can cause similar symptoms. Knowing the signs and risk factors described below and understanding the best approach to penis care can help men to narrow down the possible causes of abnormalities on the penis and get the treatment they need to clear up the problem as quickly as possible.
1. Yeast infection (thrush) – Yeast infection in men is just as common as in women, although relatively few men are aware that they can develop symptoms of thrush. This condition is the result of an overgrowth of yeast spores on the skin – often caused by changes in body chemistry – and can present as a skin rash, itching, redness, burning on urination, and a white, lumpy discharge.
2. Balanitis – This condition is more common in men who are uncircumcised and affects the head, or glans, of the penis. It is characterized by redness, swelling, soreness, an unpleasant-smelling discharge, rash or red dots on the glans, and the appearance of cracked, irritated skin.
3. Dermatitis – Dermatitis is similar to an allergic reaction and occurs when the skin comes in contact with irritants such as the chemicals found in many shampoos, soaps, and laundry detergents. It can also be caused by natural irritants such as poison ivy or poison oak. An itchy penis rash, redness, and soreness or discomfort can indicate a skin sensitivity to any of these materials.
4. Folliculitis – Infection of the follicles can occur anywhere on the body and cause unpleasant symptoms such as rash, extreme itching, and red bumps which may or may not have a whitish substance inside. There are multiple causes of folliculitis. In many cases, this condition goes away on its own after a week or so, but it may require medical treatment depending on the exact cause.
5. Genital warts – Genital warts can consist of single lesions or small clusters of growths on the skin. They may be flesh-colored and smooth, or they may have a rough, grayish surface. Genital warts are caused by HPV, or human papillomavirus, and are transmitted sexually. Men who are affected should abstain from sex and follow a doctor’s recommendations for treatment.
6. Herpes – Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, and there is currently no permanent cure. Herpes may appear as red bumps, penis rash or blisters; the lesions are often fluid-filled and will tend to break open and scab over. Herpes sores can be treated with medications, but the disease can be transmitted to a partner even when no rash is present.
Recommended penis care
In order to keep the penis as healthy as possible and to reduce the risks of contracting a contagious or difficult-to-cure penis condition, men should make caring for the equipment a priority. First and foremost in protecting against disease, men should always use a condom, unless they are in a committed relationship where both partners have tested negative for a range of STDs. Keeping the penis clean also goes a long way toward preventing minor skin infections; using mild cleansers for washing and laundering can help to reduce the risk of skin rashes and inflammation.
Using an all-natural penis vitamin cream (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) containing penis-specific skin nutrients and moisturizers may also help to improve the condition of the penile skin, as well as boosting its resistance to environmental invaders.
For additional information on most common penis health issues, tips on improving penis sensitivity, and what to do to maintain a healthy penis, visit: http://www.penishealth101.com. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.
Penis Rash Symptoms–6 Conditions that Affect the Penis Skin