Some chronic health conditions have been known to contribute to or cause a variety of penis problems – so men need to be aware that caring for their penis health may involve thinking outside of the mid-section on occasion. For example, some men with a condition known as scleroderma may find that it brings with it some penis problems that require attention.
Also known as systemic sclerosis, scleroderma is a chronic disease that affects connective tissue. The name comes from two Greek words which together describe a hardening of the skin, one of the common hallmarks of scleroderma. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that it arises when the body’s defense system makes a mistake and starts misrecognizing a normal body function or element as foreign and so takes steps to attack it.
The severity of scleroderma varies widely; in some cases it is very, very mild while in others it can be quite serious. About 300,000 people in the United States have it, and it is much more common among women than men. Most of the time it appears in a person between the ages of 25 and 55.
When scleroderma occurs, it can cause changes to various body parts, including the skin, muscles, blood vessels and sometimes internal organs. Common symptoms include hardened skin, poor blood flow (especially to extremities), fatigue, and stiffness. In some instances, a person may have esophagus issues.
As mentioned, scleroderma is a connective tissue disorder. An affected person may find they have an excess growth of connective tissue, which results in the hardening. Peyronie’s disease, in which the penis bends at an abnormal angle, is often a result of problems with connective tissue. In many cases, the excess curvature is accompanied by pain during erections. In some cases, the curvature is so severe that it precludes partner penetration.
Even in the absence of excess curvature, some men with scleroderma experience pain or tenderness in the penis that may also contribute to penis problems.
Since fatigue is a common symptom of the disorder, a man with this condition may find that he lacks the stamina to have extended sexual engagement. He may start out strong but find that he “winds down” earlier than he would like due to lack of energy.
Poor blood flow, which is often caused by cardiovascular issue associated with scleroderma, can also affect the penis. The penis becomes erect when a rush of blood enters the penis, becomes trapped, and causes the penis to swell. Scleroderma can impede this process, resulting in erectile dysfunction of varying significance.
Scleroderma does not have a cure, so doctors tend to treat the symptoms of the disorder. General treatments may attempt to redirect the immune system. Penis problems will usually be dealt with by addressing the related cause. For example, developing strategies to cure fatigue or to strengthen blood flow may be recommended. Couples may find that there are particular times of day or positions that can help them counteract the practical effects of the disorder.
Treating penis problems related to scleroderma will be easier if the overall health of the penis is good. One way to help properly maintain that health is via the daily application of a first rate penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Men should search out a crème that contains an ingredient called L-arginine. This is an amino acid which plays a role in developing nitric oxide, which in turn helps penile blood vessels expand when there is a rush of blood to the organ. The crème should also include vitamin C, which is a key component of collagen which contributes to penile skin elasticity and tone and which also aids in penile blood flow.