There’s nothing pleasant about psoriasis, wherever on one’s body it occurs – and when it presents as a penis rash it can be especially distressing. Sexual partners may misinterpret it as a sexually-transmitted infection, and even those who realize it’s not that may still start to question a guy’s commitment to his penis health. Other men who see it at the gym may smirk or stare, causing further embarrassment and self-consciousness. Clearly, tending to this penis rash is important – so is it possible to use phototherapy as a treatment option for psoriasis on the penis?
Psoriasis is one of those conditions that people have heard of but – unless they themselves suffer from it – may have only a passing understanding of. When a guy has psoriasis, it means that his skin cells are overproducing – skin cells start building up rapidly on the surface, creating an unsightly scales and red patches that can itch severely and often are tender and painful to the touch. The skin is also often dry and cracked, sometimes bleeding easily. In addition, psoriasis may sometimes cause one’s joints to stiffen as well.
Psoriasis can appear on many different parts of the body, including the penis and surrounding areas. It’s an autoimmune disease, and at this time there is no cure for it – only treatments which aim to address the symptoms and keep the disease from recurring. Exactly what causes it is unknown, but it results when the body’s T cells start attacking its skin cells.
Treatment also involves identifying potential “triggers” which cause flare-ups of psoriasis and working to eliminate r diminish these triggers. Some typical triggers are infections; skin injuries; bug bites; stress; smoking; too much alcohol; too little vitamin D; and some medications, like beta blockers and lithium.
As mentioned, treatments often are focused on addressing the symptoms, such as the rash itself. Topical corticosteroids, usually in crème form, are often recommended. Sometimes simple moisturizers are recommended for the penis instead, due to the sensitivity of penis skin. (One trick for applying such moisturizers to a penis rash caused by psoriasis is to apply it to the penis, then apply it inside a condom. Slip the condom over the penis, and wear underneath clothing, in order to help keep the “moisturizing” continue throughout the day.) Vitamin D and several other medications are also often employed.
In recent years, phototherapy has been recommended by some doctors to treat psoriasis. UVB light is provided from a lamp or similar source, often being applied in “bursts” to the affected area. This has proven effective for many kinds of psoriasis.
However, using phototherapy for a penis rash caused by psoriasis is trickier than when using it elsewhere on the body. Again, because of the delicacy and the sensitivity of thin penis skin, phototherapy must be used at a lower intensity to avoid painful sunburns on the penis. It also can dry the penis skin out even more. And because it is used at a lower dose, it may not be as effective as when used at a higher dose on other parts of the body. In addition, some doctors fear that penile phototherapy could increase the risk of developing penile cancer.
Bottom line: If a man has psoriasis on the penis, he should discuss with his doctor the pros and cons of using phototherapy, if it is recommended as a treatment option.
Treating penis rash from psoriasis requires moisturization, so regular use of a quality penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) may be beneficial. It’s crucial to utilize a creme with a combination of superior hydrating agents, such as shea butter and vitamin E. In addition, crème with a potent antioxidant, such as alpha lipoic acid, is urged. This helps keep penis skin healthier by fighting excess free radicals which can cause oxidative stress.