Ask a group of men where they would leastlike to experience a rash on their body, and most, if not all of them will point to the penis. Unfortunately, skin is skin, and the same irritants that can affect the rest of the body can also lead to penis rash, as well as itching, burning, and redness. To help identify the causes of some unpleasant penis symptoms, some common conditions affecting the delicate male skin are discussed in the following Q&A. In addition, some tips for banishing an itchy rash and leaving behind soft, healthy penis skin are offered.
Q: Can men really get yeast infections?
A: They sure can. While many people think of yeast infection as a female affliction, everyone – men included – has Candida yeast spores on their skin. When the body’s chemistry changes, or an ideal environment is present (think warm, moist and dark), the spores can kick into overdrive. In men, this can result in penis symptoms like an itchy, red rash; fissures in the skin, a whitish discharge, and swelling. Treatment with an over-the-counter antifungal is generally effective; men who are in a sexual relationship should ask their partners to undergo treatment, as well, to prevent passing the infection back and forth.
Q: What does jock itch look like?
A: Jock itch, known medically as tinea cruris, is another type of fungal infection caused by an organism that is similar to the one that causes athlete’s foot. The infection generally appears as red, spreading rash that may have a well-defined border; this can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. Jock itch is more frequently found around the groin, inner thighs, and scrotum than on the penis, but some men have experienced penis rash as a result of tinea cruris. The condition is treated with anti-fungal creams, powders or sprays.
Q: Could it be an allergy?
A: Yes, there are a number of irritants that can cause an allergic reaction on the penile skin. Latex is a top contender in this category, but insect bites, laundry detergents, toxic plants, personal cleansing products, fragrances, and even certain fabrics can cause an allergic skin reaction. Men who suspect a skin allergy should wash the area thoroughly, avoid contact with any possible irritants, and see a doctor for testing and treatment. Antihistamines are often used to help men deal with allergic reactions on the penile skin.
Q: Do psoriasis and eczema affect the penis?
A: They can, and men who have experienced one of these conditions elsewhere on the body should be on the lookout if a penis rash does occur. An itchy, peeling, red, flat rash can indicate either one of these, and related rashes can come and go periodically. A doctor can advise on the best course of treatment, which usually involves managing the symptoms. Cortisone creams may help, although these can cause additional skin problems; some patients have experienced good results from the application of vitamins A and/or E.
Q: Does a penis health cream really benefit the penis?
A: In general, yes. A high-quality penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can be a good way to keep the skin in good condition and even improve its appearance. In many cases, men who have experienced a loss of sensation have reported an increase in sensitivity after using a penis vitamin cream. A product containing botanical moisturizers such as Shea butter, as well as skin-friendly nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, can help to soothe distressed penile skin, relieve penis symptoms like dryness and irritation, and leave the dermal tissue feeling soft, smooth and supple. Before using any topical cream or ointment, though, it is important to check with a doctor, and creams should never be applied to broken skin or open sores.