It is relatively uncommon for a man to develop a penile abscess, but when it does occur, it is important to get the right treatment; and because prevention is always the best cure, appropriate penis care should always be a priority. Men should be on the lookout for the following issues, behaviors and risk factors to avoid damage to the penile tissue and preserve penis health.
What is a penile abscess?
As defined by Webmd.com, an abscess is a sore, swollen mass within the tissues of the body that are tender when pressed and may feel warm to the touch; the skin in the surrounding area may be reddened or pink. An abscess is caused by an infection and can be visualized as a reservoir of pus, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Abscesses can occur anywhere on the body and are most frequently seen in the armpits, groin, and hair follicles.
More rarely do they occur in the penile tissue itself; however, it is possible to develop an abscess within the erectile chambers of the penis. Men who develop such a condition may notice swelling, soreness, and pain during an erection.
Potential causes of penile abscess
The causes of an abscess in the penile tissue are variable; however, they typically occur for one of the following general reasons:
1) Penile trauma – An injury to the penile tissue, especially one that breaks the surface of the skin, can in some cases result in deep tissue infections such as an abscess.
2) Injections – The penis is not generally used as an injection site in ordinary circumstances. However, certain erectile aids are injected directly into the erectile chambers; in addition, men have been known to inject substances such as petroleum jelly into the penile tissue in an attempt to increase the size or girth of an erection. Some men also use the penis when injecting illicit substances for recreational purposes. In any of these cases, the puncture site can be an entry point for bacteria, especially when the injection is performed by an untrained individual or the hypodermic and skin are not cleaned properly beforehand.
3) Infection – A disseminated infection such as the herpes simplex virus may cause ulcers on the surface of the penis; in addition, an abscess may also develop in the erectile tissue. Treatment of the underlying infection is required in addition to any treatment an urologist may recommend for the abscess itself.
Treating an abscess on the penis
Unlike other types of infections, abscesses do not usually respond to antibiotics alone; while oral antibiotics will generally be prescribed, direct treatment such as draining the area and excising any dead tissue may be required. This is a surgical procedure and should be performed by a licensed professional; patients should not try to drain the pus on their own. The surgeon will determine the extent of the treatment needed, including debriding the surrounding area to remove diseased tissue.
Surgery may be necessary to remove any diseased tissue, but as with any other procedure, certain complications may occur. Fibroid tissue may develop at the site of the surgery, leading to bending or curvature of the penis. Usually, this does not lead to any erectile problems.
Daily care for better penis health
In some cases, men may develop an abscess in the penis for reasons beyond their control; however, some common-sense practices and healthy lifestyle habits can reduce the risk of injury and infection.
To avoid sexually transmitted diseases that may lead to disseminated infections, it is important to practice safe sex for each and every encounter; and, of course, keeping the penile skin clean and maintaining proper hygiene is essential. Men should never attempt to inject anything into their penile tissue except under recommendation of and strict supervision by a qualified doctor.
Finally, men can give their penis an extra boost by adding a penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) to their daily routine. A high-quality formula with penis-specific nutrients may provide an extra line of defense against minor issues, as well as promoting overall cellular health and function.