For many men, especially those with lighter skin, a red penis is not an unusual sight. After all, when blood rushes to the penis to make it erect, it tends to take on a reddish hue. But sometimes a red penis can be a sign of a possible penis health issue, especially when that redness presents as blotches or rashes. There can be many contributing factors to such a situation; one of the (thankfully) more unusual one is a condition known as Henoch-Schonlein purpura.
About the condition
Also known as purpura rheumatic and anaphylactoid purpura, Henoch-Schonlein purpura is a disease that affects the skin and the mucous membranes, and sometimes may affect other organs, such as the kidneys. Although it is most often found in children, it can occur in individuals of any age, including full-grown men.
The term “purpura” refers to red or purplish spots that appear on the skin and which do not “blanch” (or turn white) when pressed. Purpura appears when there is a bleeding underneath the skin, which may be the result of a problem with platelets, coagulation, blood vessels or other factors.
In Henoch-Schonlein purpura, the situation involves the small blood vessels in the skin and joints, and can also involve those in the kidneys and the intestines. The purpura rash typically appears on the lower half of the body – the legs, buttocks (and in males) scrotum and penis. Sometimes the spots appear in all of these places; sometimes they may be localized primarily in one place (such as the penis).
Exactly what causes this kind of purpura is unknown, although the inflammation does seem to come about from the immune system having a response to a trigger. Some typical triggers include a cold or cough; strep throat; measles; insect bites; and allergic reactions to medications or foods. In some cases, exposure to cold weather seems to be a trigger.
In addition to the visible and obvious rash, Henoch-Schonlein purpura is often accompanied by pain and/or swelling in the joints. Often nausea or other gastro-intestinal issues may develop. If the case is severe, there may be kidney issues as well, such as blood appearing in the urine. (In very rare cases, a severe form of the disorder can bring about significant kidney damage.)
Doctors typically take blood and urine samples in order to diagnose the condition; in some cases, they may need to take a small skin sample to look for an antibody typically found with this disorder.
Most cases of this form of purpura resolve on their own in a month or so, with proper rest and use of everyday pain relievers. However, if a man finds this red penis problematic, or if the condition is severe, a doctor may recommend the use of corticosteroids; however, most doctors prefer to use a “wait and see” approach first.
Some men report that this kind of purpura can make their penis feel tender; others report no complaints. For those in the former group, it may be necessary to refrain from sexual activity until the inflammation has been taken care of.
When Henoch-Schonlein purpura is responsible for a man’s blotchy red penis, he may worry about his overall penis health. Fortunately, daily application of a superior penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) is one good way to help maintain proper penis care. As with the body as a whole, the penis benefits from treatment with vitamins, so it is imperative to select a crème with a good range, such as vitamins A, B5, C, D, and E. Penis skin also needs to be kept strong, so a crème with a powerful antioxidant like alpha lipoic acid is necessary. This antioxidant helps keep down excess free radicals and thereby protects the delicate penis skin from oxidative stress.