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Penile Skin Infections
Scratch that itch.
The feeling of having ants in your pants when you see rash on your penile skin is something many men can relate to. An instant flurry of questions runs through their minds. Is it an STD? Have I not been cleaning my penis properly? Is it because I am uncircumcised? Oh no! Is this a type of skin cancer? The most common cause of penile itch and rash is a fungal infection.
Types Of Penile Skin Rashes
Not all penile rash is a fungal rash. Rashes can be related to other types of infections, such as STDs, inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or even skin cancers.
A slow or non-healing rash on the penis should always be brought to the attention of your doctor.
These fungal infections can occur spontaneously due to humidity, moisture trapped within the foreskin or because of an underlying medical condition such as diabetes which weakens your immunity, making you predisposed to getting fungus in the penis. It can also be acquired from a female partner who has recurrent vaginal fungal infections.
• itching and redness on the penis
• thick white substance collecting in skin folds
• shiny, white skin
• painful penis and foreskin
• burning sensation while urinating
• discomfort during sex
• disagreeable smell
If your condition is persistent, recurrent and causes semi-permanent changes to your penis, there is a chance the rash is more than a simple infection or Genital Eczema. It could be an inflammatory skin condition such as Lichen Sclerosus.
• painful, tight foreskin
• skin discolouration
• small tears
We are growing increasingly aware of HPV, which is the human papilloma virus known to cause cervical cancers in women. HPV can also infiltrate the skin of the penis and cause undesirable changes there, resulting in penile skin cancers. There is no validated test in men to swab for HPV on the penile skin. Your best protection is through a HPV vaccine which confers you protection against seven different HPV strains that can cause cancers.
These creams can be antifungal creams for fungal infections or steroid-based creams for chronic skin conditions. Many people are concerned about prolonged use of steroid creams, particularly on the thin skin of the penis.
Taken daily or once a week if creams alone are not working.
Drying agents like Potassium permanganate wash, a common purple solution found in pharmacies can be used to keep to reduce the moisture trapped within the foreskin in uncircumcised individuals.
We’re here to answer even the most sensitive and intimate questions. Take the first step, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Are there factors that may put me at greater risk of developing fungal balanitis?
Yes. You are at greater risk if you:
• are uncircumcised
• have poor hygiene
• are taking antibiotics for a long time
• have diabetes
• are overweight
Is fungal balanitis an early sign of diabetes?
Yes, balanitis can often be one of the first ways diabetes presents itself. Ask your doctor for a diabetes check, especially if your fungal infections are recurrent and if you have existing risk factors like a strong family history of diabetes.
Are there other penile skin rashes that can look like fungal balanitis?
Yes! If your condition is persistent, recurrent and the symptoms are never resolved completely, you could have an inflammatory skin condition known as Lichen Sclerosus. The best way to find out is to be examined by a doctor.
Can an inflammation balanitis become more complicated?
Yes, it can cause chronic skin changes that do not allow the foreskin to function normally. The foreskin becomes no longer smooth and retractable, and it may also harden, thicken, become discoloured and have cuts.