Penile rash can be extremely distressing and can create difficulties with urination, erection, sexual relations and regular daily activities. Many male patient felt embarrassed to share this symptoms with their doctor and often suffer in silence. It is very important for patient to understand that some of the causes of penile rash need to be checked by doctor so to alleviate their symptoms with the right treatment.
Fungal infection or tinea cruris ( ‘jock itch’) is a fungal infection that cause red and itchy rashes around the penile, sometimes groin and inner thigh area. ‘Jock itch’ got its name because its common among athletes. Its often very uncomfortable and itchy. Fungus thrive in a moist environment and the rashes can sometimes have ring-liked appearance. The treatment needed is topical anti-fungal cream and patient is required to keep the groin area dry and to avoid tight clothing.
Balanitis is an inflammation at the foreskin often caused by infection or chronic skin conditions. Poor hygiene, excessive cleaning can also aggravates the underlying skin conditions. Sometimes bacteria or yeast can overgrowth at the foreskin of the penis because it can trap moisture around the penis head. This is sometimes associated with discomfort and swelling. Risk factors for balanitis including phimosis (tight foreskin) and uncontrolled diabetes. It is very important for patient to pull the foreskin to clean the area. Circumcision is recommended in case of recurrent balanitis.
Allergic dermatitis from use of topically applied agents (antibiotic, lubricants, spermicide), perfume-containing soap and detergents and latex condom. It can cause redness, small blisters formation and serous discharge and its associated with intense itchiness, swelling and burning sensation.
Atopic dermatitis (or eczema) can cause itchy rashes widespread in the body but can also confined to genital area only. Other chronic itchy skin rashes such as Lichen Simplex Chronicis and Pruritus ani can also occur from chronic rubbing and scratching usually persisting over years. Management includes avoiding use of harsh soap, hot water, discontinuation of compulsive scratching cycle and perineal hygiene.
Genital herpes is caused by virus called Herpes Simplex Virus. It caused painful fluid- filled blisters and highly contagious. The blisters will gradually ulcerated and form dry scabs and eventually healed. The treatment is by anti-viral tablets and painkillers.
Low grade Human Papilloma Virus type 6 and 11 can lead to genital wart formations The warts can grow as flesh-colored lumps or cauliflower- like appearance. It can sometime cause itchiness or bleeding with contact. High grade HPV can also cause pre-cancerous and invasive cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) at the penile region. Other risk factors for cancers developing are chronic low grade balanitis (especially in older individual) and chronic dermatoses such as lichen planus.
Syphilis is caused by bacteria Treponema Pallidum and have several stages of infectivity. During primary syphilis, a painless sore called 'chancre' can develop at the genital region. The treatment is with intramuscular injection of penicillin antibiotic.
Molluscum contagiosum is caused by Poxvirus. It appear as multiple painless, small, shiny, smooth bumps like a dome with central core of waxy material around the genital area. It can be treated with topical treatment, cryotherapy and curettage.
It is very important to talk to medical professional about your concern so that your doctor is able to make the correct diagnosis and start you on necessary treatment.