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Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Red rash on head of penis


 1sure - Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:45 pm

I am a 21 yr old male. Sexually active. Rash appeared the day right after intercourse. (only one partner, no history of multiple partners) The rash appeared once earlier in the year but had gone away in a few days and there were no side effects. this time, the rash is very icthy and starting to burn. Clear secreation would come out when open. It has been there for weeks now. I've tried Cadalascene powder and has hepled but is not working. Currently switched to Lamisil. I do not have medical coverage yet and have not gone to the doctor. The itch is bothering me. Anyone have any suggestions? Rash is only on the head of the penis and looks like it will spread to the shaft.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:06 am

User avatar Hello,

Balanitis is inflammation of the glans penis commonly seen in uncircumscribed men. It usually causes redness and/or a blotchy rash on the glans, sometimes with a discharge. Balanitis involving the foreskin or prepuce is termed balanoposthitis. The most common complication of balanitis is phimosis, or inability to retract the foreskin from the glans penis.

Balanitis is not necessarily sexually transmitted. It results from an overgrowth of organisms which are normally present on the skin of the glans. The condition most commonly occurs in uncircumcised men. The environment under the foreskin is warm and moist, and these conditions often favor the growth of the organisms that cause balanitis. These organisms are especially likely to grow if moisture is allowed to persist under the foreskin for a while. This may occur if you have not washed for a couple of days, or sometimes after sexual activity (vaginal, oral or anal - with or without a condom).

One common organism associated with balanitis is a yeast known as Candida albicans. Balanitis may occur because of excessive growth of Candida, due to moisture and warmth under the foreskin.

Symptoms include, penile discharge; inability to retract foreskin (a condition known as phimosis); impotence; difficulty urinating or controlling urine stream (in very severe cases); inability to insert a Foley catheter and tenderness of the glans penis. Physical signs include, erythema and edema; inability to visualize glans penis or urethral meatus; discharge; ulceration and/or plaques.

Given the limitations of the internet as a diagnostic tool, you are advised to seek a direct clinical examination to reach the proper diagnosis.

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