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When to see a doctor

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When to see a doctor

Not all penis conditions require medical treatment and some may clear up on their own.
But it’s best to make an appointment if you notice any of the following symptoms:
unusually colored semenunusual penis dischargeblood in your urine or semenunusual rashes cuts or bumps on your penis and surrounding areasburning or stinging when you urinatebending or curving of your penis that hurts when you’re erect or when you ejaculateintense long-lasting pain after a penis injurysuddenly losing desire in sexfatiguefever


Noticed any new concerning symptoms involving your penis? They could be a sign of many things from a harmless skin condition to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that needs treatment.
Read on to learn how to identify a range of penis diseases and when it’s time to see a doctor.

Common penis diseases

Here’s a look at some of the more common conditions that can affect your penis.
Balanitis happens when the head of your penis becomes irritated and inflamed. You’re more likely to develop it if you aren’t circumcised.
Symptoms include:
foreskin swelling and rednessforeskin tightnessunusual discharge from your penis headpain or itching around your genital areasensitive painful genital skin
Yeast infection
Yes males can get yeast infections too. This is a type of infection that’s caused by a fungus. It tends to start as a red rash but you may also notice white shiny patches on the skin of your penis.
Other symptoms of a penile yeast infection include:
unusually moist penis skina chunky cottage cheese-like substance beneath the foreskin or other skin foldsa burning sensation in the skin of your penis itchiness
Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) happens when you can’t get or maintain an erection. It isn’t always a cause for medical concern as stress and anxiety are common triggers for occasional ED. But if it’s happening regularly it may a sign of an underling health problem.
ED symptoms include:
trouble getting an erectiondifficulty keeping an erection during sexloss of interest in sex
Premature ejaculation
Premature ejaculation (PE) happens when you release semen during sexual activity earlier than desired — usually after less than a minute of intercourse or masturbation.
PE isn’t necessarily a health problem but it can interrupt sexual pleasure and cause relationship issues for some.
You don’t need to worry if PE happens once in a while. But if it happens often you might want to talk to your doctor about treatment options including sexual strategies or counseling.
Peyronie’s disease
Peyronie’s disease is a type of ED that happens when scar tissue causes your penis to bend or curve unusually.
A slight penis curve is completely normal. But the curve associated Peyronie’s disease is usually more distinct. It can result from a penis injury or trauma that causes scar tissue called plaque to build up.
Symptoms include:
sharp bend or curve of the penishard lumps or tissue on the bottom or side of your penis shaft or all the way aroundpain or discomfort when you get hard or ejaculatepenis shrinkage or shortening

Penile skin conditions

Many skin conditions can also affect the penis. Some can affect any part of your body while others only involve the penis.
Genital psoriasis happens when you develop rash-like outbreaks as a result of your immune system attacking healthy tissue. This can affect your penis buttocks and thighs.
Psoriasis causes patches of dry scaly skin. In more severe cases the skin may crack and bleed making you more susceptible to infections including some STIs.
Treating psoriasis can be tricky so it’s best to work with a doctor to find the most effective treatment plan.
Lichen planus
Lichen planus is another immune system condition that can cause a rash on your penis. It’s similar to psoriasis but lichen planus rashes are bumpier. Learn more about the differences between psoriasis and lichen planus.
Other symptoms of lichen planus include:
purplish discolored bumps on your penis that spread beyond your genital areaitchinesswhite lesions in your mouth that can burn or cause painpus-filled blisterslines on top of your rash
Pearly penile papules
Pearly penile papules or hirsutoid papillomas are tiny bumps that develop around your penis head. They usually go away on their own over time. They appear more commonly in people who haven’t been circumcised.
Pearly penile papules are usually:
smooth to the touchabout 1 to 4 millimeters (mm) in diameterseen as one or two rows around your penis head basevisually similar to pimples but without any pus
Lichen sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus happens when your skin develops shiny white thin patches or spots of skin around your genitals or anus. It can also appear anywhere on your body.
Other symptoms of lichen sclerosis on your penis include:
mild to severe itchinessgenital pain or discomfortpain during sexual activity involving your penisthin skin that’s easily bruised or injured
Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a type of skin rash or outbreak that results from exposure to an allergen irritant or sun exposure. It usually only appears when you’re exposed to the irritant and goes away soon after.
Symptoms of contact dermatitis include:
unusually dry flaky or bumpy skinblisters that pop and oozered or burning skintough discolored skinsudden and intense itchinessgenital swelling
Fordyce spots
Fordyce spots are small bumps that can appear on your penis and scrotum. They’re a harmless result of enlarged oil glands.
Fordyce spots are:
1 to 3 mm in diameteryellow-white red or flesh-coloredpainless
Skin cancer
While skin cancer is more common in areas that get a lot of sun exposure it can also affect areas of skin that tend to be covered including your penis.
If you have any new spots or growths on your penis check to see if they:
don’t seem to be going awayhave halves that aren’t symmetricalhave edgesare white black or red in colorare larger than 6 mmchange shape size or color over time

Less common penis diseases

The following penis conditions tend to be more serious but they’re also less common.
Priapism refers to having painful erections that last for more than four hours.
There are two types of priapism:
low-flow (ischemic) which involves blood getting stuck in the tissues of your penishigh-flow (nonischemic) which is caused by broken blood vessels affecting the flow of blood in and out of your penis
Other priapism symptoms include:
a hard penis shaft with soft headpain or throbbing sensations in your penis
Seek emergency medical attention if an erection lasts four or more hours as pooled blood loses oxygen and can cause permanent damage.
Retrograde ejaculation
Retrograde ejaculation happens when muscles that usually keep semen out of your bladder don’t work properly. This allows semen to flow into your bladder during an orgasm. Some people refer to this as a dry orgasm.
This is usually easy to recognize as you won’t have any semen come out when you ejaculate. You may also notice that your urine looks cloudy due to the presence of semen.
Anorgasmia or orgasmic dysfunction happens when you can’t have an orgasm.
Four types of anorgasmia are possible:
Primary anorgasmia means you’ve can’t reach orgasm and never have.Secondary anorgasmia means you can’t reach orgasm but you have in the past.Situational anorgasmia means you can only orgasm from certain activities such as masturbation or specific sexual acts.General anorgasmia means you’ve never been able to reach orgasm even though you feel sexually aroused and close to ejaculating.
Penile cancer
While very rare you can get cancer in your penis. This is known as penile cancer. If left untreated it can spread to other areas of your body so make sure to see your doctor if you have any symptoms of penile cancer.
Potential symptoms include:
an unusual bump or lump on your penisrednessswellingunusual dischargeburning sensationitchiness or irritationchanges in skin color or thicknessblood in your urine or semenbleeding
Penile fracture
A penile fracture happens when you injure your penis and damage the tissues that make your penis hard when you have an erection.
Symptoms of a penile fracture include:
popping or snapping soundimmediately losing your erectionintense painbruising or discoloration on penis skinunusual penis bendingbleeding from your penistrouble peeing
It’s important to seek immediate treatment for a penile fracture to avoid any long-term complications or permanent damage.
Lymphangiosclerosis happens when a lymph vessel in your penis hardens forming a bulge under your skin. This makes it look like there’s a thick cord around the base of your penis head or along your penile shaft.
Other symptoms of lymphangiosclerosis include:
redness or irritation on your genital area anus or upper thighspain when you urinatepain during sexual activity involving your penislower back or lower abdominal painswollen testiclesclear or cloudy discharge from your penisfatiguefever
Phimosis and paraphimosis
Phimosis happens when you can’t pull back the foreskin from your penis head. This is a harmless condition that doesn’t require treatment unless it starts to interfere with normal functioning such as erections or urination.
Paraphimosis is the opposite issue — your foreskin can’t be pulled forward over your penis head. Your foreskin can swell cutting off blood flow. This is a medical emergency.


Most people’s minds go straight to STIs when they notice unusual symptoms involving their penis. If you have an STI it’s important to get treatment right away to avoid spreading it to your sexual partners. You should also try to abstain from any sexual activity until it clears up completely.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection spread through unprotected genital or anal sex.
It doesn’t always cause symptoms at first. But over time it can cause:
burning sensation when urinatingyellow or green dischargetesticular or abdominal painpain when you ejaculatefever
Genital herpes
Genital herpes is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex (HSV-1 or HSV-2) virus. You can contract an HSV infection from unprotected genital anal or oral sex. The virus can be spread through saliva or genital fluids.
Symptoms include of genital herpes include:
blistersitching or tingling before blisters appearblisters that pop and ooze before crusting overswelling in your lymph nodeshead or body achesfever
Genital warts and HPV
Genital warts are small soft bumps caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is one of the most common STIsTrusted Source for all sexes.
Genital warts tend to pop up several weeks after you’ve had unprotected genital oral or anal sex.
These bumps are generally:
smallflesh-coloredcauliflower-shapedsmooth to the touchfound in clusters
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae which isspread through unprotected genital oral or anal sex.
Similar to chlamydia gonorrhea doesn’t always cause symptoms.
But when it does they include:
pain or burning sensations when you urinatefrequent urinationredness or swelling at the tip of your penistesticular pain and swellingsore throat
Syphilis is a bacterial infection caused by Treponema pallidum. It doesn’t always cause symptoms at first but if untreated it can become life-threatening.
Syphilis has four stages each with its own tell-tale symptoms:
primary syphilis which is marked by a small painless soresecondary syphilis which is marked by skin rashes sore throat headaches fever and joint aches latent syphilis which doesn’t cause any symptomstertiary syphilis which can cause loss of vision hearing or memory as well as brain or spinal cord inflammation
Trichomoniasis is a common infection caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis which is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse.
Only about 30 percentTrusted Source of people with trichomoniasis have symptoms which can include:
unusual urethral dischargeburning when you pee or ejaculatefrequent urination
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