Parsippany 973-263-0066
Parsippany Pediatrics

Are You Sick?

Penis Symptoms

Is this your symptom?

  • Rash, pain, discharge, itching, and swelling of penis
  • Symptoms not caused by a known injury

Some Basics...

  • There are different types of problems a man can have with his penis.
  • Any of the following are signs of a possible problem: rash, pain, discharge, itching, and swelling.
  • The type of symptom(s) gives a clue to the cause of the problem.

Causes of Burning with Passing Urine

  • Bladder infection
  • Blood in the urine
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs like gonorrhea, chlamydia)

Causes of Discharge

  • STIs (gonorrhea, chlamydia)

Causes of Itching

  • Contact dermatitis (latex condoms)
  • Irritation from a chemical product like perfumed soaps or spermicides
  • Irritation from a plant, fiberglass, or detergent
  • Poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin disorders/rashes (psoriasis, eczema, and drug rashes)
  • STIs (pubic lice)

Causes of Pain

  • Bladder infection
  • Injury
  • Priapism
  • STIs

Causes of Rash

  • Contact dermatitis (latex condoms, lubricants, spermicides, and perfumed soaps)
  • Poison ivy, oak, or sumac rash
  • Rash after sex or masturbation (lack of lubrication)
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin disorders/rashes (psoriasis, eczema, and drug rashes)
  • STIs (herpes)

Causes of Swelling

  • Priapism

What Is Priapism?

This is an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours. It is unwanted and often painful. It can be caused by sickle cell anemia. Certain drugs can also have this side effect. It may need to be treated in a hospital.

When to Call for Penis Symptoms

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Fever and pain or burning with passing urine
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • Pus (white, yellow) or bloody discharge from end of penis
  • Blood in urine (red, pink or tea-colored)
  • Looks infected (draining sore, ulcer, or rash that is painful to touch)
  • Rash with painful tiny water blisters
  • Swollen foreskin and not circumcised
  • You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • You are worried you might have an STI
  • Blood in semen
  • Painless rash (redness, tiny bumps, sore) that has been there for more than 24 hours
  • Using antibiotics for an STI for 3 days and still painful to pass urine
  • Other penis problems
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Painless rash (redness, tiny bumps, sore) that has been there for less than 24 hours
  • Mild itch and no rash

Care Advice for Penis Symptoms

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Penis symptoms include rash, pain, discharge, itching, and swelling.
    • These symptoms can have many different causes.
    • You can treat mild penis symptoms at home.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Concerns about a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
    • If you think you have an STI, you should see your doctor. Wear a condom, or even better, avoid sex until you have been examined.
    • If the doctor diagnoses you with an STI, be sure to notify your sexual partner right away. He or she may need testing or treatment, too.
  3. Cleansing: Wash the area once with unscented soap and water. This will help to remove any irritants.
  4. Genital Hygiene:
    • Keep your penis and scrotal area clean and dry.
    • Wash the area daily. Use unscented soap and water.
    • Wear cotton underwear.
  5. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Rash spreads or gets worse
    • Rash lasts more than 1 day
    • Fever occurs
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.


Last Reviewed: 12/14/2019 1:00:29 AM
Last Updated: 3/14/2019 1:00:26 AM

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