Although it spends most of its time tucked away out of sight, a man’s penis is a fairly reliable barometer for his overall health; signs of an unhealthy penis can indicate that not all is well, and that appropriate treatment is needed. Some common symptoms that could indicate an underlying health issue are discussed here, along with tips for ongoing penis care.
1. Bumps, warts or pimples – No penis has perfectly smooth skin, and bumps or pimples are not always a sign of anything sinister. A large number of men have a condition known as pearly penile papules, which appear as a pearl-like “necklace” of bumps around the crown of the penis. These are perfectly normal and should not be a cause for worry.
A raised, red bump that looks like a pimple could certainly be nothing more than a pimple – if a bump like this appears and then begins to heal after a few days, then there is probably nothing to be concerned about. On the other hand, if the bump appears to be filled with clear liquid, or if it crusts over, it’s time to head to the doctor for testing for a possible sexually transmitted disease.
A grayish or white, dome-shaped bump could be a genital wart, which is a symptom of HPV – a common virus that is spread through intimate contact. Men who have warts on the penile skin should avoid partner sex and should see a doctor for a positive diagnosis.
2. Dull, dry-looking, scaly penis skin – Skin that is dry, itchy and dull-looking could be the result of dehydration. It could also be a reaction to a soap or other detergent, or it could be caused by dry masturbation or sex. A dry, itchy penis that is accompanied by swelling or discharge may indicate a yeast infection known as thrush. This is easily treated with over-the counter creams, but a doctor should be consulted to be sure there is no other underlying issue.
3. Penis rash – A red, itchy penis rash may be related to poor hygiene. Washing on a daily basis, and removing any built-up smegma (for uncircumcised men) may be the only treatment needed in this case. A rash that spreads and causes severe itching may be a sign of a fungal infection; and again, it is important to rule out a sexually transmitted infection for a rash that does not improve after a couple of days.
4. Cuts and abrasions – The appearance of cuts or abrasions on the penis that are not the result of an obvious injury could be the result of an allergic reaction, a sign of a yeast infection, or simply dryness caused by aggressive masturbation or sex. An antifungal cream can take care of most yeast infections, and increasing water intake and using a lube is the best way to address dry skin related to friction.
5. Swelling, redness and soreness – These symptoms could be related to an injury; most often, they are signs of an infection. Men who are experiencing any of these should check in with a doctor for a professional medical opinion.
Everyday care for a healthier, more youthful penis
Caring for the penis is fairly straightforward, but it does require a little more than just a rinse in the shower. The skin down there is sensitive, and washing with ordinary soaps can actually cause drying, scaling and discomfort. Men can avoid this problem by using a gentle cleanser or shower gel that is formulated for sensitive skin – baby wash or hypoallergenic cleansers are a good bet.
Drying the area thoroughly before putting on clothing is also important, because wet skin plus clothing creates the perfect environment for growing Candida yeast. As a last step before covering up with clothing, applying a penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can supply the penile skin with vital moisturizers and nutrients that work to keep the skin smooth, resilient and youthful.