Penile Bruising – What Causes It and How to Help

Most active men take bumps and bruises in stride; in fact, in most cases, they might not even notice when they occur. However, when penile bruising develops, men tend to take note – a penis bruise can be disconcerting and worrisome. Fortunately, most causes of bruising on the penis are not serious, but it is helpful to know what can cause the problem and to be aware of issues that might require specialized penis care.

Some common (and less-common) sources of penile bruising are described here, followed by tips for managing discomfort and speeding healing.

Blunt force trauma

A heavy blow to the groin area, whether caused by a flying object, a misplaced knee or a clumsy maneuver, can result in sore, damaged tissue. This occurs when the capillaries under the skin are broken by the force of the impact, allowing blood to flow freely under the skin. While the majority of bruises caused by such injuries are minor and heal on their own, it is worth bringing them to the attention of a doctor, especially when accompanied by severe pain, to rule out something more serious.

Penile fractures

While the penis does not contain any bone, it is possible to rupture the erectile tissue when it is rigid, resulting in a penile fracture. This usually occurs during aggressive sexual maneuvers. Men who experience a loud popping sound that is accompanied by severe pain and/or signs of bruising should seek immediate medical attention.

Thrombosed lymphatic vessels

The penis is lined with lymph vessels that carry lymph fluid. These vessels can develop blockages during vigorous sex. The blockages may appear as raised lumps on the penis, and they may be tender to the touch and/or develop a bruised appearance. This condition is not serious, and generally, the blockages resolve on their own within a few days or weeks.


This condition, characterized by a painful erection that will not subside, occurs when blood becomes trapped inside the penis. Darkening of the skin or bruising may also appear. Men who experience an erection that lasts for several hours, and that is not brought on by sexual stimulation, should seek immediate medical attention, as this is considered a medical emergency.

Dealing with a penis bruise

Obviously, in the case of a traumatic injury, or when bruising appears on the penis for no apparent reason, the first step in treating the problem should be the emergency room. But for minor cases of bruising, and for ongoing treatment after the initial check with a doctor, men can follow the steps below to ease the pain and restore the skin to normal:

1) Apply cool, and then warm compresses. In the first hours after an injury, applying a cool compress (or simply a washcloth soaked in cool water) to the affected area can slow the spread of blood under the skin, reduce discoloration and decrease the level of discomfort. Ice or frozen gel packs should not be used directly against the skin, as frostbite may occur. In the following days, a warm washcloth applied to the area may help to increase the flow of blood to the area, allowing faster healing to take place.

2) Take an over-the-counter painkiller. Anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen may help to ease the pain caused by an injury to the penile skin. Men should only take these as recommended and should check with a doctor first if they are taking any other medications.

3) Allow time for healing. As difficult as it may be, it is important to leave the penis under wraps for a time to allow the healing process to take place; rough handling or the bending and twisting that come with sex can cause not only pain, but further injury to the already damaged tissue.

4) Try a penis health crème. Men who are not already using a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) to nourish and protect the penis may opt to try a product like this during the healing process. A crème that is enriched with vitamins C and D may support healing of the circulatory tissue and damaged skin, while emollients like Shea butter and vitamin E promote recovery and overall penile health.