Penis inflammation may be characterized by swelling, soreness, burning, itching and/or an unusual discharge. While many men find it difficult to talk to a medical professional about abnormalities of the penis, it is important to get the right treatment in order to prevent long-term problems.
In order to assist men in understanding the potential causes of penile inflammation, some of the most common types of penis infections are described here. Tips for caring for the penis and maintaining overall sexual health are also provided.
Common penile inflammatory conditions
- Balanitis – This painful inflammatory condition is most common in men who are uncircumcised and affects the head and foreskin. Caused by bacteria, it is usually characterized by swelling, pain, burning or itching, severe discomfort during sex, and a whitish or yellow discharge. Balanitis can typically be prevented by keeping the area clean and dry, especially underneath the foreskin.
- Trauma/Injury – Penile injury such as rupture of the erectile tissue due to forceful bending, impact against a partner’s pubic bone, or even zipper trauma can lead to swelling and pain. A penile fracture can cause long-term damage if it is not treated, so it is important to seek immediate medical assistance if a rupture occurs.
- Latex sensitivities or allergies – Men who are allergic to latex may experience symptoms such as itching, burning, swelling and soreness. Men with more serious allergies may even encounter breathing problems if exposed to the substance. Individuals who have had adverse reactions should avoid latex condoms; even those who have previously had no problem may develop a latex sensitivity over time.
- Sexually transmitted infection – Numerous sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause swelling, itching, burning, soreness and whitish or yellow discharge. Some STIs, such as herpes, are also characterized by blisters or sores on the skin. All men who are sexually active should be tested regularly for STIs, and any symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor to ensure prompt treatment and prevent spreading of the disease.
- Dry masturbation/vaginal dryness – Aggressive masturbation without a personal lubricant or intimacy with a partner who is experiencing dryness can stress the skin, causing microscopic lacerations, soreness, redness and swelling. Using a water-based lube and keeping the skin well-moisturized between sessions is recommended to alleviate this issue.
Reducing the risk for infection
It may not always be possible to avoid infectious conditions and penis inflammation. However, by paying attention to penis health care and good hygiene, men can substantially reduce the chances that they will develop a painful inflammatory condition.
Regular penis care should include daily cleansing, using a mild cleanser, rather than an ordinary soap (which can dry the skin and make it easier for bacteria to penetrate). Men who are uncircumcised should be sure to clean under the foreskin to eliminate dead skin cells, body oils and other substances which tend to attract bacteria.
All men should make it a habit to always use a condom unless they are in a monogamous relationship where both partners have tested clean for any STIs. Men who have issues with latex have numerous other options to choose from, so a latex allergy should not be a deterrent in this respect. In addition, careful choice of partners and having open conversations about sexual health are strongly urged.
Adding a penis vitamin creme to the personal care routine can also help to boost resistance to infection by keeping the skin smooth, moisturized, and resistant to penetration by foreign invaders. Men who have dry skin due to constant friction can benefit from a penile nutrient cream, and a high-quality formula may even help to improve penis feeling in men who have experienced a loss of sensitivity.