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Dermatology/Red splotch on Penis head


Red splotch bumps
Red splotch bumps  

Red splotch bumps
Red splotch bumps  
I just noticed 2 or 3 odd red splotches on the tip of my penis. I am married, 37, white and circumcised. They don't itch, burn, no pain or discomfort, no discharge or liquid coming out like with a blister or pustule. I do shave my pubic area and have sex a lot with my wife, so I thought it could just be some kind of irritation/friction burn sort of thing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Balanitis is swelling (inflammation) of the foreskin and head of the penis.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Possible causes include:

Diseases such as reactive arthritis and lichen sclerosis et atrophicus


Harsh soaps

Not rinsing soap off properly while bathing

Uncontrolled diabetes


Redness of foreskin or penis

Other rashes on the head of the penis

Foul-smelling discharge

Painful penis and foreskin

Signs and tests

Your health care provider may be able to diagnose your balanitis by examination alone. However, you may need skin tests for viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Sometimes, a skin biopsy is needed.


Treatment depends on the cause of the balanitis. For example, balanitis that is caused by bacteria may be treated with antibiotic pills or creams. Balanitis that occurs with skin diseases may respond to steroid creams. Anti-fungal creams will be prescribed if it is due to a fungus.

In severe cases, circumcision may be the best option. If you cannot pull back (retract) the foreskin to clean it, you may need to be circumcised.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most cases of balanitis can be controlled with medicated creams and good hygiene. Surgery is not usually needed.


Long-term inflammation or infection can:

Scar and narrow the opening of the penis (meatal stricture)

Affect the blood supply to the tip of the penis


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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>


published over 50 articles on the subject.

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