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Dermatology/bumps and red spotchiness on penis

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I have these two bumps on my penis and red spotchy skin.  They come and go and sometimes itch and are very sensitive.  What could it be?  All STD tests have come back negative.  I am not sure if they tested for Herpes though.

Answer
You have a condition called Balanitis.

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

Causes
Balanitis is usually caused by poor hygiene or irritation of the skin. Other possible causes include:

Diseases such as reactive arthritis and lichen sclerosis et atrophicus
Infection
Harsh soaps
Not rinsing soap off properly while bathing
Uncontrolled diabetes
Trauma or skin irritation
Symptoms
Redness of foreskin or glans penis
Other rashes on the head of the penis
Foul-smelling discharge
Painful penis and foreskin


Exams 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
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 your case I would try Cortaid or cortisone 10 for 1-2 weeks.


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


Prevention
Good hygiene can prevent most cases of balanitis. Also watch for trauma or irritation.  

Dermatology

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

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