Dermatology/Re occurring rash


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Hello, first off I'd like to thank you for your time to answer this question. I have had a re occurring rash over the past 6 months or so. I have had unprotected sex 3 times. I am uncircumsized. The rash goes away whenever I shower and and completely dry  my area. Comes back right after masturbation or more than 12 hours of not showering. I am thinking it might me balanitis. I shower daily and try to keep it clean but it still comes back and won't completely go away. I use Irish Spring soap. No cold sores whatsoever around any place, just the rash. Do you have any idea what it is and what I should do? I am highly considering circumsicion.

Yes, you have Balanitis.

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

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Balanitis is usually caused by poor hygiene in uncircumcised men. Other 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)
Make it difficult and painful to retract the foreskin to expose the tip of the penis (a condition called phimosis)
Make it difficult to move the foreskin over the head of the penis (a condition called paraphimosis)
Affect the blood supply to the tip of the penis

Calling your health care provider
Tell your health care provider if you have any signs of balanitis, including swelling of the foreskin or pain.

Good hygiene can prevent most cases of balanitis. When you bathe, pull back (retract) the foreskin to clean and dry the area under it.  


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


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