Dermatology/penile irritation


I would like to know what possibly could be the problem. I'm a 19yr old, and circumcised, iv recently started becoming sexually active with my partner who was also a virgin. This however started before I was sexually active. I had started using a different soap and suddenly realized that my penis was dry and had tiny red pimples which only hurt when they got itchy and I scrached them. They eventually went away after a few days. Then everything was normal.  Few months later I had protected sexual intercourse with my partner, we were both virgins and it started all over again, the dryness then the pimples and the itch, of which I washed my penis with rooibos tea and it was normal again. We then used condoms and nothing happened for the past two months. A GP told me that its not a sign of a NY sexually transmitte disease, so I concluded that maybe I was allergic to latex condoms. Recently, however I had unprotected intercourse with my partner and the next morning I was in the same boat. Dryness, itchyness and soreness of those tiny pimples. Right after the intercourse my penis was still normal but very dry. It starts out like this. What could be the problem?
Thank you.

Irritant contact dermatitis accounts for 80% of all contact dermatitis reactions. It occurs when the skin comes in contact with a substance that acts as an irritant. Even though over 2800 substances have been identified as irritants, almost any substance under the right circumstances can act as an irritant.

Skin Barrier in Irritant Contact Dermatitis
The epidermis acts as a barrier with an outer layer composed of dead cells in a water-protein-lipid matrix. If the barrier function of the epidermis is disrupted for any reason, an eczematous-type reaction can occur. Irritant contact dermatitis is divided into 2 subtypes depending on the strength of the irritant.

Treatment of Irritant Contact Dermatitis
The mainstay of treatment for irritant contact dermatitis is avoiding as many of the irritants as possible. Other helpful measures include:
Reduce water exposure - because frequent water exposure actually dries out the skin and disrupts the barrier function of the epidermis, keep water contact to a minimum.
Moisturize - Frequent moisturization improves the barrier function of the skin. Avoid the use of moisturizers with perfumes since these may also act as an irritant.
Topical steroids - Low to medium-strength topical steroids may be needed to reduce inflammation and itching.


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


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