Sexually Transmitted Diseases/red rash on penis


Hello. I'm wondering if I can get some help here.
I've always had one reddish rash on my penis head even before I lost my virginity, with no pain, looks like it's irritated skin. Not too red as in picture (picture was taken recently) but noticeable.
4 weeks ago I received oral sex without a condom and 5 days later my reddish mark on my penis got really red (like in the picture). After one day it got back to normal.
Two weeks later I lost my virginity with the same girl but this time I only performed intercourse (and I used a condom the two times we did it) and now 6 days later again the same thing. The skin got really red. I doesn't burn or irritate me but it is really red.
If I rub it with my hand it doesn't hurt but I can feel the skin is irritated
I'm not circumcised.. could this be a case of bad hygiene? As I said I had it before but not super red like in the picture.
I'm going to visit my GP as soon as possible but I wanted to get some advice on this as I'm getting a very nervous.

Thank you for you time,
Much appreciated.

Hello X,
The condition you describe is NOT associated with any STDs/STIs, but seems to be more consistent with men who are UNCIRCUMCISED. The area that is red may be due to rubbed off unkeritinized epithelial cells revealing the underlying dilated superficial capillaries (blood vessels).  These are otherwise covered and protected with layers of easily dislodged protective unkeratinized skin cells. Using better lubricant, such as something that is silicone based (not oil based, not water based).  

I am presuming that you have no other similar rashes elsewhere on your body.  If you do, than a visit to a dermatologist may be in order.

Good luck!

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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