Eczema on Penis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Last Updated 1/23/2023

Man Pointing at his arm depicting Eczema on Penis

The penis can be impacted by a variety of skin conditions. The most prevalent kind of eczema is atopic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. Atopic refers to allergy sensitivity.

Can you get Eczema on your Penis?

Yes, eczema that affects the penis is referred to as penile eczema. This kind of eczema can be quite irritating since it can lead to skin pigmentation, soreness, altered skin texture, and severe itching. Some patients are ashamed to discuss the illness with their doctors, which adds to their misery. But contrary to what you would believe, eczema on the penis is more pretty common.

You don’t have to endure the burning, itching, or overall discomfort of eczema despite the fact that there is presently no cure. There are however, treatment options through management of symptoms are possible for penile eczema.

If you have any new symptoms or changes in the look of the skin of your penis, it’s critical to consult a dermatological expert or your physician. They will be able to treat your symptoms as well as rule out any further reasons, such as fungal infections or sexually transmitted infections, in addition to managing your symptoms (STIs).

Eczema Symptoms on Penis

Genital eczema is the type of dermatitis that can affect the genital. Genital eczema can affect the penis as well as the scrotum, the skin around the testicles, the groin, the skin between the buttocks, and the region around the anus.

Persistent itching is one of the most challenging signs of penile eczema to manage.

In addition to causing excruciating itching, eczema may also result in the penis being inflamed and pigmented. The foreskin, scrotum, or shaft of the penis may be affected by this rash-like irritation. On the skin of the penis, open sores (ulcers) may also appear in severe cases. The color or texture of the genital skin may change permanently as a result of this.

What Causes Eczema on the Penis?

The penis can be impacted by several types of eczema. Certain types of eczema, including those that might affect the penis, can be caused by environmental triggers such soaps, detergents, or allergies (such as pollen or animal dander).

A person with atopic dermatitis on other body parts may also get eczema rashes on the skin of the penis. Eczema can be made worse by:

  • extreme changes temperature
  • Irritating substances include water, soap, detergents, shower gels, and perspiration
  • Stress
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Things that may cause an allergic reaction in you, such as some foods, the fabric used to make your underwear, or any other compounds that come into touch with your skin, including penis pumps and latex condoms.
  • Penis Friction caused by restrictive clothes.

Atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis are the three primary kinds of eczema that can damage the skin of the penis. Theses types of dermatitis are regarded as endogenous types of the illness since they develop as a result of internal factors as opposed to external irritants or triggers.

Contact Dermatitis

When naked skin comes into touch with an irritant, contact dermatitis occurs. If there is an allergen on the hands and they are not cleansed before peeing, this might occur with penile eczema. Burning and itching are common symptoms of contact dermatitis where the contact has taken place. Blisters might also develop.

Irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis are two types of contact dermatitis that can affect the penis.

What is Eczema - Eczema on Hands

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

Due to the sensitivity of the skin, along with perspiration and friction from clothing and skin surfaces, irritant dermatitis is widespread on the genitals. Toilet paper, wet towelettes, soaps, body washes, and other items that touch the genitalia can also cause irritating contact dermatitis.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

More infrequently, allergic dermatitis can develop when the skin on the penis reacts allergically to something it comes into touch with. Allergy-related dermatitis is characterized by pruritus, or itching, and a burning sensation. It has been discovered that spermicidal products, latex condoms, and personal lubricants can all result in allergic contact dermatitis on the genitalia.

Atopic Dermatitis

The most prevalent kind of eczema, atopic dermatitis (AD or atopic eczema), arises when an overactive immune system and a damaged skin barrier trigger inflammatory processes that assault the skin. AD often affects the limbs, legs, and area behind the ears. However, the illness can also manifest as persistently dry, itchy, and scaly skin on the penis.

Related Post: Summer Penile Syndrome – Poison Ivy on Penis?

The scrotum and base of the penis are typically affected by AD of the genitals. Skin on the penis affected by chronic (long-term) AD peels, oozes, and darkens. Penile AD commonly causes the skin to lichenify, or thicken and toughen, and peel, when it is acute.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

A persistent type of eczema known as seborrheic dermatitis affects skin regions with a lot of oil glands. It appears to be influenced by hormones, the immune system, yeast, and other skin-specific bacteria. When this condition develops on the scalp, it is frequently referred to as dandruff.

One specific location, such as the pubic region, the region around the anus, or the buttocks, may be affected by genital seborrheic dermatitis. The skin of the penis becomes discolored, swollen, and greasy due to this type of eczema. In the groin region, scales or flakes that are yellow-white may also appear.

Other Possible Causes of Skin Symptoms on Penis

Fungal Infections

The vaginal area is usually affected by dermatophytes or candida fungal infections. Balanitis, a disorder in which the penile head (glans) becomes inflamed, can result from a candida infection, more often known as thrush or a yeast infection.

Balanitis is more likely to affect persons who are not circumcised than those who are. These rashes frequently arise on the inner thighs as well because yeast and fungus frequently thrive in areas where skin scrapes against skin.

Lichen Planus

Skin and mucous membranes are both impacted by the inflammatory illness lichen planus. Flat, itchy, purple pimples appear in regions that are inflamed and irritating. An estimated 20 percent of lichen planus sufferers only have vaginal involvement. Itching is the predominant symptom of genital lichen planus.

Additionally, pruritus scroti is a disorder when the scrotum becomes very itchy for no apparent reason.

Genital Psoriasis

Similar to eczema, psoriasis is a persistent autoimmune skin condition. Although psoriasis is less frequent than eczema to afflict the penis, it is nonetheless possible for dry, scaly psoriatic lesions to appear on the penis’ shaft and glans.

STDs

STIs such genital herpes and syphilis can cause sores to form on the penis that may mimic eczema lesions, despite the fact that many STIs have no symptoms. Some STIs can also make the penis burn or itch, much like eczema.

How to Get Rid of and Treat Eczema on the Penis

After fully retracting the foreskin once or twice each day, the penis has to be thoroughly cleansed. Washing with a cream, such an emulsifying ointment, occasionally with the inclusion of an antibiotic component, may be more advantageous than using soap. Emollients like shower gel, Cetraben bath additive, Oilatum bath additive, Oilatum plus shower gel, and Oilatum bath additive are additional choices.

Eczema shampoo and shower gel

Speak to your doctor or a dermatologist if your penis becomes extremely itchy or develops dry, discolored, or scaly patches. Never attempt to cure eczema on your own. Some treatments or home remedies may treat eczema, but they can also worsen your symptoms by aggravating the sensitive skin on your penis.

Topical Steroids and Other Medications

The first step doctors usually take in treating penile eczema is often applying a corticosteroid to the affected area. Corticosteroids lessen inflammation, which helps to relieve eczema symptoms such as preventing that intensely itchy feeling and irritation.

Your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter steroid cream and otc allergy medications, or prescribe a stronger medicine depending on the severity of your symptoms.

  • For moderate attacks or when the inflammation is lessened after a severe assault, hydrocortisone cream, a mild strength steroid, can be administered with or without the use of anti-bacterial or anti-yeast medicines. They can be applied sporadically for brief periods of time.
  • A fairly powerful steroid, eumovate, can help lessen the severity of episodes.
  • As an alternative, your doctor can recommend an even stronger steroid cream, such Betnovate, for a really severe flare-up (Betametasone valerate).
  • Use weak steroids only on affected penis skin or near the genitals unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

Steroid creams can also cause skin to thin. Because the skin of the penis is the thinnest on the body, it tends to absorb these drugs more readily than other parts of the body. Therefore, it is crucial to use steroid creams just as instructed by a doctor because it can make eczema worse through dry skin caused irritation which would aggravate eczema.

If the eczema has not cleared up after using a mild strength steroid like Hydrocortisone, it is likely your doctor will switch to a stronger steroid like Eumovate. The proper amount of cream must be applied. If you take too little, you won’t benefit from the medication and your doctor might believe it hasn’t worked.

In the case of a serious viral infection or severe eczema, your doctor may decide to recommend a brief course of the strongest steroid cream to prevent or treat eczema. Stronger steroid creams, like Betnovate, work faster than a light steroid cream. It’s crucial to heed your doctor’s recommendations.

One or two times each day, a tiny quantity of steroid cream or ointment should be applied thinly to the irritated skin. It should be used consistently every day until the eczema is completely gone. While using the steroid cream as therapy, you should use moisturizer generously.

It is crucial to maintain the area moisturized, dry, and clean every day until the eczema has cleaned up. Your doctor might suggest moisturizers like Epaderm, Oilatum, Diprobase or cream or ointment.

Use of steroid creams over an extended period of time may cause various negative effects, such as skin thinning, a compromised skin barrier and infected hair follicles. It is unlikely that normal routine usage during an outbreak will result in thinning skin. Simply stop taking it and let your doctor know if your skin starts to thinning.

Steroid creams shouldn’t be applied to the penis right before sex because they might irritate your partner’s skin. Before having sex, make sure the medication has had enough time to fully absorb into the penis skin.

Without the use of steroids, topical immunomodulators like Protopic (tacrolimus) and Elidel (pimecrolimus) decrease inflammation and itching. These can be used safely on and close to the genitalia. The steroid-free medications Eucrisa (crisaborole) and topical JAK inhibitors are alternative choices for treating itching and inflammation.

An antihistamine, mild allergy medication and OTC itch cream might also help to lessen the urge to scratch and halt the itching. Scratching irritates the skin, which raises your risk of infection and aggravates the eczema which will worsen symptoms.

Emollients

Emollients (lotions or moisturizers) can provide relief for the dry, itchy skin on the penis. Before applying an emollient to the penis, it is advised to wait at least 30 minutes after using a topical steroid cream.

These emollients will assist in repairing damage to the sore skin natural barrier, which may frequently happen when the skin gets dry and cracked, along with using creams on the skin’s typical skin regions. They can aid in reducing itchiness, edema, and redness. They defend the skin from infections and irritability.

Avoid Triggers

In order to manage penile eczema, contact with irritants must be minimized or avoided. Stop using dryer sheets and use only fragrance-free laundry detergents and cleaning products in the bathroom.

Make sure there are no synthetic fibers in his underwear. Only cotton! There are so many resources available that might be helpful. Simply said, it calls for extensive study and testing a variety of medications because everyone’s responses to therapy are different.

Friction Causing Clothing

Eczema on the penis can be worse by friction and constrictive clothes. Cotton clothing that is loose and comfy might assist reduce irritation. You might also want to try fabric softeners or laundry detergents without fragrances, as the member above suggested.

Spermicides And Other Contraceptives

Some eczema sufferers discover that physical contraception like condoms and diaphragms irritate their penis. This is especially true if you are allergic or sensitive to latex. The penis may also itch while using spermicidal lotions or gels, which assist prevent pregnancy by destroying the sperm.

Consult your doctor for the best birth control option that won’t aggravate your penis or cause flare-ups of eczema. Hormonal birth control may be a preferable choice if avoiding conception is a concern and physical contraceptives irritate you very much. This is particularly crucial if you use topical steroids or emollients, as both can reduce the effectiveness of physical contraceptives like condoms.

Manage Itching

One of the most obvious signs of eczema on the penis is intense itching. This bothersome sensation may be helped by several over-the-counter anti-itch medicines. Your doctor could suggest further treatments, such antihistamines, if these don’t work. They could also carry out more research.

Itching can also be brought on by other illnesses, such as low iron levels or iron deficiency anemia. If scratching irritated skin has caused harm or irritation, trimming your fingernails as short as possible may also be beneficial.

Bad Hygiene

The management of penile eczema involves keeping the genitalia clean, although excessive washing or the use of irritant-containing soaps can make symptoms worse. Eczema on the penis can be treated by washing the afflicted parts with warm water and a nondetergent soap.

Apply an emollient to the penis before shampooing in order to protect it if your shampoo is exacerbating inflammation. Additionally, it’s crucial to wash your hands before peeing or touching your penis to stop the transfer of irritants to the genital skin.

Take a bath using a cleanser that is rich in emollients, which promote healing and reduce irritation. Think about taking colloidal oatmeal baths and then, after drying off, applying cream containing 2% colloidal oatmeal. Towel off with a soft towel and gently pat, then within three minutes use Vaseline or a fragrance-free moisturizer. Consider “wet wrap” treatment if this does not solve the problem. Although rather tedious, it may be quite helpful.

Summary

Eczema symptoms can be difficult to control. However, there’s plenty of ways to assist with any discomfort caused by Eczema. If you didn’t find a solution in this post, check out our post on 10 natural home remedies to help with an itchy penis.

Have you had eczema on penis? How did you handle the eczema on your penis? Post your advice and expertise in the comments section below.

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