I noticed these bumps rash not itchy that appeared on my penis head (Image)

Ask The Doctor > STDs > I noticed these bumps rash not itchy that appeared on my penis head (Image)

Patient: I noticed these bumps and rash on penis head that appeared last night. My penis head feels sensitive with minor pain I can manage. Can these bumps and rash on penis head be from masturbating? Could it be a fungal infection? Could it just be the irritation from masturbation?

I’m just wondering what these bumps may be, as I fear they may be herpes or worse. Hopefully you can set my mind at ease, but I would like to know your thoughts. I’m going to go for an STD check regardless, I’d still like to know your opinion.

I noticed these bumps/rash ...-1 I noticed these bumps/rash ...-1

Doctor: Thanks for your query and images. I was wondering whether you had unprotected sex also as you have given history about masturbation only. The picture shows localized rash of the glans of penis. If this is after masturbation, the cause can rubbing excessively or reaction to the lubricant/ oil used. The retained things under the prepuce can also cause dermatitis of similar way. Due to wetness you can get superadded fungal infection. This is called balanitis and one should get the blood sugar checked to rule out diabetes. This does not look to me as a rash of herpes or so. Please give some details:

  1. Was there any unprotected or risky sexual interaction that you are going for STD check up?
  2. Did you use any oil or lubricant?
  3. Any other information that you would like to share please.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: I have been with my girl friend for about 4 months and occasional we will have unprotected sex. I have been masturbating with my skin above my head. Can this also be the cause of the redness? I’m going to get an STD check just to rule it out since the last time I had a check up was over two years ago. Would it be safe to say its not an STD?

I do not use any oil or lubricant. I started using Terbinafine Hydrochloride Cream 1%. Will this help if it was balanitis?

Thank you for your response.

Doctor: Noted your history of being with a girl friend for about 4 months with occasional unprotected sex. Yes, it is good to check for the STD status.

Masturbating with skin above the head (glans) without any sort of lubrication also can cause such a redness or enhance the effect of sub-clinical balanitis if it was already present due to unprotected sex.

Balanitis can be an STD but occurs most commonly in many families if there was sudden change in the skin condition of the penis and/or vagina.This is not the part of the known STD panel as many a times this is self limiting or the best way is that both the partners take the same course of medicines simultaneously and refrain from sex till getting the cure.

Terbinafine is an anti-fungal and work only for fungal infection apply once a day.

Clean the area with plain water 2 to 4 times a day and apply solution povidone iodine twice daily.

If required take a course of antibiotic, metronidazole and oral anti-fungal tablets under the guidance of your Doctor, preferably to be taken by you and your girlfriend.

Patient: Having a hard time understand “Balanitis can be an STD but change in the skin condition”. Does this mean the skin color of the entire penis will change? I’m assuming the symptoms I am currently experiencing are slightly different? Also, can you elaborate a little more on “not part known STD panel self limiting”?

Also, I notice tingling/little pain sensation around my penis head. Can masturbating hard on the top of the penis head be the cause? If this is a rash or fungal infection how long should I except for the bumps and rash on penis head to heal?

Doctor: STD means sexually transmitted diseases.

Balanitis or balanoposthitis as such can occur in many males if there are some factors like:

If the female is suffering from some form of vaginitis or if there was a long gap in having sex. This can change the bacterial flora of the vagina such that the sexual intercourse can cause such infections that are not taken into consideration when one is seeking for STD tests. A course of medicines simultaneously to both the partners usually suffice to get a cure.

No, the skin color of the whole penis does not change, usually the glans and the foreskin is affected.

When one seeks the STD panel tests, the tests for such a disease are not included in the panel. I hope this clears your doubts.

Self limiting means in some cases, proper cleaning of the area with plain water and applying liquid povidone iodine suffices if both the partners take care.

As discussed already, harsh masturbation can cause the abrasions, followed by oozing, wetness added on by the smegma and thus can lead to fugal infection.

Fungal rash healing depends upon many factors:

Application of the anti-fungal ointment.

Hot humid atmosphere where you work or stay.

Proper cleaning and application of the medications.


Absence of diabetes

Hence can not really say when can the fungal infection get healed up.

Doctor: Has the bumps and rash on penis head disappeared?

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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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