Red mark on penis. About 1/3 inch long.

Patient

Q: Rash on penis. 1/3 of an inch. How do I know if it is an std or not?

Symptoms:  Side of shaft. red uniform rash about 1/3 of an inch long. no burning or itching. Goes along a vein.
Doctor

A:   Rash on penis may be caused by many reasons like allergy, inflammation or infection. Certain dry skin conditions may also cause reddish rashes on the penis and these are painless to begin with. In fact many penile rashes do not cause any pain or itching in the initial stages. Herpes, a common sexually transmitted infection is distinguished by pain. Fungal infections are usually itchy. Small red or purple spots with a thick, warty surface are probably angiokertomas. They appear on the glans shaft or scrotum. Most often, they appear on the scrotum of elderly men, though they may be solitary and they may appear in young men. These spots -- known as angiokertomas of fordyce -- are not infectious and require no treatment. Pink-brown or skin-colored bumps with a moist surface may be genital warts, which are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Red patches with a well defined border may indicate psoriasis. These patches may be scaly or smooth and may arise from the friction caused by masturbation or sexual intercourse. Typically, psoriasis of the penis responds to treatment with a steroid cream. Psoriasis is not infectious.

If you suspect an STI, getting an STD panel may be of great help. You may contact your family physician for a test recommendation for Sexually Transmitted Infections after getting the rash evaluated. Some STDs may be diagnosed initially by clinical examinations, and test recommendations are usually given out later to confirm or corroborate the clinical diagnosis. The local GUM (Genitourinary Medicine) Clinic may offer Testing and counseling services for STIs and they are supposed to keep things confidential in case you do not want to discuss these issues with your GP. A full STD panel is a battery of tests aimed at detecting the presence of any STI, and this is the way to know if you have got an STI.

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