Over time, a man comes to know his body well. That's why it can be such a surprise to look down and see a red penis in place of the formerly healthy, supple skin. To make matters worse, a red penis is often a very itchy, dry penis. Not only is it quite uncomfortable, it might make intimate activities a little awkward, embarrassing or even off-limits. The good news is that thorough penis care can help relieve the itching, dryness and redness. If the sight of a red penis is worrisome, the following list explains what might really be going on and how to remedy the problem.
1) Overuse. One of the most common reasons for a red penis is sexual activity - and a lot of it. Excessive friction from intercourse or masturbation can lead to redness of the skin, as well as dryness. The skin will become very sensitive and irritated, and you might even develop a few small abrasions at areas where rubbing was most frequent. Stop sexual activity for at least 24 hours and use a high-quality penis crème on the skin to facilitate faster healing.
2) Balanitis. This inflammation can be caused by numerous issues. One of the most common is simple lack of proper hygiene. Remember to always wash the penis carefully; those who are uncircumcised should take care to clean under the foreskin. If the problem persists, it might be caused by an allergy to soap, detergent, or something else that touches the skin on a regular basis. Switch to a mild soap. Consider switching laundry detergent as well.
3) Yeast infection. Also known as thrush, the Candida yeast infection is often considered a 'woman's problem.' However, men are just as likely to get thrush as women are. Something as simple as a common cold can be enough to upset the delicate balance of the body, and the result is an overgrowth of the common yeast spores on the skin. In addition to a red penis, there might be itching, dryness, cracking and a whitish discharge. A yeast infection requires a visit to the physician for proper treatment.
4) Latex allergy. An allergy to latex is no laughing matter - it can lead to extreme redness and itching, and those who have a serious allergy might have trouble breathing shortly after contact with condoms, dental dams or intimate toys that contain latex. This allergy usually appears the first few times a person is exposed to latex, so it might come as an unfortunate surprise after using a condom for the first time. Immediately stop using latex condoms and make an appointment with the doctor to determine if that really is the problem.
5) STDs. A red penis might be one of the first signs of an STD, particularly if it is accompanied by itching, small lumps, discolorations, flaking skin, ulcers or discharge. Signs of an STD might appear within days or even weeks after having intercourse. Though it can be tough to think about having an STD, getting tested and treated is crucial to preserve fertility and avoid passing the STD to others.
6) Jock itch. One of the most annoying problems a man can possibly encounter, jock itch is quite aptly named. The need to scratch can be maddening, and along with it comes the redness - which, of course, is made even redder by the constant itching. The great news is that jock itch responds very well to over-the-counter treatments. Look for a good antifungal crème or spray and use it exactly as directed. Change underwear often and use towels only once to prevent spreading the infection.
7) Cancer. Though it is extremely rare, many men worry that a red penis equals cancer. Cancer typically presents as lumps or growths on the penis, either red or blue-brown in color. The texture of the skin might begin to feel markedly different. An appointment with the doctor can help ease fears of cancer; and if it does happen to be cancerous, there are many effective treatments.
Making a red penis healthy again
In many cases, a red penis will gradually return to the proper color and appearance. However, if there is itchiness to go along with the redness, take care not to scratch at the skin. This can lead to microscopic tears, and might actually make the itching worse. Seek relief by carefully washing the skin, using a mild cleanser designed for intimate care.
Keeping the penis skin moisturized is a vitally important part of a daily penile health regimen. Use a proven penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil), to keep the skin supple. Use formulations that provide nutrients known for healing properties, such as vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as Shea butter.