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redness around urethra opening
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redness around urethra opening

Some background. 32 year old male. I have not had sex in approximately 6 months. Unprotected oral perhaps two months ago.

Friday (4/8) I noticed that the skin around my urethra appeared quite red. The rest of my penis appears normal, with no lesions, bumps, discoloration, etc. In the red patch which surrounds my urethra nothing appears swollen and there is no bumps or blisters. The normal skin texture there seems slightly exaggerated when it is reddest. It simply seems red, and times an angry looking red. There is no discharge or discomfort, though I am sometimes very aware of it. No problems urinating, no itching, no pain. It just appears red and inflamed, but not swollen at all.  It looks like it should hurt, but it doesn't.

The redness is worse to the right of the opening and below my urethra (penis side) and sometimes it appears that the redness extends and follows the bottom of the penis head (corona?) off to the left side. The redness seems to fluctuate in intensity?

I hope that some of this makes sense. Do you have any idea what it could possibly be? I had a urinalysis performed on monday (4/4) for some dysuria that I had been experiencing. It was totally clean.  

However, this just doesn't look normal to me. I have had redness around the urethra before, often times a mild redness and it went away in a few days if not hours. This time the redness is quite pronounced. It is more prevalent on the right side of the opening and below the opening, someetimes extending down and following the crown of the head on the left side.

Regardless of my "clean" UA 4 days prior, I made an appoinment at the local health clinic to have it looked at (4/11). The appointment was this morning and the redness was still there when I woke up. When I got to my appoinment she went to take a look and the area was hardly red at all! I felt embarrased and stupid like I was wasting her time. She swabbed me for chlamydia anyway. Then, an hour later, the redness was back.  The results were negative, received them today.

But ths just doesn't seem right to me, or some normal variant. I'm pretty confused and concerned.  In fact the redness seems to wax and wane strangely if that makes sense. One time its there, the next it has faded slightly, the next its back.  I masturbated once between my UA and noticing the redness (probably 2-3 days before the redness started).  Have been applying Neutrogena for sensitive skin, but no real change.  Please help.
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Urethral redness is not a sign of an STD.  it is probably just irritation--the skin down there is quite sensitive.  Redness fluctuates depending on how warm the skin is, so the changes in intensity don't mean anything.  I would apply no active medications, leave the area alone, and not look at it.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I should add that at times, especially when I'm thinking about it most, it feels very sensitive when I walk around or sit, like its rubbing on something.  Also, I take ibuprofin sometimes for chronic pelvic pain (prostatitis) and, well I'm probably seeing things that aren't there, but it helps the inflammation?
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry, one more thing.  I'm circumsized.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your advice doctor.  I started putting hydrocortizone 1% around the opening which seems to help with the redness somewhat.  This morning however, I woke up, and being paranoid I "milked" my penis and a thick white subtance came out.  It was present upon milking even after a urination.  Help!  I had unprotected oral exposure 2 months ago, I have not had sex for 6 or 7 months.  Negative UA almost two weeks ago, negative chlamydial swab last week.  What is going on?  Reaction to hydrocortizone?
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Avatar_n_tn
I forgot to add that the subtance that was present was white and would string between my fingers, like it was stuck to both sides.
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Avatar_n_tn
SPACEY,

I HAVE HAD THE EXACT SAME SYMPTOMS FOR SIX MONTHS AND HAVE SEEN NUMBEROUS DOCTORS, ALL OF WHICH HAVE SAID THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE DOCTOR WHO DIAGNOSED ME WITH PROSTITIS.  I HAVE HAD BAD GROIN,PELVIC AND LOWER BACK ACHE WITH VERY TENDER LYMPH NOIDS IN MY GROIN AS WELL.

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR SYMPTOMS IS THAT MY URETHRA BURNS INSIDE MOST OF THE TIME AND MY RED RASH AT TIP SOMETIMES ITCHES AND OR BURNS.  BUT, THIS RASH DOES COME AND GO LIKE YOU SAID AND IS NEVER THERE WHEN THE DOCTOR LOOKS (PROBABLY HAS TO DO WITH ME BEING NERVOUS AND CHANGE OF TEMPERATURE OF SKIN TO COLD.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU FIND AN ANSWER.  I WAS TESTED FOR ALL STDS AND FOUND NEGATIVE. MY SYMPTOMS ARE SO BAD AT THIS POINT THE URETHRA BURN KEEPS ME UP AT NIGHT.

THANKS.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can't figure this one out either. I have minor swelling/redness around the urethral opening, but no burning of the urine. Finished off 6 weeks of Cipro a few weeks back and then had to take a week of Nystatin for the oral thrush that the antibiotic caused (which was for nonbacterial prostatitis/cystitis (diagnoses not clear). The whole thing is very bothersome and perplexing and I wish I could get some sort of answer from a urologist - or anyone other than "don't worry about it". At least I know I'm not the only one, and that helps a bit.
Any replies are welcome!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have similar symtoms (symptoms) too.  Just lately my foreskin is permamently sore, and the skin of my glans (glands) and foreskin seems to be changing in texture. I'm starting to worry about it being the early stages of Lichen Sclerosis.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have similar symtoms (symptoms) too.  Just lately my foreskin is permamently sore, and the skin of my glans (glands) and foreskin seems to be changing in texture. I'm starting to worry about it being the early stages of Lichen Sclerosis.
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A related discussion, Red Rash Around Urethra was started.
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A related discussion, Why is my urethra opening stinging? was started.
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