STDs Expert Forum
Red areas on penis
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Red areas on penis

I am a 20 year old college male.  This afternoon, I noticed a red area on the shaft of my penis.  I have to take back the foreskin to see it, but it is just a red area on the shaft of the penis.  It is painless and not itchy at all.  In fact, when I touch it it feels and evokes the same response as the rest of my penis.  Then, a few hours later I noticed another one on the back side of the shaft of my penis.   If i stretch out my skin it looks like they are just really red veins, and are made up of more lines.  Then, tonight i noticed a red blotchy area on the head of my penis.  It is right below the the urethra on the penis where the  back of the head is connecting to the shaft - kind of red blotchy areas for like a centimeter either side  (symmetric-looking) of the line/ridge down the back of the head of the penis.  when i stretch it out, it kind of looks like it is just a bunch of tiny red, not raised dots.  

again, none of these are raised, painful or itchy at all.  just read areas, which really concern me because they are on my penis.

I have been with 2 girls - one only once, but the second (my gf) I have had unprocted sex with like 8 times, the most recent being 3 nights ago.  She got tested negative for STDs before we were together, but i know there could be false negatives. i also did masturbate today and the rashes were  not there

so, does this sound like an STD?  do i need to get tested/cultured for something?  It doesn't bother me at all, I am just worried it could be something more like an STD such as herpes?

Thanks so much - this is a great service you provide

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239123_tn?1267651214
No STD causes the sorts of red marks you describe.  From your follow up comment below -- which was posted before this reply -- I see that you are beginning to realize this yourself.  Almost certainly you are just looking more closely than you have before and, perhaps out of anxiety over your sexual exposures, you are paying more attention and noticing entirely normal features of your penile skin.  Also, any area of skin that looks "more blotchy" from time to time pretty much has to be related to blood vessels -- with more or less blood flow, such areas are redder or less so.  In particular, you might notice particular redness during sexual arousal, when blood flow to the penis is at its greatest.  All of this is entirely normal.  But if you continue to have any doubts about it, see a health care provider for a reassuring examination.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
ok, I just looked again, and I might have been freaking out.  the first area is like no longer red, just slightly red veins.    then the second section, is like a cross - two red lines that intersect, can;t tell if if they are veins for sure or just new red lines.  And the final rashy area - I feel like the area around the back of my penis is always a little blotchy, it just maybe seemed more so tonight.

anyway, I still would love to hear feedback on if this could possibly be any STD?  just a little more relaxed

thanks in advance for your help
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239123_tn?1267651214
I saw this before I replied above.
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you very much.  I did stress out over something normal, and just wasn;t think rationally.  but I appreciate you still taking the time, and actually now the redness has pretty much entirely gone away, so things should be fine.

thanks again
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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