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red, shiny, dry skin on penis

I've had these red, shiny areas on my penis for about 3 months now. The skin is smooth, dry and not raised or thick. It will look al little better at times, then get worse again. I've tried Hydrocortesone cream, Lotrimin AF ,and plain lotion. Nothing seems to help. Any ideas? Picture attached...
60 Responses
563773 tn?1374250139
It can be due to friction rub or fungal infections. Wash the areas several times with fresh water. Do not use any cosmetic products at the sites. You can apply some calamine lotion at the rash as it will help in soothing the skin. Also wear cotton undergarments and use non perfumed mild soaps. Application of mild corticosteroid cream and oral antiinflammatories like ibuprofen/acetaminophen are also helpful. If the symptoms are severe then it will be best to consult a dermatologist and get a biopsy skin done.

I hope it helps . Take care and regards.

Avatar universal
As an update (for anybody searching in the future) this appears to have been a yeast infection. Don't know how I got it, as I'm circumcised, all sex partners had no symptoms, and , believe me, I wash the hell out of this area!
After 6 months of various degrees of redness, I finally went to the doctor,and he took about 30 seconds to prescribe fluconazole tablets (listed as treatment for vaginal candida),along with using lotrimin. Symptoms showed improvement in 24 hrs. I'll update as necessary...
Avatar universal
Hello  ced !  I`ve been having exactly the same shiny redness and same symptoms as you for more than a year. Looking at your picture is like looking at my own penis. Anyways I have been with several doctors (general and urologyst) some of them did all kind of STD tests and all came negative including herpes. They also prescribe me antifungals creams that were making my foreskin very thin (I'm uncircumsiced) , antibiotics and a treatment with fluconazole. Let me tell you nothing works  the redness come and goes. Started last summer I had a break in the winter and then came back 6 weeks ago. Some doctors said I have nothing to worry cus is not contagios that is just an irritation, but I'm sick and tired of this condition, Last Urologyst I went said is recurrent balanitis and the only solution would be a circumsicion so I have an appointment to have done next tuesday 13, but now I do not know what to think cus you already have a circumsicion and is happening to you too. Please keep me updated with your healing process and with what you are using . Thanks.
PD  one doctor told me to dilute 2 teaspoons of white vinegar in one glass of water and wash the  penis with it, but  I haven't done yet.   Thanks again
Avatar universal
Hi Ra1234,

After 2.5 days out of 7 (I have seven fluconazole pills to take), redness is greatly reduced ,but skin is still a little shiny. I read that it could take a few days for the symptoms to disappear, even after the infection is gone. I will keep posting (and try to post an updated picture), because I know that it is hard to find good information on this exact condition! Below is info I posted in another comment, about 2 months before I posted in this thread, so that you have all the info....

"I'm a 45 year old circumcised male. About 2 months ago, I noticed what I thought was a small, circular abrasion on the side of my penis, and also on the top of the shaft, just below the glans. I've had similar before from sex, and they usually go away in a couple of days. These have not. Now there are two spots about the size of a pencil eraser on each side of the shaft just below the glans, and a spot about the size of a dime on the top, with a little extension from the shaft onto the glans. The spots are not painful or itchy, are not raised, and are dry. Sometimes the skin flakes a little, and beneath is red and very shiny. The spot on top has spread just a tiny bit, and where its spread is noticably redder and shinier than the rest. I used lotion for a couple of weeks, which cured the flakiness, but not the discoloration. Also tried 1% hydrocortesone for a couple of days, and also Lotrimin anti fungal, nothing seems to help. I am sure this is not any kind of STD. Ideas?
Same thing was told to use a Clotrimazole Vaginal Cream, makes my **** feel good and soft but really is not helping much. This is a treatment for vaginal yeast infections and it is suppose to help. Seem to have worked the first 3 days but now IDK. Went to std clinic and was told it was nothing and to use vasiline. Made it soft and smooth but did not change the appearance.
Avatar universal

Let me also comment that even though I am circumcised, my glans often is recessed into the skin a little (like a "turtle"), which probably offers the same warm, moist conditions around the corona as being uncircumcised. I don't know if being circumcised as an adult cures this condition or not....
Avatar universal
Hello Ced ! thanks  for responding.
I'm glad the redness of your penis is reduced thanks to the fluconazole. I also went to my primary doctor last week and he prescribed me 3 pill of flocunazole taking them every other day.I took the same antifungus last year and still came back this year. I only have sex with my wife and she is clean, nothing happens to her. Well the redness is also reduced, but like you I can still see a shiny skin. I'm gonna go ahead with my circumsicion as suggested by the urologyst. I posted before and a couple of nice people who had the same condition told me that the only solution is circumsicion cus they had it done as adults and the irritation went away forever. thanks  Ced  keep me updated. I ll do the same.  Raf
Avatar universal
Well, a week later, and I can't really tell if there has been an improvement or not.
Skin is still slightly red, and shiny (especially on top, from the glans about .5" down the shaft).
I go back to the Dr tomorrow, so we'll see what he has to say....
Avatar universal
Doc says give the skin a little more time to heal, looks much less red and blotchy.
Keep using Lotrimin for another week, and see what happens.....
Avatar universal
Well, I'm going on 8 months of this, and 2 trips to the Dr., but still not completely gone.
Redness and shininess is not too bad right now, but it's not completely gone, three weeks after treatment, and I've been through this before, where it looks almost healed and then gets worse over night. Have checkup with Dr in 3 months, hopefully will be gone by then!
Avatar universal
Hi ced21,

I have exactly the same symptoms. I went to a skin doctor and he said to wash my penis 2 - 3 times a day for 1 - 2 weeks and apply Canesten HC on the effected area for 2 -3 times a day after I wash my penis head. I have been using Canesten for 2 weeks now, the redness has decreased a bit although I still have 2 red spots and some cracks there and then on my penis head. These 2 red spots and cracks are not showing any improvement regardless of the cream. What do you suggest to do? My skin also looks very dry and silvery.
Avatar universal
Hi Krotosor,

My symptoms are still pretty much the same as my last post.
My penis doesn't look as bad as the photo, but it's by no means 100% gone.
I've tried several different anti fungal topicals, and none seem to work. I've also tried Bactitracin antibiotic cream, which seemed to help a little at first, but know I'm not too sure. Still have some discoloration on the glans, but the shaft isn't bad right now, but the skin still doesn't look normal. It's been close to a year since this started....
I go back to the doctor in about a week, see what else we can come up with.
I have the same symptoms i think. I just took a picture. How do i upload it to compare. Ive had this problem and it has been reocurring for years. I am uncircumcised, as well. My partners have never gotten anything from me, but it bothers me and I would like to know how to fix it.
Avatar universal
This is so good to hear that I’m not the only person with the same problem. I've been to doctors and given Canesten HC this seems to have made a slight improvement. But they seem a little unsure to what it is, im going back Monday 24th for a follow up appointment. The doctor mentioned about circumcision. Just out of curiosity does anyone have eczema?
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