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I have SEVERE penile pain my doctors can't explain. Please Help.

I'm an older man on my own who's been celibate for years and has previously masturbated at least once a day - it's a fun and valuable component of my life. But starting about two months ago and completely out of the blue, the outer skin of my penis becomes EXTREMELY painful to the touch immediately upon stimulation. My doctor has examined me thoroughly, and determined that I have no STDs, no sores, no redness, no rashes -- no visible indications whatsoever. He spent a lot of time investigating possible causes, but in the end, he could find no explanations.

And since he argued that a dermatologist wouldn't have more success, I have no idea what kind of specialist I should turn to next! I'm going to a dermatologist anyway, but I'm here asking for any possible diagnosis AND to ask how I should proceed if that specialist cannot help either.

Please advise me.  Thanks!
5 Responses
20620809 tn?1504366569
Penis pain is the worst.  Your doctor isn't recommending a specialist to see and just saying 'oh well'?  That's not good medicine!  So, is this on the surface level of the penis or inside of the penis where you are having the pain?  Is it constant or when you touch it or when you urinate?  Describe it a little more and we'll see if we can come up with some ideas for you.
Hi, and thanks for your response!

The pain I'm experiencing is entirely on the surface. If I wait about 4-5 days after trying to masturbate, the pain only happens when I stimulate it for masturbation. There is no pain otherwise.

However, starting immediately after attempting to masturbate (which hurts FAR too much to finish, with a pain level of at least 8 out of 10), there is residual level 6-7 pain over most of the surface simply as a result of wearing my loose, satiny boxers. This residual pain lasts a minimum of two more days, but sometimes up to 4-5 days.

The pain is mostly all over the outside skin, but in some small areas the pain is often more intense. But I don't think that pain is unusual and I don't think it's directly related to the overall, general pain. Instead, the small areas that are more painful are probably just those locations where the friction from my hand while trying to masturbate is strongest, which has happened pretty much all along if I don't use enough lubricant.

My dermatologist appointment is tomorrow, so I'll return and post what she/he says.
134578 tn?1517087675
Sounds a little bit like some kind of nerve pain. That's the specialist I'd go to next if the derm doesn't help you.

Nothing that is new that you could be allergic to? No new body cream, laundry detergent, etc.?
No, nothing new or different at all, which is why this is so incredibly bizarre! I'm using the same laundry detergent and fabric softener, the same shower soap and shampoo, and I'm wearing one of the same identical loose, satin-like boxers.

I'm also using the same lubricant -- based on carrageenans -- as I have for years. It's not only the same brand and the same product, the pain only started when I was half-way through the bottle! In other words, it wasn't even a fresh bottle when this began!

There were no other changes, either. I haven't recently been exposed to any pet or other animal, nor am I eating or drinking anything new or different, no new furniture or carpeting, nor has there been ANY other environmental change that I could detect.

Hell, no one's even been in my apartment for the last 3 months! And this only started more recently than that. But I have a thoroughgoing scientific mind, so I don't even consider more arcane possible explanations.

The only possibilities I can come up with are:
(1) Something age-related that is exceptionally rare?  I've just turned 60.
(2) Something changed in my skin surface microbiome?
(3) Some past bacterial or viral infection from long ago that my immune system can no longer suppress?

Item 3 is a real possibility because when I was in my early 20's and I traveled to a CSICOP convention in Boulder, after the first day I came down with something that made me immeasurably sicker than I have ever REMOTELY been! I couldn't afford to keep staying at the expensive hotel I'd booked in Denver, nor could I afford a new plane ticket home on a later date, so I felt I absolutely had to fly home to San Diego as scheduled the next day. But I was vomiting explosively every 5-10 minutes -- I had to pull over to the curb on the way to the airport perhaps 40-50 times to puke!

Anyway, I was so ill that my physician made a house call -- I couldn't even make it to the toilet to throw up, so you can imagine what my fancy townhouse looked and smelled like!  Anyway, none of the blood tests he ordered showed anything medically known other than extremely high white blood cell count and the other usual indications of a severe infection. What the hell was it? No one ever determined what it was, but I was back to normal after 10 days or so.

Just like I don't know what's causing this severe penile pain now.
I wouldn't automatically rule out the possibility of a reaction to your lube, even if you have used it for years, and even if it is the same formula. You might test this idea by trying (if you are brave enough to attempt masturbation again before getting a different answer from a doctor) something really benign, like olive oil or Vaseline, instead. A friend's mother suddenly had to stop trying to look like Candace Bergen in her past-65 years because she developed such a severe allergy to her hair dye that she had used for years and years, that not only could she not use it, she couldn't use any hair dye after that. So it's possible. Like, the body just finally says "Not that product."
And, it should go without saying, the body might be saying "Not that product" about something else too, like your fabric softener, but it seems like it would be hurting you all over if so. If you do try the process of elimination to try to see if there is something in your environment that is making you sensitive, be sure to only change one factor at a time.
Another thing I have seen suggested, to test the theory that it is an allergy, is to take an OTC allergy pill like Benadryl or Zyrtek before trying to do the deed, and see if there is a positive effect. Again, don't do that on the same day you try a different lube, because if you then don't have pain, which thing was it? :)
20620809 tn?1504366569
We need to know if the pain is internal or external to really be able to help.  Your post doesn't really describe it enough to say what type of specialty.
Avatar universal
Good advice from AnnieBrooke & GuitarRox. I think as Annie suggested, it's possible that you developed an allergy to the lube over time. Also, do check the ingredient listing carefully - not sure if you knew exactly what USED to be in it, but sometimes mfr's do change their formulas - ironically because some components could be more likely to cause allergies. They could've changed one that didn't bother you for one they thought was 'safer', but now the new one causes problems for you.

A couple other things that come to mind - 1) The 'satiny boxers' you wear - I have found I'm slightly sensitive to certain synthetic fabrics that, even though they feel soft & silky & comfortable at first, begin to irritate me after awhile. 2) What type of grip pressure do you use when masturbating? A lot of guys get into the habit of using a very tight grip & masturbating quite vigorously. That can cause problems when having sex w/ a partner because you've become accustomed to a lot of pressure & intercourse usually doesn't generate the same feeling. But also, I'm thinking a very tight grip (even with lube) could cause the skin to become too sensitive. I agree that seeing a Dermatologist might help, but I would also suggest seeing a Urologist. They deal with all kinds of issues regarding the male sexual apparatus & functioning. It's possible a Uro might be familiar with something like this.

This is definitely one of the tougher problems to pin down, but my suggestion would be, don't give up, keep trying till you get an answer. In the meantime, I would also suggest switching to natural fibers for underwear - cotton, etc. - and also try switching lubes to see if that helps. You might want to switch these, then avoid any stimulation (allow for some healing) for 10-14 days, then see if that makes any difference. Good Luck - I'm sure many of us sympathize with your difficulties & hope you find a solution.
134578 tn?1517087675
Regarding the mystery illness with the high white-cell count, my guess would be that the current issue has nothing to do with it. That was a systematic infection, this is a sensitivity limited to a very specific place. If the severe infection you had years ago was a genital infection like an STD, it might be more of a suspect now, but it's hard to believe that something like, say, legionella would have caused some latent damage that only affects the penis.
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