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Avatar universal

Sclerosing Lymphangitis treatment?

About a week ago, I developed what appears to be Sclerosing Lymphangitis after extensive research on the internet.

I was quite alarmed when I first noticed something so hard under the penile skin. I could tell it isn't a vein because there was no blood in it. Since it was earthworm in size and moved freely under the skin, I thought for a moment that a parasite had got into my penis. I dismissed the idea fairly quickly since the hard "vein" branched at the base of the penis head. (And that I had not been anywhere exotic to get such a terrible parasite.)

The inflamed lymph node starts mid left shaft and then branches into a ring which circumsizes under the head about 190-220 degrees around. The content appears to be opalescent and is made up of several close together nodules and is very firm to the touch. There is no pain other than some external irritation "rub raw" feeling at the point of genesis half way up the penis shaft. I believe I've had this same irritated feeling at this point before the SL appeared, so I can't say it is strictly SL-related. Although, maybe it was a precursor to the SL flaring up.

There seems to be very little information on this condition and no pictures that are that clear. I took a picture of mine so it helps people ID potential other cases.

Since the etiology and resolution is unknown, I'm not sure why people are recommending no sex or masturbation. What is this guidance based on? If it could last for months or years, I don't think this is realistic "wait and see" guidance for someone married like myself. I haven't seen anyone confirm that continued agitation makes the condition worse or prolong it's recovery. I'm also not sure what "worse" would look like.

The internet sources says this is harmless and will go away on it's own. Again the etiology is unknown but seems to appear after rigorous sex or masturbation. I can confirm that I tend to be rigorous during my sex, and this did appear the morning after a rigorous session.

Does anyone has additional information on this? I also found a couple references to surgically removing it but it was generally discouraged since it tends to resolve on its own. Not sure what prompted the surgeries in the cases that are referenced.

Is it accurate that there have only been ~150 cases of SL ever reported? If so, this would explain why there are only a handful of people on the internet seeking answers and very little information out there. I'm surprised there are no updated pictures that I could find except from the 1973 article.
42 Responses
1711789 tn?1361311607
Hi there!

Sclerosing lymphangitis of the penis is a common condition that occurs due to partial or complete blockade of lymph vessel due to clot formation after traumatic sexual activity. Usually one may experience a dilated lymph vessel which may feel beaded with mild discomfort. The condition is usually benign and settles on its own as the clot dissolves and hence sexual activity needs to be cut down to promote healing.
Hope this is helpful.

Take care!
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply. I didn't realize this was a common ailment.

As an update, after about 1 week, the issue resolved. I think this is a bit faster than is usually reported.

Of note is that I did not reduce my sexual activity although this is generally recommended. I still haven't seen why reducing sexual activfity is recommended since it's not really an inflammation problem but a blockage issue. I would even argue that maintaining normal sexual activity would cause faster resolution because you're stretching and opening similar areas of the penis that caused the issue in the first place.

I also want to mention that the hardness did not completely go away, there is a thin hard line where the lymph is. I saw a urologist and he said this is probably scarring from when the lymph was expanded and it would not go away. Fortunately, there is no pain associated with the remnant scar tissue.

I hope that more information can be made about this condition since it is very scary when it happens and you don't know what it is. I'm guessing men are reluctant to talk about it so it goes under reported.
Avatar universal
Hey I'm not so sure the thin hard remnant of what was there is permanent scarring and not going to go away.  I am in that same state you are with this after about a 3 week bout with this scary condition.  But, my understanding from all the literature I have read on both SL and Mondor's is that both generally resolve completely, even if it takes months.  Plus, they generally don't leave behind sufficient permanent scelrosing like you are referring to.  So, keep the faith man.  I still think our thin hard lines will either gradually fade away or suddenly disappear one day. Don't u kind of agree? Few doctors know enough about this stuff to know that what we are dealing with at this point is permanent.
Avatar universal
Should the clot formation not resolve itself after several days is there a surgical or non-surgical remedy?
Avatar universal
I have what looks exactly like this, though it is at the base of my penis and rather than feeling hard it is soft as if it was fluid filled. It is also only visible while erect but the only pain and discomfort as described by the original poster is a rubbed raw feeling at the point of genesis
Avatar universal
There is some bad info here, and lots of bad info on sclerosing lymphangitis/lymphocele on the web.
Webmddotcom urology subforum is the best place to learn about sclerosing lymphangitis. If you keep irritating it from sex/masturbation it will keep getting worse. I know all about it I had if for YEARS after incompetent urologists told me I had nothing. Endgame was after a while even touching my penis flared it up and it hurt. It is definitely an inflammatory process. Some people are lucky I guess.
The original posters penis looks REALLY bad, and it went away quick. Mine is hardly noticeable on visual inspection, but my god did the symptoms get bad, we are talking pain, and lasted many years, because I kept irritating it, it only started getting better once I started a hands off policy. it can take weeks or in mine and others case many months.
Be smart, you only get one penis.
STOP touching it, unless your very lucky, it is the only way to make it go away....
Avatar universal
Thank God I'm not the only one experiencing this problem. Whew! I've had it for a week now, and it has not subsided. I really wish there's something I can take or apply to speed up the recovery. I haven't touched my penis since it says that it will only worsen up the inflammation. But damn, its hard. Thank you robotmanblue for posting this. What you said really did make me feel better and less worried. But guys, will putting ice on it help? Or maybe a warm compress? I really wish it disappears soon.
Avatar universal
I really don't think you have SL.

is not painful to the touch
it is noticeably large
it has a hard, beaded feel to it
does not flare up upon touch
does not last for years

It sounds like you have more of some time of auto-immune response. Have you tried some sort of class 3 anti-inflammatory cream like Elocon?
Avatar universal
Just a quick update 5 months later, I don't have any sign of SL and don't even think about any more unless I get a notice that someone made a post here.

I still stick with my original advice of just continuing with your normal sexual behavior and the SL will resolve itself on its own. Normal movement will allow the fluid to return to its source. Reducing activity will only prolong recovery since the fluid will just sit there longer.

Although SL is a scary and strange thing it is only temporary!

Avatar universal
Yeah, it is definitely sclerosing lymphangitis. It doesn't always look freaky like yours.
And this is bad advice you are giving people. COMPLETE ABSTINENCE is what is needed.
It is an inflammatory condition/ INJURY, touching and pressure will not make it go away. And in many cases will make it worse. Repeatedly messing with it could cause scar tissue to form.

Avatar universal
In your defense there is a lot of bad info about sclerosing lymphangitis on the net:
you wrote:
is not painful to the touch  (it sure can be)
it is noticeably large  (it doesn't have to be, look up pics)
it has a hard, beaded feel to it (it can but doesn't have to)

does not flare up upon touch  <---THIS IS THE CAUSE

(you cannot imagine the hell my life has been since I applied a bunch of pressure to it, the sky is the limit to how bad this condition and it's inflammatory response can get: think. Bloated swollen red entire penis, painful erections that lasted months)
AND YES, that is sclerosing lymphangitis

does not last for years (if you keep messing with it it can, that's why mine has)

Bottom line, learn about it in the links I posted.

And I'm just trying to make it so people don't have to go through what I did, you cannot imagine. It is slowly getting better, but only because I don't touch it.  
Avatar universal
Do not put ice on your penis. that could cause permanent damage. And since this is an inflammatory condition (heat), a warm compress isn't a good idea.
There is a cream that I and many others are using for this condition. I have no affiliation with the company that makes it.
But I at least FEEL it REALLY helps to speed up the healing process. Truly I never thought a "cream" could have such an anti inflammatory effect, but this really does the job. I highly recommend it, and wish I started using it earlier.

Hi. I'm experiencing the same problem :/.. Could you tell me the name of the cream??
What is the cream you are talking about I have SL?
Avatar universal
unreal......looks like some places are more about ad revenue than helping people.


also you can search google

"What is this hard "vein" and swelling on my penis"

Avatar universal
too bad they took down the pic.

sclerosing lymphangitis is a very specific condition ... sclerosing means "hardening" and lymphangitis means "swelling of the lymph node." SL specifically is just the hardening of what looks like a vein in the penis as described in the original post and what the picture looked like. it does not affect the entire penis and it does not flare up when touched.

there are many inflammation conditions that can affect the penis. SL is not an inflammation condition. it is caused by specifically by a blocked lymph node that can not drain the lymph fluid which is what causes the lymph node to swell and become hard. it is not an injury and it is not permanent.

wronged - i really believe your condition is some type of inflammatory condition. it has no symptoms of a blocked lymph node.  i encourage you to seek an anti-inflammatory course like elocon cream. i think you find your solution there.
Avatar universal

I found your post really helpful, so thanks for being so thorough with it.
I may have a case of the same thing, and have had it for nearly a month, and would like to show you my medhelp post and ask if it is similar to what you had.

The post is here:
The picture of my case is here:

The feel of it today is more cordlike under the skin, though there is still a beady, small blisterlike bump in the middle of the formation.

The description of what you had sounded mostly very similar to what I have.

Does this sound like what you had at all? Seemed like yours was more extensive and quicker to disappear. I'd appreciate a moment of your time to take a look and get back to me.

Avatar universal
Hi CG.

Thanks for your post and your pic.Sorry they took down my pic. Unfortunately I can't find the pic I took and obviously can't recreate it.

It does look like the same thing and location on the penis but just a fraction of what I had. Mine circled the whole shaft and also had another piece running up and down.

All your other symptoms (cord and bead-like) are also consistent with SL so I'd be comfortable with diagnosis.

I think the worst part is just the mental part of knowing it's there. Fortunately there's no pain associated with it. I hope your resolves soon. Again, contrary to most advice, I encourage continuing normal sexual activity to try and unblock the lymph so it can drain.
Avatar universal
I found the original picture. Here it is:

Avatar universal
When my penis becomes erect it pains me sseverly and it started after I masturbated vigorously. That was since febuary of this year. Unfortunately I haven't indulged again up till this moment but my penis still hurts when I get early morning erections. Very painful in my own case the penis looks very normal but it pains me severly. I would love to take medication I need advice.  
Avatar universal
I also have this condition off and on, it has healed on its own then returns usually after using a constriction ring. So , just want to caution this can also be caused by constriction rings. While I am not a Dr. I assume this is an absolute no-no for anyone with this condition as they will lessen the flow from the area. Especially no constriction ring while this is condition is present.  I would appreciate feedback if this is the cause of others....

Avatar universal
Hey man.  I've had the same thing happen to me and it hasn't gone away for years.  It also happened after a week of engaging in lots of sexual activity with my girlfriend at the time (we didn't live in the same town) and I went to two urologists who said it was nothing (and charged me for it).  Fast forward almost 5 years later and it's still there.  I still have the ring underneath the head but do not have the vein that goes down the shaft in your pic.  Newer health sites like healthtap have started recently so I asked their community.  A verified urologist also identified sclerosing lymphangitis and noted to use an inflammatory cream if there's discomfort.  There's no discomfort but it's odd the ring is still there.  One of your posts said you have a 'scar' ring remaining?  Did your ring eventually go away completely?  I'm wondering if a general anti-inflammatory cream would work.  I'm tempted to try.
Avatar universal
Re: Constriction rings- I never had this condition before using a constriction ring(having only done so twice when it occurred to me using them was probably a VERY bad idea). I would discourage men from EVER using constriction rings  for this reason as I feel doing so can cause problems like this and it just isn't worth the trouble and strife in the long run.
Avatar universal
Re: Constriction rings- I never had this condition before using a constriction ring(having only done so twice when it occurred to me using them was probably a VERY bad idea). I would discourage men from EVER using constriction rings  for this reason as I feel doing so can cause problems like this and it just isn't worth the trouble and strife in the long run.
Avatar universal
Things are still not to clear for me that's why i'd ask #wronged and #RMB since they seem to know the most on the subject what they think the situation is in my case. Under the head of my penis i have a similar vein like bump and its been there for almost 6 months now. Usually when not abused it totally disappears and is totally painless, but often it is slightly visible, and after masturbation it increases again just slightly, but after sex it really pops out grows to 5-8 times its size although it remains relatively painless. I'm guessing it is disturbed by touch and like i said sometimes its very noticeable sometimes not at all visible. My question is to redmanblue is that does your problem remain visible at all time, does the appearance change at all, to wronged what kind of cream did you advise (possibly not limited to US because Im european) and to both of you would you say it is maybe Sclerosing Lymphangitis or Mondor disease? Thanks for the help and here is a picture my problem looks significantly similar to this one:

Avatar universal
Also i had a medium grade varicocele and also i dont know the english word for it but the cord on the bottom of the penis connecting the tip with the rest (frenulum) was short and gave a bit of a straining feeling during intercourse and i was thinking maybe this two things caused the possible Sclerosing Lymphangitis but its just a guess. 3 weeks ago i had a surgery for the varicocele and frenulum and it might have had a positive resolution for the Sclerosing Lymphangitis problem although im still in the healing process and haven't had sex since the surgery. On a second note what confuses me the most is that my symptoms are sort of the combination of yours wronged and RMB because my problem has been going on for a while now and it isnt that noticeably large at all only after sex!! but it doesn't really hurt either
Avatar universal
noticed i tagged wrong in my first post so please read above as well
Avatar universal
Hey, I got this after wearing a **** ring for 3-4 hours too
Avatar universal
I too have medium grade varicocele and now this. Has the surgery helped? is it painful?
Avatar universal
An update about 18 months later...

This has reoccurred a few times over the last 18 months and I concur with rk_voyager that it is always when using a constriction ring and being a little vigorous, taking Cialis so I'm extra hard, etc.

Here are my current conclusions:

►  The constriction ring blocks the lymph flow by turning the lymph channel opening into a of one-way valve. It only lets fluid into the channel while the ring is on. (That's also how a constriction ring works on a blood vein to keep you hard, also--blood flows in, but it can't flow out.) Through vigorous play, the lymph is being pumped in to the lymph channel, building up the lymph pressure. Eventually the lymph pressure against the channel opening gets to a point where it is high enough where the valve can't open to let the lymph fluid out even after the ring is removed.
► Contrary to most advice--and as I have mentioned several times above--more activity will make it resolve faster. Although i don't think anything bad will happen by not touching it, I do think it resolves instantly or very quickly if you are a little rough. My theory is that this "reopens" the blocked channel by stretching the opening in a certain way to allow the lymph fluid to squeeze through the valve opening, allowing the valve to open more, and the lymph to drain.

► I have even been successful at "milking" the lymph fluid back out of the channel through the point of where the constriction ring was. By putting firm pressure on the top of the hard lymph channel and sliding downward the shaft, the liquid will drain. Since the lymph channel is under the skin, it's easy to slip around so you do need to apply firm pressure as you slide down the shaft. I find it easier sometimes to start closer to the constriction ring point, clear that area out first and then work your way out so you're only moving a small amount of lymph at a time.

Hope this helps. This again is my experience with what I believe is SL. You're experience will vary...
Avatar universal
hey guys so ive seem to come down with this ******** ive had it for a week now i didnt know what it was till just now i maintained normal activity and its still here, i will say tho when i have an erection the sl was barely noticable anymore but then when the erection subsided the sl was back so idk what to do keep maintaining normal activity or stop everyone is saying two different things i wish there was research done on this so men in the future know what helps it go away quicker
Avatar universal
Did the thin hard line go away as well? How long did it take to go away?
Avatar universal
The lymph swelling went away after 3 months, but has now left behind a big scar on one side just behind the head. The scar tissue is causing the penis to bend horizontally towards the left just like in peyronie's disease...just not vertical...its like blood is not able to fill up where the lymph vessel left the scar....
Avatar universal
I have this problem for more than one year.
for you it seems she gets worse over time?
A year ago not have sex for fear of hurt, you do vaginal sex and anal normally without any pain ?
and surgery on the penis someone did?
sorry from the inglish
Im not speak inglish    
hope hugs answers
Avatar universal
Hello, I am having this on my penis now, which is the cream you said you used and worked good. thanks
Avatar universal
Hi wronged,

I have a few questions for you.

How are you progressing?

When you say it is getting better are you having intercourse at the moment or at the stage you can have intercourse?

How long have you gone without sex or soft masturbation?

What steps have you taken (i.e. is abstinence for you complete avoidance?) and have you gotten to a point where you can resume sexual intercourse

I would really like to hear someone elses experience with this condition
Avatar universal
hi is very difficult they answer the questions, i wanted know someone that have this problem.
Avatar universal
Hi Kayparker when you say the lymph swelling when away after 3 months are you referring to scar tissue assoicated with surgery or from the sclerosing lymphangitis?

Is yours painful at all or just a cord like structure? If it has scarred, is it lymph really rigid and hard when flacid, or does it feel different?

Any information you have would be greatley appreciated
Avatar universal

I have the same issue & I think I have the cause of it. It is the tissue below the skin (Dartos fascia I think) which separated from the glans. It appeared because of very string sexual intercourse or masturbation. Once it appeared, it will happen again.

This case is not identified (yet) by urologist as :
1/ it is hard to diagnose, often undiscernable from normal penis
2/ I don't think they know how to stick back together the tissue to the glans.

I have diagrams to illustrate but this ### web site doesn't allow it ...
Avatar universal
Here is my story and my opinion.

Mine started on 1/11/16 and today is 2/16/16.
My cord-like swelling is almost gone.  Mine looked like most images you can google of Sclerosing Lymphangitis (SL).
I think what started mine was I was pressing my penis against my wife's back and holding it there during some intense play-time.  Or I think she may have squeezed it too tight once with her hand while playing with it.
I definitely did not experience any kind of episode or injury that i can pin-point.  I have always been pretty rough with my member, but these are the two instances that came to mind after the cord-like swelling showed up.

I did a lot of reading online.  I didnt touch it at all for 2 weeks.  I increased water intake, tried ibuprofen 3 times per day, etc..
After 14 days, there was NO change.

Here is my opinion on how mine has gotten better...

No# 1.  No masturbation!  Dont do it.

I believe this REALLY helped kick-start my healing.

No#3.  Have Sex!  That's right.  Do quick sessions of Missionary or doggy every day or two.  I would suggest no prolonged make-out sessions that involve an erection for a very long time.  NO Girl On Top as this was slightly painful for me because of the SL.

I kept a daily log of everything that I tried and did but I dont want to bore everyone with that.

PLEASE, everyone share their story like I have.  It only takes a minute to register an account to post on most sites.
Most people just read the posts, eventually get better, and never tell anyone about it.  I am in the same boat but I am purposely posting this to get my experience out there for the next guy that is reading this.

AGAIN, this is only my experience and my opinion for my cord-like swelling that everyone is calling Sclerosing Lympangitis.  I have had NO pain except during Girl On Top sex, and that was only a mild discomfort.

If you have pain during the day, or you even think there is an issue, I would go to a Urologist.  My wife is an RN and we talked about it, and discussed it openly, and all of the online research I found pointed to it not being a big deal
or I would have went to a Urologist immediately.  Guys, we only get one penis and I am very fond of mine.

No Masturbation
Get the Sunshine Cream
Have missionary or doggy sex about every 2 days

I found the Sunshine Cream on the WebMD resources page.  Sunshine Cream - http://www.justbepainfree.com/c3/LL-105P.html
Avatar universal
What is "sunshine cream"?
Avatar universal
I have had this condition repeatedly, on and off since 2004. If you leave it alone, it goes away between 1-4 days usually. I have since spoken to a doctor over seas who has told me what to do about this, while I was in Greece on vacation. I was told to mildly massage the veinous looking ....................thing............and it worked like a charm. Usually goes away wihtin minutes or after a few hours. Hope that helps you.
Avatar universal
I have also developed this condition. I also have ED issues and have thought they were related? Im glad I discovered this site.Im a little less worried. I think Ive noticed this come and go but not till now was it very noticeable. I'll try and report if it shrinks.
What your status?
Avatar universal
I have my fist SL condition since a couple of weeks, and I'm glad I ran into this page.
The symptoms are quite similar as the OP's initial post.
I went to the Urologist, and he immediately knew what it was. He told me not to worry, and it would resolve itself after some weeks, 2 months tops.
I didn't had to restrain myself from any sexual activity.
And indeed, after 3 weeks, it's gone for 2/3th already.
I strongly believe that restraining yourself from sexual activity will prolong the healing process.
How did it work in the end?
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