ZocdocAnswersIs my penis infected?

Question

Is my penis infected?

My penis hurts and it looks like it is a little swollen. Like the muscles in my penis are swelling. Do I have an infection? Can your penis become infected?

Answer

There are many causes of penile pain and swelling, which include infection, autoimmune diseases, and allergies among others. Different disorders are more likely to affect different parts of the penis. Balantitis refers to inflammation of the glans (head) penis. It can also involve the foreskin in uncircumcised males and then is termed balanoposthitis. It frequently results in pain and swelling of this part of the penis, in addition to redness, rash, and occasionally discharge. Pain with urination (dysuria) can result from urinary tract or sexually transmitted infections. Infection of the skin and soft tissues around the penis and scrotum can result from a particularly dangerous condition called Fournier’s gangrene. Patients with this condition can be quite ill, and have a great deal of pain, which does not sound like your particular issue. Other common causes of penile inflammation include eczema, allergic reaction, reaction to an irritant such as a particular soap or detergent, or other skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infections, and some sexually transmitted infections. Given the wide variety of causes of penile inflammation, the most important thing you can do is see your primary care provider who will examine you and determine whether this is a common infection, allergy or something more serious. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.