ZocdocAnswersWhat causes depigmentation near the penis's head?

Question

What causes depigmentation near the penis's head?

What causes the head of penis to become depigmented? I am a health young man (32) and I recently noticed that the head of my penis, beginning at the band on the underside, is turning pale in small spots. Is this a sign of an STD, or is it just a benign skin condition?

Answer

Depigmentation in any area of the skin can be a concern. This is especially true in the sensitive area of the head of the penis. I would strongly encourage you to see your primary care doctor in order to have this evaluated. The foreskin of the penis is an area where many skin conditions can be involved. This does not sound like a standard sexually transmitted disease, however looking at the lesion would be required to make the diagnosis. While it would be unusual for gonorrhea or chlamydia, other sexually transmitted disease such as granuloma inguinale. Herpes normally looks more like vesicles. Syphilis is normally painful. Regardless, I would take appropriate precautions until you can have this evaluated. A fungal infection can also look like a white patch. Candida is a common fungus that can do this. Normally this is itchy or painful. This needs to be evaluated. Other skin conditions that affect the rest of the body can also effect the penis. Vitiligo is a condition of skin depigmentation that can occur here. This requires evaluation as well. I would see your primary care doctor. In addition, a dermatologist, or skin specialist, can also be of help. Good luck!

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