A penile rash is a patch that appears on the skin as red, and itchy on the tip of your penis or on the shaft. Skin rashes are often temporary and can go quickly if treated at an early stage. Rashes may be generally harmless or do not cause any life-threatening problems.
Rashes are an annoying skin condition that is often itching or irritating. Skin rashes can appear anywhere on the skin, be it arms, legs, face, or even on the genitals. Men can see rashes on their penile and women can also see rashes on the vulva due to various reasons.
In this article, we explain in detail what is a penile rash, its causes, how to treat them, and more. Following are the table of contents for your reference.
- What is a Penile Rash?
- Penile Rashes and other Symptoms
- Types of STDs that Cause Penile Rashes in Men
- What are the Other Causes of Penile Rashes?
- How Long Does a Penile Rash Last?
- What Happens if Penile Rash is Left Untreated?
- Can Penile Rashes be Cured?
- How to Get Tested for STDs that Cause Penile Rash?
- Herpes STD Testing Cost
- Syphilis STD Testing Cost
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- Providers Locations
What is a Penile Rash?
A penile rash is spots or sores that form as a patch on the skin of the penis and also on the groin areas. Most men experience their rash on the penile is itching which can be extremely uncomfortable or awkward. In addition to the rash on and around the penis, you may also have symptoms like blisters, burning sensations or pain with urination, redness, swelling, and scarring of tissue.
Depending on the cause of your penile rash, you may also encounter flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, cough, and aches. There are various reasons behind the cause of a penile rash, it can be due to Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), allergies, or yeast infection. If you have a penile rash that isn’t going away and getting worse over time, you may need to get tested or consult your doctor to know the cause and get treated. Leaving it undiagnosed can create difficulty with urination, sexual relations, and daily activities.
Penile Rashes and other Symptoms
If you have a penile rash and hoping it to wither away over time, well, think again. Skin conditions are caused due to some bacteria or parasites that have come in contact with your skin. For example, STDs sores on the genitals of your partner during sex can causes rashes and sores on your genitals too. Initially, you only see a small rash around the penis and over time you may experience the following symptoms also:
- The rash becomes painful and itching
- It’s spreading quickly to other parts of your body
- The rash looks like blisters or is turning into sores
- Your penis feels warm or swollen, or the rash crusts over
- The rash leaks green or yellow fluid
- Redness around the rashes
A penile rash may accompany you with several other generic symptoms including:
- Testicular pain
- Difficult or painful urination (dysuria)
- Discharge or pus
- Frequent urination
- Lumps or sores
- Painful ejaculation
- Pain during sexual intercourse
The itching caused by rashes on the genitals can get worse at night. Scratching the area can lead to sores, and you can spread the rashes by touching other parts of your skin without washing the hands’ post scratching.
Types of STDs that Cause Penile Rashes in Men
One of the most common causes of Penile Rash is Sexually Transmitted Infection (STDs). There are more than 20 different types of STDs including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and HIV. But, not all the STDs cause rashes on the genitals. Syphilis, Herpes, and HPV are the types of STDs that cause Penile Rashes in men and vulva rashes in women.
STDs that Cause Penile Rashes in Men: Syphilis
Syphilis is caused by Treponema Pallidum bacteria that is highly contagious. Rashes on the skin, particularly around the genitals appear during the secondary stage of the Syphilis infection. It causes sores also commonly known as Syphilis Chancres that look like a raised gray or white lesions. Penile rashes caused by Syphilis do not itch, sometimes they go unnoticed without any symptoms and may look like a pimple.
Some of the other symptoms of Syphilis STD include;
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Pain in the joints
- Sores in the mouth, anus, penis/vagina
If you experience any of the above symptoms along with penile rashes then get screened for Syphilis. Syphilis can lead to serious health problems like neurological problems and stroke if left undiagnosed and undetected in the early stages.
STDs that Cause Penile Rashes in Men: Genital Herpes
Herpes is caused by a virus called Herpes Simple Virus (HSV) that exhibit symptoms like
- Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
- Muscle aches,
Herpes rashes may cause itching, and pain in your genital area. Herpes rashes may not only occur on/around the penis but also on the scrotum, anus, mouth (oral herpes), urethra, buttocks, and thighs. Most people do not have any symptoms for a long period since contracting the virus.
There is no complete cure for genital herpes. However, the symptoms caused by it including penile rashes can be controlled and the risk of spreading the virus can be achieved with the help of medications.
STDs that Cause Penile Rashes in Men: Human PapillomaVirus (HPV)
Genital warts – a small flesh-like outgrown on the skin and the genitals are the most commonly seen symptoms of HPV. These warts do not itch. HPV STD is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which again has no cure. The symptoms and warts can be removed with the help of dermatics and medications. If the drugs don’t work, your physician may recommend surgery for the removal of HPV warts.
What are the Other Causes of Penile Rashes?
Other than STDs, there are certain medical conditions that can lead to penile rashes. But, if you are an avid sex player, having multiple sex partners, or recently changed your sex partner, then you should get tested for STDs.
Following are the other potential causes of Penile Rashes if you are not sexually active –
Balanitis is an inflammation of the head of the penis, that is common in uncircumcised males, which means that your foreskin is still intact. If you haven’t been circumcised, it can be difficult to keep the skin beneath clean because bacteria, sweat, and dead skin cells can build up and make the skin covering the head of the penis resulting in itching. Balanitis can also lead to rash, redness, and discharge under the foreskin. Sometimes this can be painful.
You have a higher chance of getting infected with Balanitis if you have diabetes. as the sugar content in your urine collects under your foreskin, where bacteria begin to manipulate.
Dermatitis refers to some skin allergic reaction to certain skin products and drugs like chemicals in soap, cologne, detergent, or even spermicide. A red, itchy rash happens when an outside substance irritates your skin and the outbreak occurs typically within a few minutes to a couple of hours after contact. You can stop using skin products to improve the symptoms and cure them completely.
Yeast infection is a commonly seen genital infection in women, but, men also get infected. Yeast is a common fungus that helps regulate some PH balances in the skin, however, too much yeast growth can result in rashes and redness under the penis or the head of the penis.
Yeast infections can be cured with the help of certain antibiotics that terminate the bacteria.
How Long Does a Penile Rash Last?
Generally, the rash can last anywhere between 1 to 2 weeks. But, it comes down to the cause of the penile rashes. Syphilis rashes tend to be on and off, you may have symptoms for some days and then it disappears, then come back with an outbreak of rashes after some period of time.
Penile rashes are not be taken lightly, consult your doctor if the itching or the rashes is getting worse day by day.
What Happens if Penile Rash is Left Untreated?
Because penile rash can result in serious complications and permanent damage if failed to seek treatment in the first palce. The risk of potential complications of penile rashes includes:
- Penile/scrotal cancer
- Scarring and narrowing of the opening of the penis
- Scarring of the penis
- Spread of infection
- Transmission of STDs to sexual partners
Can Penile Rashes be Cured?
The treatment needed for a genital rash depends on the underlying cause, if it is caused by Herpes or Syphilis STDs, then medications will be prescribed to control the spread of the rashes. In the case of yeast infection and certain allergies, your physician may also prescribe you a cream to reduce the symptoms.
Initially, it may not be a big deal, but, you must consider screening for STDs if you are sexually active or consult your doctor if the red spots and the itchiness if not going away.
How to Get Tested for STDs that Cause Penile Rash?
Order your test online and visit the lab during lab business hours or get the at-home STD test kit to collect and send the sample to the lab if you are uncomfortable visiting the lab. No prior appointment is required. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days.
The following table shows the Herpes and Syphilis test cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Herpes STD Testing Cost
Herpes STD testing cost ranges between $45 and $119 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. The cost of herpes STD testing also depends on the choice of your specific herpes testing (oral herpes test, genital herpes test, Herpes simplex virus 1, and Herpes simplex virus 2) or testing for herpes infection as a package (Herpes 1 and 2 test, etc.).
The following table shows the Herpes test cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
(Home Test Kit)
Syphilis STD Testing Cost
Syphilis STD testing cost ranges between $49 and $149 in different labs and facilities across the U.S.
The following table shows the Syphilis test cost at 3 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) network located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
(Home Test Kit)
Cost of STD Testing with Insurance
Many health insurance policies in the U.S. do not cover the cost of the STD tests, you are required to pay out of pocket. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance policies and national health insurance programs varies widely. So we recommend you to check with your insurance company.
Our STD testing providers do not accept any health insurance. But, on request, they can provide you with a receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
There is no special requirement for taking STD tests. You can continue with your regular diet and activities. If you are providing a cotton swab sample, it is advisable not to wipe the infected area before taking the sample for better and accurate results.
STD testing can be done in any of the following states either by visiting the nearest provider or by ordering the STD home test kit.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- New York
Frequently Asked Question
Will insurance cover my STD testing cost?
No. Generally providers do not accept the insurance in order to ensure your privacy. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment for STD testing?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
In order to ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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