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Experiencing a Rash on Penis?

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Rash on Penis & STDs

A rash on the penis is a known genital herpes symptom, but there are also several other possible causes. A rash on the penis could be nothing more than a basic allergic reaction to a new soap, detergent, lubricant, or brand of condoms.

Without STD testing, however, it's difficult if not impossible to determine the cause of a penile rash. If the problem persists for more than a day or so, it's a good idea to seek medical assistance and undergo herpes testing and STD testing.

Rash on Penis: When it's Herpes

A rash on the penis that appears with or without other STD symptoms could point to herpes. Genital herpes can cause a wide range of symptoms and outbreaks range from mild to severe. Sometime outbreaks can be so subtle, the infection is mistaken for a benign condition such as jock itch.

Common genital herpes symptoms may include:

  • Genital rash
  • Overall genital pain or itching
  • Painful, fluid-filled blisters on the penis, scrotum, thighs or anus 
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and body aches

When a rash or other symptoms are present, STD testing should take place. Herpes testing for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 is recommended since both strains can cause genital outbreaks. A herpes test is performed via blood and can provide answers within a few short days.

Rash on Penis: It Could Be Syphilis

Although syphilis is less common than genital herpes, this STD can also cause sores and a rash. The first sign of syphilis is a painless sore that eventually goes away without treatment. If the infection isn't treated, a rash may occur during the STD's second stage. This rash often occurs on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet, but it can appear anywhere including as a rash on the penis.

When a rash or sores are present, a syphilis test is recommended as part of comprehensive STD testing.

Rash on Penis: Making it Go Away

No matter the cause of the rash on your penis, one thing's for sure: You want it gone, and pronto. Once the cause is diagnosed, treatment can be given to alleviate any associated discomfort and help the rash on your penis clear up.

When caused by genital herpes, preventative treatment can help minimize the chances of a rash on your penis popping up again. Syphilis, an STD caused by bacteria, is cured with antibiotics.

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