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Skin rash over penis, scaly skin. Taking local cortisone. Whats the opinion?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Hi, i have recurrent skin rash over skin of penile shaft. It is about half cm rounded one or multiple spots of whitish scaly skin with no pain, discharge or itching. It completely dissappeared with local cortisone creams within 2-3 days of use then reappear within one or two months. No skin rash anywhere in the body. I married and my wife dont complain of any genital diseases. Wanna your opinion.
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Penis Problems
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 2 hours later

First, let me reassure you that this seems to be a very very minor problem. You can get over it soon.

The most common possibility I can think of in your case is a fungal infection called Tinea or Dermatophytosis.

The lesion appears to be small, it did disappear with local cortisone, and it does recur after one or two months. This is so typical of Tinea infections. Absence of itching however is against Tinea. I would still consider it as Tinea.

They are known for recurrence, treatment should be continued for minimum 14 days after the rash disappears.

My suggestion for you is to start on topical anti-fungal agent like Lamisil or Lotrimin ointment. Both the ointments are available over the counter. The ointment has to be used twice daily on the rash and without fail for a minimum of 4 weeks. Steroidal ointments help in decreasing the rash temporarily but do not kill the fungi.

The lesion should completely heal in 4 weeks; you need to continue the ointment usage for another 2 weeks from there.

As I said you earlier, recurrence is common. So, maintaining good personal hygiene of the penis and surrounding area is very important. Keeping the area dry is the rule.

The other possibilities include isolated vitiligo, eczematous dermatitis and others. We should not think of them now.

Hope this helps. Please do write back to me in case of clarifications.

Get well soon.


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Follow-up: Skin rash over penis, scaly skin. Taking local cortisone. Whats the opinion? 5 hours later
Thank you, doctor Shanthi,
This is first time to be diagnosed as tinea. Most of doctors i met in thier clinics diagnosed it either psoriasis, or contact dermatitis. One online doctor when she saw it through the webcam diagnosed it as vitilgo and adviced to take sample from the crusts and investigate it . I did what she said and the rtesults showed nothing only dried epithelium. Culture for bacteria or fungus are negative. For these reasons i shifed from the dermatologists either in thier clinics or online. Only wanted money without true treatment.

Best regards
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 13 minutes later

Thank you for writing back.

I still would treat it as Tinea. Please follow the suggestions I mentioned in the initial answer. You should be fine soon.

Take care and wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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