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Have had a recurring itching on foreskin. Could it be some sort of contact dermatitis?

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General & Family Physician
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Recently I have had a recurring itch on my foreskin. It eventually turns a darker colour and becomes a scab. This is the third time it has happened and after the scab peels off I am back to normal. Could it be some sort of contact dermititis? Or some allergic reaction to the material my underwear is made of?
I am 22 years old, 172cm, 65 kg and have not been sexually active very recently.

Posted Sat, 6 Oct 2012 in Men's Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later

The recurring rash could be as a result of (1) contact dermatitis as you mentioned. Contact dermatitis is skin reaction after exposure to allergens. The allergens involved may be the soap used, detergent, any creams or ointments or the material.
This type of rash may be red, streaky or patchy, bumps may be seen and it usually itches. Using milder soaps or detergent, cotton underpants may help. You may require a short course of a topical steroid to reduce the inflammation.The use of an emollient which would keep the skin moist will also reduce the instances of recurrence.

(2) if the rash appears initially as a red inflammed area , progresses to small bumps which may be painful and itchy then it may be herpes simplex viral infection.This is confirmed by lab tests and though the condition is not cured, medication can be used to reduce the likelihood of relapse and the length of the relapses when they occur.

There is a condition called balanitis which is inflammation of the glans.It is usually associated with a rash, redness of the foreskin and penis,discharge and pain.If you notice any of these then you need to contact your doctor for an assessment and medication.

There are other causes of recurrent rash but they usually occur on different areas of the skin.

I would advise that, if you can ,you consider following the suggestions for the contact dermatitis which is the most likely cause ,if you do not have any improvement then you can consider visiting your doctor.

I hope this helps
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