Redness On Penis Turns Into Little White Spots

Every now and then I get redness on my penis that then turns into little white spots that go away a day or two later. It doesn’t hurt, but it is unsightly. Thankfully, whenever I wash them they begin to peel away.

In the past, I have gotten outbreaks of warts down there but they’re controllable. I have a vitamin B deficiency which means my immune system is a bit shot. I don’t think it’s an STD because my partner and I have been exclusive for almost 2 years. Do you have any ideas about what it could be? – B

Dear B

I’m sorry you are having this recurrent problem. It is, though, impossible to tell what it is without seeing it.

The redness could be caused by something as simple as chafing from friction such as exercising, working out in the sun and being rather sweaty, or doing some heavy work, with which you get friction – and this can cause problems. The white spots could just be monilia (candidiasis or thrush – yeast infection) but, please, don’t guess or ignore this condition. The next time you get an outbreak, make an appointment to see your doctor or pop along to see one of the doctors or nurses at your local sexual health clinic or your family doctor

They may check to make sure you don’t have diabetes, which is presenting itself this way, and they may run some tests to rule other things out, rather than guess.

If they can see it at its worst, as strange as that may sound, it may be much more helpful than if you wash it all away and there’s not much to show them. It can also be helpful if you can take a very clear digital picture of it at its worst, to show them, if you can’t get in to see them on the same day, or if you insist on washing before someone looks at your genitals.

You may be having a reaction to a soap or washing powder, a latex or lubricant allergy if you are using condoms and have changed brand, a reaction to a drug you are taking (over the counter or prescribed) or, especially if your partner is a woman, and she performs oral sex on you, to her lipstick.

You may even be over-washing and therefore irritating the sensitive tissue in that area, especially if you are using scented soaps. They may smell nice, but they can be extremely irritating to delicate tissue such as genital skin.

There are many things that can cause dermatological conditions and the best person to guide you this time, is your doctor, in person.

If they don’t know what it is straight away, they will probably work their way through a checklist of possibilities until they are able to give you a definitive answer – so don’t get frustrated if they can’t pinpoint the problem straight away. And, don’t be too alarmed if they suggest running a set of general sexual health checks, to rule out whether you are carrying infections such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HIV and syphilis whilst they are checking your general health. It’s a sensible precaution in today’s world where such infections abound. They are not judging you by offering to do this for you.

The main thing is that you shouldn’t guess. Get this diagnosed properly and know what you are dealing with.

I hope this helps.

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