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Penis Yeast Infection

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Penis Yeast Infection

writtenByWritten by: Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

Read more posts by this author.

July 30, 2018 Read Time - 3 minutes

While you may think of yeast infections as primarily a problem that women suffer from, penis yeast infections are not that uncommon. What symptoms should you watch out for? What are the treatments? Can they be prevented? Here are the basics about penis yeast infections.

Penis yeast infection symptoms

Penis yeast infection symptoms include:

  • Red rash
  • White shiny patches on penis
  • Pain, burning or itching at the head of the penis, especially after sex
  • Redness and swelling
  • Papules – rash-like bumps that may have pus
  • Lumpy, thick discharge under the foreskin
  • Foul-smelling foreskin
  • Trouble pulling back foreskin

Penis yeast infection causes

Just like in women, yeast infections in men are caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida. Most people carry Candida, but its growth is kept in check by healthy bacteria. The most common ways for men to develop yeast infections are having bad hygiene and having unprotected sex with a woman who has a yeast infection.

Penis yeast infection risk factors

While any man can develop a yeast infection, several things can make a man more prone to a penis yeast infection. Apart from having unprotected sex with a woman who has a yeast infection, other risk factors for male yeast infections include:

  • Being uncircumcised, since the area under the foreskin can breed Candida
  • Failing to clean your genitals or bathe regularly
  • Prolonged use of antibiotics, since healthy bacteria prevent Candida from reproducing out of control, and antibiotics don’t just kill “bad” bacteria, they kill all bacteria
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Having an impaired immune system
  • Taking corticosteroids

Penis yeast infection complications

While a yeast infection may seem simple enough, it can cause potentially serious complications, like:

  • Balanitis, an inflammation of the head of the penis or the foreskin. Having diabetes increases your risk of developing balanitis. Balanitis can cause scarring on the foreskin or adhesions (the union of two different tissue surfaces) on the penis. Balanitis can be painful, make it more difficult to urinate, and cause weakness and fatigue.
  • Candidemia or invasive candidiasis is when a yeast infection enters your bloodstream. It’s a very serious condition that may require oral or intravenous antifungal medications.
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Penis yeast infection treatment

Penis yeast infections are usually treated with topical antifungals such as:

  • Miconazole (Lotrimin AF, Cruex, Desenex, Ting Antifungal)
  • Imidazole (Canesten, Selezen)
  • Clotrimazole (Lotrimin AF, Anti-Fungal, Cruex, Desenex, Lotrimin AF Ringworm)

With prompt treatment, a penis yeast infection usually clears up within a week.

Serious yeast infections that don’t respond well to topical antifungals may require additional treatment, like:

  • Oral fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • Hydrocortisone cream

Circumcision may be offered as a treatment option to men who are not circumcised that are experiencing yeast infections frequently. While circumcisions are usually done on infants, they can be performed on men of any age.

Preventing penis yeast infections

Luckily, there are several things men can do to avoid developing yeast infections. Some tips include:

  • Avoid having unprotected sex with a woman who has a yeast infection. If you’ve been having unprotected sex, your partner should be treated as well, even if she isn’t having symptoms. Otherwise, you may pass the infection back and forth between each other.
  • Keep your genitals clean (including under your foreskin, if you have one) and dry.
  • Return your foreskin (if you have one) to its usual position after sex.
  • Wear condoms during sexual intercourse.
  • Avoided scented shower gels and soaps.

Experiencing symptoms of a penis yeast infection? Book an appointment with a PlushCare physician and get a prescription today.

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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