I am an uncircumsized 18yo male, I have never had vaginal or anal intercourse although I have given and recieved oral sex, but not in the last 6 months. I usually masturbate 2-3 times a week, sometimes as frequent as once or twice a day. I have never had any sexually transmitted diseases, nor have I had any problems whatsoever in the genital area (besides the usual upkeep that comes with having an uncircumsized penis, smegma etc), which is why I am very nervous about my current situation. Over the last 2-3 days, the underside of the foreskin of my penis has become dry, red, and mildly peeling, and I have no idea why. It doesnt hurt when its flacid, or when I urinate, but if I get an erection or I try to masturbate, it burns and the skin starts to crack and peel. It is just a small patch, maybe the size of my thumbnail, but the burning sensation is incredible. Three days ago it was fine... the day before yesterday it was a little red, then yesterday I woke up and it was dry/cracking and flaking. It appears to be directly along the stretch mark that runs from the tip to the base on the underside of my penis. It doesnt itch until I apply neosporin, then the burning goes away temporarily but I don't know whats worse the burning or the itching. I don't know wether or not I should go to the doctor, I have been hoping it will just go away. I peeled back the skin and examined my penis, everything seems normal, and nothing hurts / burns / itches except the underside of my foreskin. There was some smegma which I cleaned out but nothing out of the ordinary, no discharge or anything. Has anyone else had this problem, and if so, what can I do to fix it? Should I see a doctor, or will some sort of cream work? I have never had this problem before so I don't know what to do.
Not trying to be funny, but have you tried leaving it alone for a while (re: masturbation)? Bathe regularly, make sure it is clean (but be gentle esp. to the cracked skin), after a day or two put on a very small amount of plain-as-possible skin lotion.
Also try wearing light, loose cotton underwear. Man-made fibres don't tend to let your skin breathe that well. Your undercarriage needs to get air as well you know :-)
If it doesn't clear up completely after say a couple of weeks of doing that (and leaving it along otherwise - seriously), see a doctor. But bear in mind that embarrassment aside, it is better to try to clear it up yourself than seek medical attention too rashly, you could end up with steroid creams or something, which for potentially such a minor condition would be bad for you.
If it does start clearing up, then don't assume it'll get better and resume "business as usual". Let it recover completely. Keep an eye on the problem in case it resurfaces. An infection is the last thing you want there.
i understand, I havent "done" anything since I noticed the redness, and if its left alone (flacid) it feels just fine, but a lot of the time I can't control when I get an erection, and that makes the area that is red and raw, feel very hot almost burning (because the foreskin stretches i guess?). I did some reading on the forums after I posted (I searched for "dry" and "foreskin"), and it seems like quite a few people have had the same or similar problems, yet the responses I read were anywhere from "its just a rash, put some lotion on it and it'll clear up in a few days" to "that sounds serious you should see a doctor". what I don't understand is how I could get a yeast infection. What exactly is a yeast infection? I thought only women could get those, obviously I don't have a lot of experience with this sort of thing :/ The neosporin I put on it a few hours ago seems to be working, its nice and moist now instead of dry/cracking like it has been the last couple of days. But its still red and tender to the touch, and the red area of the skin feels uncomfortably hot if I get an erection.
Anyone can pick up a fungal or yeast infection without sexual contact. The son of friends of mine once had trouble with a fungal infection under his foreskin at about ten years old. Once he would actually show it to the doctor a cream cleared it up in no time.
Neosporin is an antibiotic so it only acts against bacteria. Antibiotics also kill good bacteria and that can actually allow yeast and fungus to grow without competition. It is possible that the oil in the neosporin is relieving the dry feeling but in the long run you are not treating the root cause of the problem. Canesten acts against yeast infections on the genitals (women get them often). Ask the pharmacist about antifungal ointment for sensitive areas. There is probably a cream for both available over the counter.