Irritated, Burning, Red Scrotum (Since July 2012)
Since I was a teenager, I have always had mild itching on the scrotum. If the skin ever flared up or became red, I was able to keep it under control with OTC cortizone cream. I had always assumed it was jock itch. I am now 30 years old, and last July I experienced the flare up of a lifetime, where my entire scrotum was burning unbearably, irritated 24/7, and bright red. The only reason I can think of, is that I was exercising multiple times a week without protective underwear, and maybe a cortizone cream reacted negatively. Otherwise, I can't fathom the cause.
The cortizone creams that used to work were now making it worse. I tried antifungal creams, antibacterial creams, eczema creams, psoriasis creams, changing laundry detergent and any product that may come in contact with my groin area. Nothing seemed to help. STD test results were negative, I ruled out "red bag syndrome", and have been informed that food allergies would not affect the groin area. In addition, my family has no history of disease.
I've seen many people write about similar cases on HealthBoards.com, in which I've tried remedies with baking soda or alternatively, apple cider vinegar. I've applied moisturizing creams (Palmers Cocoa Butter and Cetaphil), which lessened the burning sensation a bit, but did not get rid of it. My Urologist told me that this was a dermatology issue. Aside from the redness covering the scrotum, my skin looked normal, with no bumps or change in texture. A dermatologist in South Jersey prescribed me Nystatin cream and Doxycyclin (oral) which made no effect after two weeks. The doctor then ran a biopsy to test a piece of skin that was irritated. The results came back minor, as a form of Contact Dermatitis, and I was prescribed Elidel, which actually irritated my skin worse.
I went to a Weill Cornell Physician in NYC who ran patch testing, where the results showed an allergic reaction to Thimerosal. After reviewing a list of safe products and also ingredients to avoid, I wasn't exposing myself to Thimerosal to begin with. I was referred to a top dermatologist in Union Square NYC, who prescribed me Topicort gel. After two weeks, the gel did not irritate the skin, but also didn't seem to improve. The doctor reviewed my biopsy lab results and said that there is only minor inflammation showing, and does not match the extreme symptoms I am having. He thinks that I have over sensitized my nerves by using various creams after a long period of time. He prescribed me Doxepin (oral) to minimize the nerves, but the drug only made me drowsy and feel like a zombie 24/7.
I am now off Doxepin and not using any treatment on my scrotum. After 7 months, it seems that the burning & irritation has lessened greatly but hasn't completely subsided. My scrotum feels very smooth and healthy, but looks bright red and constantly feels irritated. Currently without treatment, the symptoms do not worsen, but I also fear that they will not improve.
I feel like I have exhausted all options for treatment and physicians don't know what to tell me anymore. My next step is to see if my skin improves over the next few months without any treatment. If anyone can provide insight on this case, it would be very much appreciated. I can provide an update in the next 1-2 months if anyone is interested.
Thanks for listening.