General Sexual Health Problemspenile-vitiligo-causes-symptoms-treatment-metromale-clinic-fertility-center

Penile discolouration is caused due to a handful of conditions and penile vitiligo is just one of them. If you haven’t gone through our article on skin depigmentation on penis causing vitiligo of penis, please read through.  A small injury on the penis to cancer, anything can cause a change the colour of skin on penis. You need not worry if the patches of discoloured skin are seen for a few days and then go away but if they stay, you better see a good sexologist near you. Diagnosis from a good sexologist is the right way to make sure that there is no serious underlying condition indicated by the skin discolouration on the skin of the penis.

What causes penile discolouration?

  1. Injury to the penis
  2. Penile Melanosis
  3. Contact Dermatitis
  4. Lichen Sclerosus
  5. Penile Vitiligo
  6. Syphilis
  7. Penile Cancer

Any of these conditions can cause the skin on penis to change it’s colour, in small or large patches.

Injury to the penis

When any part of the body is injured, first thing that happens is damage to the blood vessels under the skin. This can cause the blood flow out of the blood vessels and initially it becomes dark as the blood cells die leaving a dark spot on the skin. However, the dead cells are removed by the body and spot should eventually lighten and then disappear. Such dark spots or change in colour due to an injury or a bruise or even due to the growth of a pimple on penis may not indicate any medical condition and can be ignored unless the injury is really big or not healing on time.


Penile Melanosis

When too much of melanin (the pigment that gives colour to the skin) gets deposited in one spot, the area turns darker leaving a spot. Such spots can occur on the skin of the penis and the condition is called penile melanosis. This too is nothing to worry about. This doesn’t spread and isn’t harmful.

You wouldn’t need any treatment for this unless you want the spots to be removed surgically. A cosmetic surgeon would be the right person to remove the dark spots caused due to penile melanosis.

Contact Dermatitis

This condition develops as the skin reacts to allergens. Some may be allergic to certain chemicals used in soaps and other cosmetics. Similarly men who are allergic to the chemicals or materials used in a condom they use, the skin reacts by turning red and may become itchy too. In serious cases, the skin may crack.

If it is just an itch reaction, you may wash off the area with mild soap and water and wait for some time. You may also take antihistamine to control the allergic reaction. If the skin cracks, you better see a good sexologist and get the right medicine.

Lichen Sclerosus

Light white patches of skin forming near the genitals and anus is termed as Lichen Sclerosus. This condition can happen in both men and women and women who are in postmenopausal stage are at higher risk. Men with lichen sclerosus is a more seen in uncircumcised men. It may start with the foreskin but can spread to the rest of the penis and to the anal region.  Some sexologists may advise circumcision when they find the patches on the foreskin. Painful erections and decreased flow of urine are other symptoms of lichen sclerosus.

Vitiligo of the penis

This is just the opposite of penile melanosis. The condition in which patches are formed on the skin of penis due to absence or low concentration of melatonin is called penile vitiligo or vitiligo of penis. This is not a painful condition and this doesn’t spread to other parts of the body.

If you are ok with the light patches, which are typically near the foreskin, you can just ignore the condition. You may want to get them treated when the spots are large in size. Steroids and other autoimmune related medicines help in restoring the colour of the skin, darkening the vitiligo patches.


Syphilis is one of the bacterium caused sexually transmitted infection. Almost all bacterial infection is treatable. The most common ways of transmitting the disease is through unprotected sex or by getting into contact with the sores or cuts present on the infected person. Syphilis if not treated can affect the brain, heart and other organs of the body.

Symptoms of syphilis include development of sores near the mouth, genitals or anus. Once the syphilis moves to a later stage, you may have headaches, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, weight loss, hair loss and aching joints. (Note that some symptoms resemble HIV and many other viral infections.). The sores formed on the penis can change the colour of skin on the penis.

Penile Cancer

This is not a common condition. However, some men suffer with penile cancer and may not even realize that it is cancer. That’s one reason why you should see a doctor if you notice anything unusual with any part of your body (not just penis). The very first symptom of penile cancer is the change of colour of skin on your penis. It’s mostly the foreskin and sometimes, it can be the skin on the shaft of the penis as well.

Treatment includes radiation therapy, chemo therapy and removal of skin on the penis where it is possible. Your sexologist will be right person to diagnose the stage of the cancer and recommend appropriate treatment.

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