Home men's HealthPenile diseases Sores on the foreskin: causes and how to cure them

Sores on the foreskin: causes and how to cure them

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The foreskin is that portion of skin that covers the glans (the head of the penis), which can be more or less elongated without this making any difference. It is an excellent portion of the penis because it has two different types of “skin”: the outer, which is visible and is simply an extension of the skin of the rest of the penis, and the inner, which is not visible until it is retracted, and It is a partial prolongation of the tissue that covers the glans, which is mucous in type. Both are extremely sensitive (having millions of nerve endings) and delicate. The foreskin is a part of the penis that is highly susceptible to infection and injury. Among these injuries. Are the so-called “genital sores.” The correct name is ulcers. From a medical point of view, they are open lesions or wounds of the skin or mucous membranes with loss of tissue.

In this FastlyHealarticle, we will review the causes of sores or ulcers on the foreskin and what their treatment could be.

Causes of sores on the foreskin

Many causes could cause the appearance of ulcers on the foreskin. Some can compromise the foreskin together with the glans (causing the so-called balanoposthitis) and other parts of the penis.

Among the leading causes of sores on the foreskin, we find:


It is the most specific cause and the most frequent as well. Erosion occurs due to the lack of hydration of this delicate skin, perhaps due to the soap used during cleaning and excessive “use.”

When there is masturbation or sexual intercourse with high frequency, minor wounds may appear on the foreskin, which, if not taken care of correctly and in time, can evolve to form a sore.


It is the most feared cause and the second in frequency. The typical skin lesion that causes syphilis is called a “syphilitic chancre” or “chancroid.” A chancre is an ulcer with some peculiarities: thick and raised edges, sometimes whitish, and a red, wet center, which may or may not have a discharge and, sometimes, has a covering that looks like cream.

This type of injury appears on the penis when you get a syphilis infection, which can occur on the foreskin. The lesion usually covers the foreskin and glans and occurs at the border that joins them.

Infectious dermatitis

  • Bacterial. Like any other body part, the foreskin is also susceptible to bacterial infections (called impetigo). Characteristic is an ulcer that exudes purulent discharge, the edges of which may have a dry honey-colored crust and are painful.
  • MycoticCandidiasis can start on that edge that joins the foreskin with the glans. If it is not treated early and adequately, it can evolve (although it is rare) to form ulcers at that level.


Psoriasis is an immune disease that causes severe dryness and thickening of the skin. However, at the genital level, due to the characteristic humidity of the area, the opposite occurs: maceration, which can cause sores on the foreskin and other portions of the genitals.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection

The typical genital HPV infection at the genital level is the lesion known as condyloma. A condyloma is vegetation that grows on any portion of the skin, which has a pedicle that can be thin or thick (the most common), shaped like a cauliflower.

However, at the level of the foreskin and the edge that joins it with the glans on the inside, ulcers can form that are extremely painful and can even bleed spontaneously.

Herpes Virus Infection

At the genital level, two herpes viruses cause infection: herpes type 2 and herpes varicella-zoster. In both cases, the lesions are very similar: a lesion that begins as a gallbladder that fills with clear fluid surrounded by a red circle. This fluid becomes cloudy until it becomes whitish, the gallbladder ruptures, and evolves into an ulcer.

There may be bleeding from ulcers due to any herpes virus, and having sexual intercourse is very painful, if possible.

Contact dermatitis

The sensitivity of the skin of the foreskin to the latex of condoms, to the lip, or to the woman’s saliva can cause lesions that, if not treated early, evolve into ulcers and can become secondarily infected.

Skin cancer

Melanoma is a highly aggressive skin cancer that can also appear on the foreskin. The typical lesion grows and ulcerates without causing pain.

Diagnosis of sores on the foreskin

In all cases, a doctor must make the diagnosis after a thorough examination.

Skin lesions have the particularity that they are very similar to each other, there are small elements that allow us to differentiate one from the other, but for this, they must be viewed live.

On some occasions, if there is discharge, the doctor will consider the need to take a sample to culture it. In other cases, where differentiation is impossible, the only differentiating element is the history reported by the man with the injury, so there must be good, directed questioning.

How to heal sores on the foreskin

We have seen that different causes can produce genital sores. Treatment of sores on the foreskin depends, of course, on the grounds:

  • In the case of erosion, keeping the skin hydrated and using non-abrasive soaps will be enough, and learning to know when to stop and rest from masturbation and sexual intercourse.
  • In syphilis, antibiotics must be followed that the doctor will promptly indicate.
  • In dermatitis, antibiotic therapy or treatment with appropriate antifungal agents should be started.
  • In psoriasis lesions, it will complement the general treatment to be indicated and the proper cleaning and dry maintenance of the area until the lesion heals.
  • In HPV or Herpes Virus infections, prevention is the most important. For this, the HPV vaccine already exists in many countries, and the use of condoms would be sufficient. Maintaining a single partner is the ultimate prevention.
  • Contact dermatitis will require a joint evaluation by a urologist and a dermatologist to indicate the appropriate treatment, as the case may be.
  • In the case of melanoma, treatment will be indicated by an oncologist and may even require surgery.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Sores on the foreskin: causes and how to cure them, we recommend that you enter our category of Male reproductive system.

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