Penis Health 101 - Common Dermatological Terms And What They Mean Talking to a doctor about any type of problem with the penis is not an easy task in the first place, and this uncomfortable situation it is made all the more difficult when attempting to describe the issue and answer questions about penis related symptoms. Some basic knowledge about common penis skin conditions and the medical terms that are related to them can help in explaining symptoms more accurately and increase the chances of getting the right treatment. Abrasion - A superficial injury that affects only the outer dermal tissue; a scrape. Abscess – A localized accumulation of pus. Balanitis – Inflammation of the glans (head) of the penis. Collagen – The structural protein that makes up most of the dermal tissue. Connective tissue – The skin and underlying tissue. Crust – Dried fluid on the skin’s surface; a scab. Cyst – A bulb-like nodule that may be filled with fluid. Dermal – Related to the skin. Dermatosis – Skin disease. Dermis – The median layer of dermal tissue, found underneath the epidermis. Elastin – The elastic-like connective tissue that returns stretched skin to its original position. Epidermis - The outer layer of skin. Excoriation – An abrasion caused by scratching. Exfoliation – Peeling of the skin. Fissure – A thin crack in the outer layers of skin, usually due to excessive dryness. Follicle- The skin cells and connective tissue that surround the root of a hair. Foreskin – The fold of skin that protects the head of the penis. Folliculitis – Inflammation of the follicles. Glans – The head or tip of the penis. Hyperkeratosis – An accumulation of dead skin cells, also known as scaling. Keratin – The protein that makes up most of the epidermis, hair and nails. Lesion – Any area of altered skin. Lichenification - Discoloration of the skin due to chronic rubbing; common in the groin area. Maceration – Moist, peeling skin. Nodule – A solid lesion that measures more than 1 cm in diameter. Papule – A small lesion, usually less than 1 cm in diameter that can be felt above the surface of the skin. They may occur in groups.
Pearly penile papules – Clusters of translucent papules that occur around the crown of the penis. Posthitis – Inflammation of the foreskin. Prepuce – The foreskin, or fold of skin covering the head of the penis. Pustule – A collection of pus that may be white or yellow. Does not always indicate an infection. Rash – A widespread eruption of lesions. Scaling – An increase in the number of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Sebaceous glands – Produce an oily substance known as sebum, which may be excreted from the follicles, particularly on the face and in the genital area. Skin tag - A small, soft piece of hanging skin, often on a stalk, that frequently occurs in folds of skin such as the groin area. Urethra – The opening at the tip of the penis. Wart – A small, hard growth on the skin, caused by a virus; these may be sexually transmitted, but not in all cases. Caring for the penis skin Whatever the problem, it is important to keep in mind that self-diagnosis is generally not a good idea. Unless the cause of the problem is obvious (catching the skin in a zipper, for instance), penile skin issues should be examined by a qualified medical provider. In the meantime, caring for the penis skin by washing carefully, choosing loose-fitting undergarments made from natural fabrics, and keeping the dermal tissue soft and resilient with a high quality penis health formula (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) may help to prevent minor skin problems from occurring in the first place and speed healing when they do appear.