This article will focus on some possible causes for penis swelling. Penis swelling is a common type of irritation, and is usually harmless. However, like with any skin condition, accurate self-diagnosis is impossible. If symptoms don’t improve after several days, or get worse, don’t be ashamed — seek medical attention immediately! But first, it is important to address the potential causes.

Overzealous masturbation
It is quite possible that the reason could just be your being overzealous. Have you altered your masturbatory habits or been more aroused than normal (leading to too much masturbation)? This is the single most common cause of penile swelling. Your course of action here should be to abstain from any kind of sexual stimulus for a few days and see if then pain dissipates. Try waiting two to three days before masturbating again, to see if things return to normal

Excessive friction or trauma
The penis is a very sensitive part of your body, which can be good and bad! All that good sensitivity also makes your penis especially prone to friction and trauma. The most obvious thing to check for is direct injury to the penis, such as through a hit, pressure or scratch.

Assuming you can’t remember accidentally clubbing your member with a blunt object, the probable cause of trauma injuries is excessive friction. Excess friction is more likely to affect circumcised men, who have less slack skin and are more prone to “tugging” irritation. However, any guy can unintentionally irritate the penile skin during masturbation, even if he’s being careful.

Fortunately, here, the solution is usually easy. Lay off of masturbation until swelling and tenderness reduces, and optionally another day to be sure. If this problem is chronic or caused by “tugging” injury on tight skin, lubrication may be necessary. If neither solves the problem, consider the environmental factors described below.

Dermatitis (general irritation)

Another potential cause is dermatitis, irritation of the skin. The primary sign of dermatitis is noticeable discomfort accompanying swelling. It can be caused by an infection, which usually necessitates antibiotics, but the most common causes are two type of environmental irritation. Both are treated similarly.

Contact dermatitis is caused by irritants – a harsh soap, shower gel, or similar chemical. Even if you have been using this product for a long time, it may have lingered on skin and caused irritation. Alternatively, some skin-irritating things can such as a foreskin that is stuck (paraphimosis) or very tight, chaffing in underwear, or sweat and friction caused during sports.

Atopic dermatitis is the other common type, and it is caused by an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can be acquired, even to things that previously caused no problems. The most common causes of atopic dermatitis are shower products, sports sprays and powders, and other chemicals that come in contact with the genitals.

Both types of dermatitis are treated the same way. The affected area should remain free of irritation and chemicals. For hygiene, the penis need only be rinsed gently (but thoroughly) with water. If the irritation goes away, products such as soap should be re-introduced one by one. If swelling does not improve after several days, it may be an infection or a chronic allergy; see a doctor.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you given the swelling a few days to go down?
  • Have you been gentle with your penis, avoiding friction (masturbation included) and harsh chemicals like soap?
  • Have you avoided applying chemicals that may cause allergic reactions?
  • Have you made sure you aren’t being too vigorous during masturbation, or tugging on tight skin?

If the answers are “yes” and you’re seeing no improvement, it’s time to see a doctor. While most penile swelling is harmless and goes away, there is always the chance of an infection, even if you’re a virgin. When it comes to your health, don’t procrastinate! Help in addressing private subjects with your parent or healthcare provider can be found here.