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Penis swelling or pain

While it is quite normal for the penis to swell with blood during sexual arousal to form an erection, the other soft tissues in the structure of the penis can become swollen and painful due to injury.

The skin, foreskin, and scrotum have very sensitive skin that can become swollen and painful after an injury.

Injuries to the penis can include scratches and bites, knocks, burns, or internal injury from objects inserted into the urethra. Sometimes contact with creams and lotions that cause a local allergic reaction can cause painful swelling.

Check your symptoms with healthdirect’s Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

Looking after yourself

If you have penis swelling or pain, here’s how you can look after yourself.

  • Avoid sexual intercourse and masturbation until the pain settles.
  • If you are in pain, get advice on medicines you can take.
  • An ice pack may relieve swelling but should not be placed directly against the skin. Try wrapping a bag of frozen peas in a cloth, such as a clean tea towel, and mould this around the swollen area.
  • Wear close-fitting underpants to give support to the painful area.

If you are concerned about penis swelling or pain, please see your doctor.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your penis swelling or pain, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self-care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

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Balanitis & balano-posthitis - ACD

Balanitis is inflammation of the glans penis (head) of the male penis, due to any cause.

Read more on Australasian College of Dermatologists website

Problems of the penis - a fact sheet | Andrology Australia

Penis lumps are common and should be checked by doctor. Priapism (persistent erection) should be treated immediately to avoid permanent damage.

Read more on Andrology Australia website

Lichen sclerosus - ACD

Lichen sclerosus is a skin disease that mostly affects the genital region in children and adults of both sexes. Sometimes lichen sclerosus involves the skin around the anus in young girls and women.

Read more on Australasian College of Dermatologists website

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