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Infectious Diseases

Penile skin lesions -- yeast infection?

03/02/1999

Question:

My boyfriend had red spots apper on his penis. They generally apper a day or two after intercourse. He used a cream prescribed by a pharmasist and they went away after a few days. They came back a few weeks later and are now black. After seeing a doctor, she said it was possible that he got it from me and that I could possibly have a yeast infection. I have read about yeast infections and don't seem to have any of the symptoms. Is it likely that I could have a yeast infection and not know it? And is it possible that it is a skin irritation and have nothing to do with me passing it to him through intercourse?

Answer:

All of the possibilities you raised could be true. "Red spots" that eventually turn black on the penis could be due to an abrasion or irritation, a yeast infection, herpes simplex virus, syphilis, warts or some other skin disorder. If they occur usually after having sex, abrasion or irritation from a particular lubricant might be more likely.

If you do not have symptoms of a yeast infection, and you have a normal pelvic examination, then you do not have a yeast infection. Culture of the vagina would almost certainly grow a little bit of Candida, or yeast, since it is normally present there in small amounts. We only say a woman has a "yeast infection" when there is overgrowth of the Candida causing inflammation, redness and irritation.

If your boyfriend's lesions persist and you still have questions about them, it would be best to return to the doctor, or ask for a referral to a dermatologist.

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Response by:

Kenneth   Skahan, MD Kenneth Skahan, MD
Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati