Why does the penis change color?

By: Medically reviewed by Daniel Murrell, M.D. — Written by Jenna Fletcher
Source: Medical News Today
Website: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320963

Sometimes a man’s penis can turn a purple-red color. Mostly, this color change is benign. The penis may become purple whenever there is increased blood flow to the blood vessels and glands within it. This often happens when a man experiences arousal.

However, when the color change is abnormal, unexplained, or accompanied by pain or itchiness, a man should see his doctor, as a purple coloration may be a sign of infection, injury, or circulation issues.

A urologist is the best doctor to see when it comes to questions about the penis. Men without access to a urologist should seek medical attention from their primary care provider.


Using a lubricant during intercourse and masturbation can reduce friction and the likelihood of penis skin peeling. Choosing loose, cotton clothing to wear around the genital region will also reduce the occurrence of chafing.
An allergic reaction

Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction to an allergen or irritant. It can affect any area of the body, including the penis.22

The symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

peeling or cracked skin
pain and irritation

Common causes of contact dermatitis on the penis include:

latex condoms, in the case of a latex allergy
ingredients in soaps and shower gels
laundry detergents


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