Genital Sores in Male

Genital Sores in Male


A male genital sore is any sore or lesion that appears on the penis, scrotum, or male urethra.

What are Genital Ulcer Sores in Male?

  • An ulcer is defined as a discontinuity of skin or mucous membrane. In simple terms, the skin or mucous membrane is lost, thereby exposing the tissue underneath it
  • Genital ulcers can occur in both men and women. Genital Ulcer Sores in Males may involve the skin surrounding the genital regions, the penis, scrotum, perineum, perianal, and anal regions
  • Genital ulcers can be caused due to infectious factors including sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex virus (HSV 2), syphilis, chancroid, lymphogranuloma venereum, granuloma inguinale (donovanosis), secondary bacterial infections (occurring after a primary infection or inflammation), and fungal infections
  • The non-infectious factors that cause genital ulcer sores may include sexual trauma, psoriasis, Behcet’s disease, and fixed drug eruptions
  • Male Genital Sores can be painful or painless, single or multiple, and they may or may not be associated with other symptoms. They usually arise from a sore area (including from blisters)
  • Since sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the most common cause of genital ulcers, evaluation and treatment of both the individual and their partner(s) should be done by a healthcare provider to rule out other associated diseases
  • Treatments are available for most genital ulcer sores. However, in some cases there is no cure, but the condition can be controlled. The prognosis of Male Genital Sores is generally good. Nevertheless, the prognosis depends on the causative factor

Common Causes

Sores or lesions on the male genitalia have many causes. Often, the lesions of most concern are those seen with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). For example,genital herpes simplex, syphilis, chancroid, granuloma inguinale, and lymphogranuloma venereum are all associated with ulcers on the genitals.

Other lesions in this area may be caused by venereal warts, molluscum contagiosum, allergic reactions, Behcet’s disease, and non-sexually transmitted diseases.

Home Care


  • Try to treat yourself before seeing a health care provider. Self-care may hide the symptoms and make it harder to find the cause of the problem.
  • Have sexual contact until you have had a medical exam.

What are the Risk Factors for Genital Ulcer Sores in Male?

Risk factors for Genital Ulcer Sores in Male include:

  • For sexually transmitted infections, such as HSV infection, syphilis, chancroid, lymphogranuloma venereum, etc., the risks include:
    • Multiple sexual partners
    • Anonymous sex partners
    • Unprotected sex
    • Uncircumcised penis
    • Skin contact with an individual having ulcers or lesions: In individuals who has been previously been diagnosed with HSV infection, the prophylactic acyclovir, may decrease the risk of getting blisters or ulcers
  • Non-infectious factors related risks include:
    • A personal medical history and/or a family history of psoriasis, associated with factors, such as trauma and use of medications (NSAIDs like ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and corticosteroids), increases ones risk to get genital ulcers:
    • Behcet disease: Individuals having the specific antigen (HLA B51/B5) are at increased risk
    • Having certain medications, especially some antibiotics

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

What to expect at your health care provider’s office

The doctor will perform a physical examination. The exam will include looking at the genital, pelvis, skin, lymph nodes, mouth, and throat.

The doctor will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • Description:
    • What does the sore look like? For example, is it an ulcer, blister, hard lump (nodule), or pustule?
    • Does it hurt?
    • Does it itch?
    • What color is it?
    • Does the border look sharp or blurry?
    • Is there more than one sore?
    • Where are the sores located?
  • Time Pattern:
    • When did you first notice the sore?
    • How long have you had it?
    • Have you ever had a similar sore in the past?
  • Other:
    • What are your sexual habits?
    • Is there drainage from the penis?
    • Is there painful urination?
    • Is there painful sexual intercourse?
    • Any fevers, chills or enlarged lymph nodes?

Tests that may be done include:

  • Complete blood count or blood differential
  • Skin or mucosal biopsy culture of the lesion
  • HIV test
  • Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test
  • Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test

Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and may include antiviral medicines and antibiotics. Your doctor may ask you to avoid sexual activity or use a condom for a while, depending on your diagnosis.Genital Sores