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Swollen Penis Tip (Foreskin) Treatment - Causes & Risks

Swollen penis/foreskin is a symptom of a medical condition rather than a condition itself. You can get the best treatment for swollen penis at Pristyn Care, with top-level equipment and medical technologies. To get rid of all penis foreskin issues like a swollen penis, book your FREE consultation today with Pristyn Care.

Swollen penis/foreskin is a symptom of a medical condition rather than a condition ... Read More

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What Does A Swollen Penis Look Like?

A swollen penis may look irritated and red. In addition, the area might feel itchy or sore. The swelling can happen with or without unusual discharge, bumps, or foul odor. These symptoms can make it difficult to urinate or have sexual intercourse. In rare cases, a swollen penis is a medical emergency. However, medical conditions like priapism or paraphimosis need immediate help.

• Disease name

Swollen Penis

• Surgery name

Circumcision - Foreskin Removal Surgery

• Duration

15-30 minutes

• Treated by

General Surgeon

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What Causes A Swollen Penis?

You may have a swollen penis for multiple reasons, including allergies, a penile fracture, etc. Additional causes of swollen penis include:


Balanitis is an inflammation of the glans (head) of the penis. When the head of the penis gets swollen and sore, it most likely means you have balanitis. Balanitis impacts approximately 3–11% of males. Some of the most commonly seen symptoms of balanitis include redness or discoloration, swelling, itchiness, pain with urination, etc. Treatment for balanitis mainly involves a mild steroid cream, antifungal cream, and antibiotics.

Allergic reaction or irritation

If a penis comes in contact with something you are allergic to or that leads to irritation, you can experience swelling on the penis. Other symptoms of allergic reactions are itchiness, redness, rash, or discoloration. If you experience an allergic reaction, it is essential to discontinue using the product that causes it. 


Phimosis is a condition defined as the inability to retract the skin that covers the head of the penis. It is common in infants. In older children, it can be due to a skin condition that causes scarring. In adults, phimosis is linked to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In general, phimosis is only a major health concern if it causes symptoms like redness or discoloration, swelling, soreness, and a problem urinating if the foreskin blocks the urine flow. 


If only the foreskin is swollen, you might have posthitis. Posthitis is inflammation of the foreskin, and excessive fungus growth often causes it. Also, posthitis often develops with balanitis. Some of the symptoms of posthitis include soreness, redness, tightness, smegma formation, etc. 


Generally, posthitis and balanitis occur together. This medical condition is known as balanoposthitis. Balanoposthitis is inflammation of both the glans and foreskin. In comparison to balanitis, balanoposthitis is less common. It causes penile swelling along with redness, pain, smelly discharge, itching, etc. 


Paraphimosis is a medical condition where the foreskin cannot return to its original position over the tip of the penis. It causes the foreskin to gather like a tight rubber band and can obstruct or stop blood flow to the tip of the penis. Potential treatment options for paraphimosis include using a local anesthetic gel on the penis to relieve pain and inflammation. If the foreskin does not get back to its original position, circumcision is the surgical treatment to release the foreskin. 


Priapism is a medical condition that causes prolonged, painful erections without stimulation. Priapism is common among people who use intracavernosal treatment for erectile dysfunction. Other causes of priapism are blood disorders like leukemia, alcohol or illegal drug use, tumors, etc. Priapism may go away on its own. However, certain types of priapism need aspiration to drain the excess blood. Medication and a surgical shunt are other treatment methods for priapism.

Are you going through any of these symptoms?

Diagnosis and Treatment Of A Swollen Penis


A skilled and experienced urologist can treat a swollen penis. A urologist makes the diagnosis of a swollen penis by a physical examination. A physical examination of the penis is basically a genital exam. It means everything that comprises the external and internal parts of the penis, urethra, and scrotum are inspected to confirm the diagnosis and check for possible underlying conditions.


The treatment of a swollen penis depends on the underlying causes. Usually, ointments, steroid creams, and mild to strong anti-fungal creams are prescribed by the doctor for the treatment of swollen penis. However, if the swelling on the penis is for a prolonged period, then your doctor might suggest you do undergo circumcision. Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin. Hence, an effective solution for a swollen penis can be open, laser circumcision, and stapler circumcision

Risks Involved In Undergoing Surgery To Treat Swollen Penis

Circumcision is the surgical procedure of removing the foreskin from the penis. Before undergoing any surgical procedure, it is crucial to know the risks and complications involved. 

Listed below are some of the risks and complications linked with circumcision surgery that you should be aware of:

  • Bleeding: Bleeding is the most commonly experienced complication of circumcision. 
  • Infection: Infection is a rare complication of circumcision when done under sterile conditions. Sometimes, the yellowish scabs on the foreskin where adhesions were removed or around the cut edge are often confused with infection. However, they are part of the normal healing process.
  • Foreskin issues:  Complications with the foreskin might occur after circumcision is performed to treat a swollen penis. The surgeon can leave the foreskin too short or too long, leading to other medical problems such as a foreskin infection.
  • Adhesions: Adhesions refer to areas of the foreskin stuck to the glans. During circumcision, these adhesions must be lysed for the foreskin to be removed entirely. If adhesions are not wholly lysed, the circumcised part of the foreskin can be drawn up over one section of the corona, making an asymmetric appearance.
  • Necrosis of the Penis- Necrosis is a very rare complication of circumcision. Still, it has been noted as a complication of circumcision in treating swollen penis.
  • Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO)- BXO happens when the skin on the glans gets hard and changes to white. This hard tissue can make it challenging for urine and semen to flow through the urethra.
  • Inclusion Cysts– As the surgical site after circumcision is healing, inclusion cysts may develop along the cut edge. These cysts are majorly formed from smegma collecting in the incision. These cysts can be asymptomatic or can become infected. 

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Postoperative Care After Undergoing Circumcision To Treat A Swollen Penis

Postoperative care is important after circumcision surgery for swollen penis. After the surgery for a swollen penis, your urologist will give you tips on preventing complications and encouraging recovery. Listed below are some tips that you must follow:

  • Avoid strenuous activity- The urologists recommend normal activity after circumcision. However, avoiding rough activities or active sports for some weeks following surgery is advised, as it can result in oozing from the incision.
  • Avoid full-body bathing: It is best to avoid full-body bathing until the second day after surgery. After the second day, you can bathe as normal but don’t scrub the incision site. Instead, let the warm water run over the site and pat it dry.
  • Take your medicines as advised by your doctor- You might experience pain after circumcision. Your urologist will prescribe medicines for pain management. Make sure you take all the medicines as advised by your urologist.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes- Avoid tight clothing which can pressure your penis. Doing this will reduce the risk of pain and swelling in the operated area. 
  • Incision Care- A normal dressing after circumcision is usually applied to the penis. If the bandage falls off after the procedure, it is not a huge concern. If it hasn’t already fallen off, you should remove the bandage on the second day after surgery. After the bandage is taken off, apply vaseline or bacitracin ointment around the sutures daily. It will prevent the dry edges of the incision from sticking to the clothes.
  • Others – Avoid having sex for at least 4 weeks after the surgery.

Common FAQs Around Swollen Penis

Can drinking water reduce swelling in the penis?

Yes, drinking ample water can help in reducing swelling in the penis.

Can coconut oil reduce swelling in the penis?

Lauric acid and caprylic acid in coconut oil are effective in relaxing irritated skin. Therefore, coconut oil is an ideal remedy for fast relief from a swollen penis.

Can I have sex if I have a swollen penis?

You should avoid having sex if you have a swollen penis, especially if you are unaware of its cause. Sex can cause further irritation, which can aggravate the swelling. If you have sex, wearing a condom can help protect your skin and reduce discomfort.

Can a swollen penis cause death?

No. A swollen penis cannot cause death since it is not life-threatening. However, it should not be ignored and left untreated. If you experience swelling in your penis, immediately consult an experienced urologist for a safe and effective treatment.

What precautions do I take if I have a swollen penis?

Here are some precautions that you should take if you have a swollen penis –

  • Avoid using harsh chemical soaps on your penis as they contain chemical irritants. 
  • Keep your genital area clean and dry.
  • Always wash your hands before you touch your penis.
  • Always wear clean underwear to lower the chances of microbial contamination.

What questions should I ask my urologist if I have a swollen penis?

Some questions to ask your healthcare provider if you have a swollen penis are:

  • What’s the cause of my swollen penis?
  • Is it safe for me to have sex if I have a swollen penis?
  • Is it safe for me to masturbate if I have a swollen penis?
  • What are the best ways to keep my penis and genital area clean?
  • Is there a medication you can prescribe to treat swollen penis?
  • How helpful ointments and creams are for swollen penis?
  • What happens if a swollen penis is left untreated?