Skin care is something that is identified with women, but which is important for men as well. And, of course, that need for care extends to the male organ skin. Unattractive skin on the member can mar an otherwise-appealing package, causing potential partners to check out. It can also indicate possible hygienic or male organ health issues which may need tending to. For example, sometimes male organ skin problems may result from a condition known as lichen sclerosis.
Not just women
Lichen sclerosis is much more common among women (in whom it affects the female organ) than in men, but it does occur in men – probably more frequently than is known. (Many men are reluctant to report problems they have with their member to a doctor, so it is suspected that lichen sclerosis is underreported among males.)
Also known in men as balanitis xerotica obliterans, lichen sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disorder about which not enough is known. The cause or causes are still being identified and explored, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. What does that mean? Well, an autoimmune disorder occurs when a person’s body mistakenly starts identifying something that naturally exists in the body (usually a protein) as a foreign object, and so starts developing antibodies to fight this supposedly foreign object.
Because some 15% of people with lichen sclerosis have a relative with the condition, it is also thought that there may be a genetic component involved in the disorder as well.
What it does
When a man has lichen sclerosis, it is usually located in the tip or head of the member. It may become inflamed, causing redness. There may also be white patches which appear on the head, and the skin may get blotchy and wrinkled. It becomes sensitive, so that the skin may tear more easily, causing bleeding, and sometimes there are sores or ulcers that appear in the area. Most men experience severe male organ itching as well. The urinary tube tends to constrict, so that urine streams may thin, crooked or “spattery;” in intact men, the sheath may become difficult to retract. And sensual activity usually becomes painful while lichen sclerosis is present.
Often, young intact boys with phimosis also have lichen sclerosis. Otherwise, it is more common among middle-aged men, especially if they are uncut; however, many of any age, with or without sheath, can be affected.
The first step in treating lichen sclerosis is to get it diagnosed, so a visit to a urologist – or at least to a general practitioner – is in order. Since the exact cause of the disorder is still under discussion, treatment tends to involve attacking the symptoms rather than the root cause itself.
The most common, and usually effective, course of treatment is application of corticosteroids via a crème or ointment. In most cases, the corticosteroids will be applied twice a day until the symptoms disappear. Frequently, a patient will be recommended to continue treatment on a much less frequent basis (once or twice a week) to keep the condition from coming back.
If corticosteroids don’t work, the doctor may recommend another medication. In some instances, a doctor may suggest that an intact patient consider removing the overlying skin as a treatment option.
Lichen sclerosis can create an unpleasant male organ skin situation, so even after treatment a man should apply a first rate male organ health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) to assist restoring and rejuvenating the male organ skin. This will be more easily accomplished if the chosen crème contains both a high end emollient (think shea butter) and a powerful hydrator (such as vitamin E). The male organ skin will further benefit from a crème with a potent antioxidant, such as alpha lipoic acid. Powerful antioxidants can fend off excess free radicals, which left unchecked can bring about significant oxidative damage to the skin.
Visit www.menshealthfirst.com for more information about treating common male organ health problems, including soreness, redness and loss of male organ sensation. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.