You might have noticed your penis turn purple-red when you’re fully aroused. That’s normal. But if you notice an unexplained change in the color of your penis, that can be worrisome. When that happens, you should see a urologist as soon as possible.
When your penis turns purple, especially if it’s accompanied by pain, swelling, and other symptoms, it can indicate that something’s wrong with your sex organ. A purple penis often indicates an injury, an infection, or a blood circulation issue. Continue reading to learn more about what usually causes a penis to turn purple.
1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases can cause red or purple sores to grow on your penis. These diseases don’t actually change the color of your penis skin, but the sores can make your penis look as if it has changed colors.
Genital sores or purple sores on the penis are typical symptoms of STDs like syphilis and herpes. These two STDs are also often accompanied by other symptoms such as itchiness, fever, fatigue, a burning sensation, and pain. Urinating may also become painful because of the infection.
When small blood vessels located under your skin break or rupture, they can leak blood. When this happens, bruises develop. The blood that leaked from the ruptured blood vessels aggregate under your skin and this causes your skin to turn purple.
Bruising can develop anywhere on your body, wherever you may have experienced an injury. And it can also happen to your penis. For instance, a zipper mishap, although just a minor accident, can cause your penile blood vessels to burst and cause bruising on your penis.
Rough sex and intense masturbation can also cause tiny injuries on your penis. These injuries can cause your penis to become bruised. The injured area will become soft and tender at first. Then the purple coloration will start disappearing as your bruise heals. If your bruise doesn’t heal after several days, you should have it checked.
However, if the bruising was caused by a more severe blow, such as what you might get from a sports injury or other high-impact injuries, the bruising will be severe and your penis will turn a deep purple shade.
If this is the case, you should seek medical treatment immediately. This may indicate that a major blood vessel damage in your penis or your penile tissues may be badly hurt.
Compared to a minor bruise that you might get from masturbating too vigorously, a hematoma is a deeper and more severe bruise. Hence, if you developed a hematoma on your penis, the purple coloration would be deeper and darker compared to what you get with a superficial bruise.
In addition, a hematoma will feel different compared to a minor bruise. In a minor bruise, the tissue will feel soft and tender. A hematoma, however, will feel firm to the touch, or it can even feel lumpy. This means that there’s a lot of blood pooled under your skin.
A hematoma on your penis could also mean that a dangerous bleeding event has occurred in your penis. It can also cause a reduction or a complete loss of blood flow. Since your penile and testicular tissues are very delicate, a hematoma can cause them damage if the blood flow to these tissues is reduced. You should see a urologist as soon as possible.
Purpura, also referred to as blood spots, can also cause your penis to appear red or purple. As compared to a superficial bruise or a hematoma, blood spots aren’t flat. Rather, they’re raised against your skin and may look like reddish or purplish blemishes.
As soon as you notice a purpura forming on your penis, you should ask a urologist to examine it right away. Blood spots are not caused by injuries, they’re actually indications of serious medical conditions.
A purpura may be caused by a blood circulation problem like bleeding or clotting. It may also be indicative of a nutritional deficiency or a blood vessel inflammation. In some instances, blood spots develop as a side effect of or allergic reaction to medications.
5. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Stevens-Johnson syndrome, caused by a severe allergic reaction to medications, is quite rare. But when it happens, it’s considered a medical emergency. It can cause a purple or reddish rash and this can spread to other parts of your body, including your genitals.
Blistering, painful sores, and peeling skin are some of the more common symptoms of Stevens-Johnson syndrome. These can actually lead to complications that are life-threatening and treatment often requires hospitalization.
Allergic reactions may be caused by various medications such as sulfa-based antibiotics, anticonvulsant medications, antipsychotic medications, and even ibuprofen and naproxen.
Other symptoms of Stevens-Johnson syndrome include fever and widespread pain on your skin. Blisters often form on the skin and mouth. These blisters can also form on your genitals, eyes, and nose. Where these blisters formed, the skin will shed after a few days.
6. Lichen Sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that often targets the genitals. A patchy white skin may form on your foreskin or on the skin around your anus. As your skin thins because of lichen sclerosus, red or purple spots may form on the affected areas.
What’s dangerous about lichen sclerosus is that it can cause scarring. Normally, scars are tolerable on other parts of your body, but when scars form on your foreskin or on your penis shaft, it can negatively affect normal sexual functioning.
Other symptoms of lichen sclerosus include blotchy wrinkled patches on your genital skin, pain or discomfort, and severe itching. Lichen sclerosus can lead to painful sex, and in severe cases, the affected areas can bleed or form ulcerated lesions.
See Your Urologist
Any time you notice the skin on your penis becoming purple, or if you see red or purple spots, rashes, or bumps, you should immediately seek medical attention. Unless it’s just a minor bruise and you know exactly what caused it.
However, if you notice any changes on the appearance of your penis and it’s accompanied by other symptoms, consult your urologist. These symptoms may include abnormal swelling and unexplained pain in your penis.
If you see blood in your urine or stool, feel pain in your joints or abdomen, or if there are open sores in your genital area, consult a doctor. Painful sex or painful urination, nosebleeds, swelling of the testicles are also symptoms to watch out for.