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How Do I Reduce Penis Swelling?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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Treatment for penis swelling depends on its cause. If a man has penis swelling because of a minor injury to the area, using an ice pack might help. Often, however, conditions like balanitis, Peyronie’s disease, and priapism are at fault. Sometimes, penis swelling goes away on its own, given time, but in other cases injections, medications, or surgical treatment becomes necessary. In some cases, treating the condition that caused the swelling helps as well.

Balanitis is one condition capable of causing the penis to swell. It is marked by swelling that affects the head of this organ but not the shaft. If a man is uncircumcised, it can affect his foreskin as well, and sometimes a rash, visible reddening, pain, and abnormal discharge appear along with the penis swelling. Balanitis is usually caused by infection, irritation, or an inadequately treated medical condition and is more common in men who haven't been circumcised. Treatment depends on the problem that caused it but can include antibiotics, taken orally or applied topically, care of any underlying conditions, and sometimes circumcision.

A man may also have swelling of this organ because of a condition called priapism. This condition is marked by an erect penis that won’t return to its flaccid state after an orgasm or arousal loss. Eventually, this problem can cause penile tissues to become scarred, leading to permanent damage. Doctors usually treat it by draining blood from the penis, with medications that impede blood flow to the genitals, by treating the conditions that caused it, or with surgery.

Swelling of the penis sometimes starts out as a seemingly minor problem that is restricted to one part of the penis and accompanied by irritation. In time, however, the irritated, swollen area may form a hard patch in the penis and even cause the penis to become bent. This sometimes painful condition is referred to as Peyronie’s disease. Doctors aren’t sure what causes the condition, and it doesn’t always require treatment. Though it can take several months, it often goes away on its own.

When Peyronie’s disease does not get better on its own or in the event that it causes moderate to severe pain, a doctor can correct it surgically or using injections. Surgery often involves cutting the hardened part out of the penis and replacing it with healthy tissue while injections are used to soften the tissue in the affected area. A doctor’s treatment recommendation usually depends on the severity of the condition.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon996850 — On Oct 18, 2016

Can penis swelling be caused by prostate cancer?

By SeanH — On Aug 07, 2015

A good penis health creme can help with all sorts of issues down there. Dryness, cracking, soreness, swelling, chafing etc. These cremes deliver as advertised. There is nothing better out there for the penis skin than one of these cremes.

By DocJim — On Mar 19, 2015

The treatments recommended above are very good ones. Abnormal swelling of the penis often causes it to feel very tender. It can help to apply a good penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) to aid in alleviating common penile soreness.

By anon980736 — On Dec 06, 2014

Soreness and swelling often respond to a first class penis health cream with natural moisturizers like shea butter, vitamin E, etc.

By anon962814 — On Jul 25, 2014

An icepack is the best choice but make sure to put it over shorts. Do not just put it directly on the penis.

By anon331238 — On Apr 22, 2013

If we apply ice it hurts like hell. What should I do?

By browncoat — On Jul 22, 2012

@pleonasm - To be honest, I think it's a good thing that this disorder has been so widely covered on TV, whether they used it for a joke or not. Unfortunately, most men don't know much about their own bodies or their own health and I know the reaction of many men when faced with penis problems is to hope that it will go away on its own.

The problem is that often the sooner you treat genital disorders, the less damage they will do. In the case of priapism, you should seek help after four hours with no changes. If you do that, the doctors will only give you some medication. If you don't, you might end up needing surgery.

The same is true for any other kind of unexplained swelling. Penises are fairly delicate, and it's not like you can grow another one. Take care of the one you've got.

By pleonasm — On Jul 21, 2012

Unfortunately priapism is often treated like a joke by the media, and is used in comedy shows as an excuse to embarrass a male character and let everyone have a good laugh over the "be careful what you wish for" theme.

And in some cases that is an appropriate sentiment, as prispism can come from misuse of medication like Viagra, or even as a rare side effect of normal use. But this swelling of the penis is extremely painful and it doesn't only happen to men who are using these kinds of medications (which is a personally legitimate thing to do).

Men who regularly bicycle, for example, can develop priapism as the vibrations from the seat of the bike can damage the nerves to the penis. It can sometimes be associated with blood disease, or sometimes it doesn't seem to have a cause.

The thing is, it is considered to be a medical emergency and people treating it like a joke might get that message confused. If it isn't treated it can result in permanent damage.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
Learn more
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