Dr. Dean

What's Wrong With My Penis?

Posting Date: 12/11/2000

Derrick: On the side of the head of my penis, I have an area that looks like the skin is slightly raised, like a scratch. Every three or four days it flakes off and then comes back again. I've had this for a couple of months.

Dr. Dean: Because the skin flakes off and then returns, I think something could be growing. Most often, growths are benign, but because there is such a thing as cancer of the penis, I want you to make an appointment with a urologist.

Visit the Men's Health Center

Skin that flakes off, and then grows back and flakes off again, can be a sign of basal cell carcinoma on any part of the body; forehead, nose, legs, genitals or anywhere else.

I'm not suggesting that you have cancer, but you want to know for sure. You would not want the consequences of its spreading.

Both men and women can make the sad mistake of letting treatable, genital cancers grow because they are too embarrassed to see a doctor. Urologists and gynecologists are not going to be surprised by anything "down there." They've seen it all thousands of times.

Men have an advantage; whatever's going on, we can see it.

Without purposefully examining themselves, women can miss genital warts, sexually transmitted diseases and growths. Women's health educators advise that they examine themselves with a flashlight and a mirror every few months. A woman can even get a speculum and learn to see her cervix. It's a good idea.

So, go to a urologist. With one look, the urologist will be able to tell you what your next step should be.