Having fissure penis or cracked foreskin can be of major concern to every sexually active individual. Cracks, fissures and erosions in the penis can also lead to secondary bacterial infection, and sexual intercourse becomes impossible because of pain induced by erections. Fissuring can be either the inner part of foreskin or the outer part and also involve with swelling in most sexually active individuals. These open wounds are often very sensitive to touch, particularly when soaps, detergents or urine come into contact with affected skin.
There are several factors that are involved in cracks and fissuring of the foreskin, some of which will be discussed here.
Causes of Cracked and Fissured Foreskin
Excessive washing, especially with soaps sometimes can result in dryness and cracks on the penis skin. It is important to keep the foreskin clean but don’t overdo it. Just wash with normal water or mild non-irritant soaps.
Repetitive Friction during Sex
Vigorous sex without lubricant can sometime results in cracks and minor injuries to both the penis and vagina. Make sure she is wet and there is adequate lubricant during sex; else you may apply some kind of lubricants to reduce the friction and injury.
Rough frequent masturbation
Young individuals may experience fissuring of the foreskin and also head of the penis due to rough, dry and frequent masturbation. In the case limiting masturbation and use of lubricants during the process might help prevent the problem.
Cracks in the foreskin can also be due to several skin disorders, these includes;
Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus:
Lichen sclerosus et atrophicus of the penis can cause the foreskin to become thin, tight, fissured and have difficulties in pulling back the foreskin. Furthermore he may have secondary bacterial infection, painful erection and problem with urination.
Balanoposthitis is inflammation of the foreskin and glans in uncircumcised males, which can be of either bacterial or fungal origins or be sometimes due to contact dermatitis. However fissuring and cracks are mainly associated with fungal/yeast origin and termed as Candida balanoposthitis. This yeast infection is usually acquired sexually but not always as long term use of oral antibiotics can also predispose to yeast infection. Acquired candida balanoposthitis can also be the first clinical sign of diabetes mellitus in most uncircumcised males. So it is necessary to get tested for blood sugar. In diabetic individuals more severe fissuring with swelling of the foreskin can be seen that causes non-retractile foreskin.
How can I treat fissured foreskin
First thing you want to do is avoid and treat the cause. If it was candida infection due to diabetes or antibiotics it should be treated with antifungal along with strict control on blood sugar. If the candida was sexually acquired your partner also should receive oral antifungal along with topical creams and vaginal gels. Wash your genitals daily but don’t over-wash it, gently retract your foreskin and wash with luke warm water, 1-2 times per day is enough.
When nothing is helping or you are unable to retract your foreskin, circumcision is the last option that will almost cure the problem. Another option is dorsal clit or superincision, where foreskin is simply cut through the tip to the corona, exposing the glans penis without removing the tissue so you can easily retract the skin and maintain good hygiene.