Penile fungal infections is also known as thrush which is caused by Candida yeasts, and especially Candida albicans. It often affects women, but it can occur in men aswell.

When penile fungal infections occurs in males, it can affect the head of the penis and the foreskin. It can lead to inflammation of the head of the penis, known as balanitis.

In men, penile fungal infections affects the head of the penis and, if present, the foreskin.

There are often no symptoms, but if inflammation occurs, the following symptoms may appear around the head of the penis:

  • swelling and irritation
  • dull red skin with a glazed appearance
  • itching and soreness
  • a blotchy rash with small papules or white patches
  • a thick, white, lumpy discharge under the foreskin or in the skin folds, possibly with an unpleasant odour
  • difficulty pulling back the foreskin
  • Pain may be present during sex or when passing urine

Anti-fungal topical creams or oral medication may help to relieve symptoms from a penile fungal infection.

Patients are asked to apply a cream topically, directly onto the affected area, usually once a day for 7 to 21 days.

Good hygiene can help to prevent a penile fungal infection. Here are some ways to conduct good hygiene:

  • drying the penis carefully after washing
  • washing the penis carefully with warm, running water
  • not using perfumed shower gels or soaps on the genitals, because they can cause irritation
  • wearing loose-fitting cotton underpants to help keep the genital area dry and cool

In men with a foreskin, poor hygiene underneath it can lead to the build-up of a cheesy-looking substance called smegma. Smegma can cause irritation.

In rare cases, a man with weakened immunity who has genital thrush may develop invasive candidiasis. This is a fungal infection of the blood, and it can cause the fungus to spread throughout the body.

In this way, it can affect different organs in the body, including the brain, the liver, and the heart.

If you would like to speak to our team about penile fungal infections, please call us on 0161 327 1269 or email us at

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.