Genital sores - male


A male genital sore is any sore or lesion that appears on the penis, scrotum, or male urethra.

Alternative Names

Sores - male genitals; Ulcers - male genitals


Symptoms of male genital sores may include:

Sore may also be found elsewhere on the body (such as the mouth and throat).

Common Causes

Male genital sores can be caused by many different things. Those most concerning are caused by sexually transmitted infections (STI). For example, genital herpes simplex , syphilis, chancroid , granuloma inguinale , and lymphogranuloma venereum can cause ulcers on the genitals.

Other types of male genital soress may be caused by venereal warts , molluscum contagiosum , allergic reactions, Behcet's disease, and non-sexually transmitted infections.

Home Care

Avoid self-treatment before seeing a doctor. It can hide signs and symptoms and make diagnosis more difficult. Avoid all sexual contact until you have a medical exam.

Call your health care provider if

Call for an appointment with your doctor if you have any unexplained genital sores or if new ones appear in other parts of your body.

What to expect at your health care provider's office

The doctor will perform a physical examination. The exam will include looking at the genital, pelvis, skin, lymph nodes, mouth, and throat.

The doctor will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • Description:
  • Time Pattern:
  • Other:

Tests that may be done include:

Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and may include antiviral medicines and antibiotics. Your doctor may ask you to avoid sexual activity or use a condom for a while, depending on your diagnosis.



Link RE. Cutaneous diseases of the external genitalia. In: Wein AJ, ed. . 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 13.

Workowski KA, Berman S; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2010. . 2010;59:1-110.


    Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.