Learn More About Male Yeast Infection Symptoms, Treatment, and More

Penile yeast infections can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms, but they are frequently treated quickly with over-the-counter medications and can be reduced by taking certain precautions, such as practicing proper hygiene.

A yeast infection is commonly thought to be a female health issue, but it can affect anyone, including those who have a penis.

If left untreated, a penile yeast infection can cause a variety of painful and uncomfortable symptoms. If the infection spreads to your bloodstream, it can lead to serious complications.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can frequently clear up a yeast infection, and some simple preventative measures can help you avoid this fairly common condition.

The following are some of the most common symptoms of a penile yeast infection:

  • penile redness, soreness, or swelling
  • white, gleaming patches on the penis
  • small red spots on the penis's top
  • foreskin cracking
  • thick, white discharge from the foreskin or other skin folds
  • Pulling back the foreskin is difficult.
  • itchiness
  • urinating with a burning sensation
  • sex-related pain or discomfort

Redness, itchiness, and pain in the penis can be symptoms of more serious conditions, such as some sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so do not dismiss them.

A urologist or primary care physician can often diagnose the condition in a single visit.

Candida is the most common fungus that causes yeast infections. Candida is usually present in small amounts in the body. A yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of candida.

According to a 2018 study, a moist environment is ideal for candida to spread.

Without using a condom, having sex with someone who has a vaginal yeast infection can result in a penile yeast infection. However, you can become infected without engaging in sexual activity.

Aside from having sex with a partner who has a yeast infection, there are a number of other risk factors that can increase your chances of developing a penile yeast infection, including:

  • not cleaning your genitals or bathing on a regular basis
  • having a weakened immune system because of certain medications or medical conditions
  • long-term antibiotic use
  • putting on wet clothes or tight-fitting underwear
  • using skin care products or soaps that irritate the skin
  • being diabetic
  • the use of lubricated condoms
  • not being circumcised
  • being overweight

Once you've scheduled an appointment, a doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms and examine your genitals. According to 2022 research, some of the white substance that forms on the penis may be examined under a microscope to confirm the type of fungus causing the symptoms.

If you can't get an appointment with a doctor or urologist, consider going to an urgent care center or the emergency room. The earlier the problem is identified and treatment begins, the more likely it is that complications will be avoided.

It is not recommended that a person diagnose and begin treatment on their own. If you have symptoms of a yeast infection, see a doctor. If symptoms are allowed to persist, complications can become extremely painful.

In most cases, antifungal ointments and creams are sufficient to treat an infection. Antifungal creams for a yeast infection include:

  • Miconazole (Lotrimin AF, Cruex, Desenex, Ting Antifungal) is an antifungal medication.
  • Canesten and Selezen contain imidazole.
  • Clotrimazole (Anti-Fungal Lotrimin AF, Cruex, Desenex, Lotrimin AF Ringworm)

The majority of these are OTC medications, so you won't need a prescription for them. More serious or long-term infections may necessitate the use of prescription-strength medication.

In severe infections, such as those that have progressed to a potentially fatal condition called balanitis, oral fluconazole (Diflucan) and hydrocortisone cream may be prescribed.

The majority of antifungal creams are well tolerated and are unlikely to cause serious side effects. However, read the label and ask a doctor and pharmacist what to look for if you have a bad reaction.

Yeast infections that reoccur

Yeast infections can reoccur even after they appear to be cured. If this occurs, your doctor will most likely advise a few weeks of daily treatments followed by a few months of weekly treatments.

Recurrent yeast infections can be treated for up to 6 months in some cases.

According to 2016 research, if your infection does not respond well to an antifungal ointment and you are uncircumcised, you may be advised to have an adult male circumcision. Though this surgery is typically performed on infants, it can be performed safely on people of any age.

Yeast infections and diabetes

According to 2019 research, diabetes and a suppressed immune system may increase your risk of yeast infection.

If you have diabetes, consult with a doctor to ensure that your blood sugar levels are well-controlled. A doctor can recommend ways to keep your immune system as healthy as possible if you have a suppressed immune system.

A penile yeast infection, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications.


Balanitis is one of the potential side effects of a penile yeast infection. Balanitis is an inflammation of the penis or foreskin. Balanitis is more likely if you have diabetes.

Scarring of the foreskin can occur if balanitis is not treated properly. It can also cause penile adhesions.

Balanitis can be painful and make it difficult to urinate. It can cause swollen and painful glands, as well as weakness and fatigue, if left untreated.

Candida invasive candidiasis

A yeast infection has the potential to enter the bloodstream. This is referred to as candidemia or invasive candidiasis.

This is most common in people who wait until the infection has spread beyond the penis before seeking treatment. It is also more common in people with compromised immune systems.

If you've been in the hospital and used a catheter to urinate, you're at a higher risk of developing invasive candidiasis. This advanced form of yeast infection is extremely dangerous.

For several weeks, oral antifungal medications may be required. In some cases, the medications are given intravenously.

If you treat your infection early and it responds well to antifungal medication, it should clear up within 7 to 14 days.

If you are sexually active, your partner should be treated for a yeast infection as well, in order to avoid passing the infection on to them or them to you.

If you have recurring yeast infections and can rule out causes such as hygiene and sexual contact, consult your doctor about other possible causes. You could be suffering from an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes.

Avoid sexual contact with a partner who has a yeast infection to help prevent a penile yeast infection.

You should also avoid having sex with anyone while you have an active yeast infection because you may pass the infection to your partner. This could result in the two of you passing an infection back and forth.

To reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection or passing one on, do the following:

  • Wear an external condom whenever you have sex to reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection.
  • Keep your penis and genitals clean and dry.
  • If you are not circumcised, clean the underside of your foreskin with soap and water and return it to its normal position after sexual intercourse.

Although penile yeast infections are less common than vaginal yeast infections, they do occur. They can be caused by poor hygiene or having sex with a partner who has a vaginal yeast infection while not using an external condom.

Small white patches and redness on the skin, as well as itchiness or burning, are symptoms. It can also lead to other conditions and complications if left untreated.

In most cases, topical antifungal ointments and creams can treat the infection and reduce the risk of long-term complications.

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