X-rays have been a part of modern culture for decades. They are incredible for helping doctors determine the causes of pain and discomfort in millions of people. Yet some men wonder if exposure to x-rays might be a possible detriment to penis health. One question raised is whether x-ray exposure might result in a red penis due to a skin condition known as radiodermatitis.

What is radiodermatitis?

Radiodermatitis is a skin reaction due to exposure to x-rays or gamma rays. It refers to exposure to a significant amount of these rays, enough sufficient to result in a degeneration to the skin due to ionization. This frequently presents as a red "burn" on the skin - hence the question about whether a red penis burn could come about from the radiation associated with x-rays.

Hard to tell

It is difficult to answer this question, as no studies have been done on the penis and x-rays. But it has long been theorized that long-term exposure of the penis to x-rays may result in damage to male reproductive processes. That is why a man often has a protective lead barrier placed over the penis if an x-ray is being done in the nearby area.

Certainly, many men with cancer who receive radiation treatment that includes the midsection have reported a red penis burn. But the radiation for cancer treatment is different from the emanations from x-rays.


When people think about exposure to x-rays, they typically focus on what happens when they visit a doctor for an x-ray of a body part. But people do encounter x-rays in other parts of everyday life.

For example, when a traveler goes to the airport, he is often asked to step through an x-ray machine as part of airport security. (This is that device where a man is asked to raise his hands above the head and remains still for a few seconds.) Many household smoke detectors use radionuclides, which are relatives of x-rays. Some tubes in television sets can emit x-rays as well.

Of the above, the most intense source of x-ray exposure is that used for medical purposes - although the amount of exposure involved in airport security x-rays is roughly comparable to a basic medical x-ray. (More prolonged x-rays for diagnostic purposes will have significantly more x-ray exposure.)

Red penis burn

So is red penis burn from x-rays possible? Given exposure at a high enough level for a long enough time, yes. But what that level and time measurement are is hard to tell. And it’s complicated by the fact that one man’s penis skin is more sensitive than another’s.

Certainly any man whose penis is to be exposed to x-rays for an extended period of time needs to use lead shielding as protection. But what about a man with extremely sensitive penis skin - can he come down with a red penis just from everyday exposure via airport security, smoke detectors, TV sets, etc.? It’s unlikely; however, if a man has an inexplicably red penis, it doesn’t hurt to visit the doctor and determine if x-ray exposure could be responsible.

Helping to boost the health of the penis skin may be one way to prevent red penis from developing due to everyday x-ray exposure. Daily use of a first rate penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) is an excellent idea. The skin needs to be kept properly moist for maximum health, so find a crème that includes Shea butter (a high-end emollient) and vitamin E (a natural hydrator). This combination of moisturizing agents is excellent at keeping essential oils locked into the skin. The crème ideally should also contain vitamin B5 (aka pantothenic acid). Vitamin B5 is a vital nutrient required for cell metabolism and the maintenance of healthy tissue.