There’s no doubt about it: Penis ulcers can be scary. Even a man who maintains the best penis care , including careful daily cleansing and using a condom during all sexual activity, might one day look down to see this unexpected sore on his penis. So what is a penis ulcer and how does a man get it? And more importantly, how does a guy get rid of it?

What’s a penis ulcer?

Penis ulcers are open sores on the penis. It might be alone, just one strange sore in the midst of perfectly healthy skin. Or it might be one of several that show up on the penis. Sometimes they are even accompanied by rashes, with the more significant part of the rash leading to the penis ulcer.

When it comes to pain, penis ulcers vary widely. Some are entirely pain-free; a man could touch it and not even wince. But others are very painful, even when they are not being touched by anything, even soft underwear. They might be accompanied by swelling and itching.

What causes penis ulcers?

In most cases, a penis ulcer must be brought to a doctor’s attention, as it can be caused by many things that a man doesn’t want to think about. These include:

1) STIs. Chlaymidia, herpes, and syphilis can lead to serious penis ulcers. Another STI, known as chancroid, is rare in the United States but more common in developing countries, can cause penis ulcers.

2) Mononucleosis. Yes, this is often called "mono" or "the kissing disease" because it spreads easily through saliva. Mono is usually accompanied by fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, fever and sore throat. In some cases it can also cause penis ulcers.

3) Granuloma inguinale. This is a bacterial disease that is more common in tropical climates. If the ulcers from this do not get prompt treatment, the damage to penis health can be permanent.

4) Yeast infections. The penis ulcers from a long-running yeast infection will usually occur near the tip of the penis, but they can also happen anywhere along the surrounding area.

5) Scabies. These microscopic skin mites can wreak havoc on a man’s body, and they tend to really like the midsection. Enough of them, given enough time, can create penis ulcers, usually from openings in the skin as a result of itching.

6) Skin wounds. The simplest explanation, any sort of abrasion or wound on the penis skin - perhaps from a rigorous round of sexual activity the night before - can lead to an ulcer.

7) Penis cancer. While penis cancer is rather rare, it’s important to get a penis ulcer checked out to ensure that’s not what’s happening.

The only one on this list that might be treated without a doctor’s visit is the skin wound. That’s because a man will likely know exactly what happened - for instance, he will look down and see the ulcer, then realize it must have happened last night, when he was a little too enthusiastic but didn’t use enough lube. Otherwise, any skin ulcer without a perfectly clear cause must be checked out.

To help prevent problems like this, a guy should reach for a top-notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) . Look for a crème that contains Shea butter and vitamin E for softness, as well as alpha lipoic acid to fight against free radicals and L-arginine to increase blood flow, which can aid in healing of minor abrasions and wounds. By applying these and other luxurious ingredients in a topical form, a guy can rest assured that his penis health is as solid as it can possibly be.