Penis rash is a common occurrence among men, and the possible causes are many - jock itch, dermatitis, allergic reaction, balanitis, psoriasis, STIs, and more. Guys interested in maintaining good penis health want to recognize and treat causes of penis rash, which is laudable. For the man who wants full penis care knowledge, the following is information on lichen nitidus, a fortunately rare cause of penis rash.

About lichen nitidus

Lichen nitidus can cause a penis rash, but its effects are not necessarily limited to the penis. This rash can also be found on the balls, chest, abdomen and arms.

In terms of appearance, lichen nitidus presents as small (usually 1-2 mm) bumps, which tend to be shiny and flat-topped. Coloration is similar to flesh or has a reddish hue. People with light skin may present with pink bumps; people with darker skin may present with bumps that are a lighter shade than the surrounding skin. They tend to present in large clusters, often in something of a line.

While lichen nitidus may appear anywhere on the penis, it is more frequently confined to the glans.


If one must have a penis rash, lichen nitidus is one of the "better" ones to have. Because the bumps are so small and tend to be close to the color of the surrounding skin, they are not as noticeable as many others. They certainly do not make the unwelcome statement that, say, genital warts do. Still, many men feel uncomfortable when any penis rash is present, worried that it may make their favorite appendage look less appealing to a partner.

There’s also the problem of itching. This particular penis rash does not have an excessively strong itch factor associated with it, but it does demand to be scratched on occasion.

Why does a guy get it?

The good news is that lichen nitidus is neither an STI nor a symptom associated with an STI. When it appears on the penis, it does not mean a man now needs to worry about the hygiene of recent partners, nor about contacting his partners to alert them to a possible infectious situation.

It’s also not contagious. A partner who handles or is penetrated by the penis does not have to worry that this benign condition has been passed on to them.

The bad news is that doctors don’t really know what causes it. It does seem to be related to activation of white blood cells, but exactly what causes this activation is not clear. As mentioned, this is a rare disorder, one that is so uncommon that there hasn’t been much real research done on it. It does appear to occur primarily in children and young adults, so it seems to be something a man "grows out of."


Because lichen nitidus is benign and doesn’t cause any real problems (other than appearance and some itchiness), many doctors advise against treatment. The condition generally goes away of its own accord after a few months; it leaves no traces, such as scarring. However, it can recur.

When treatment is recommended, it is often in the form of corticosteroids, vitamin A, antihistamines or light therapy.

If the penis rash caused by lichen nitidus causes excess itchiness, use of a superior penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) may help. By applying a crème with both a high-end emollient (such as Shea butter) and a natural hydrating agent (such as vitamin E), the skin can be re-moisturized, which often helps decrease itchiness. Many superior crèmes also contain vitamin A, which is frequently used in treatment of lichen nitidus. The vitamin’s antibacterial properties have the added benefit of dampening unwanted penis odor.