When a man looks down and sees a rainbow of colors, it’s generally not a happy moment. In fact, it’s usually a pretty scary one. However, while there are a few serious causes of concern, the most common causes are all pretty harmless if just a bit uncomfortable or inconvenient. Thankfully, many of them can be treated easily. Here are eight of the less-scary causes of a discolored penis.

1) The Zipper Incident – Most men experience once or a million times in their lives, especially when going commando. It’s one of the top reasons for discoloration. This accidental catch of the worm can cause a red, blue, or purple penis discoloration and potentially a tear in the skin. Ice it (gently) to reduce inflammation and disinfect if the teeth left a mark.

2) Post-Pleasure Flush – Post lovemaking or loving oneself, the penis can flush red or purple as blood holds there before making its decline back into the body.

3) Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation – During puberty, men and women produce excess hormones, which excites the melanocytes, the skin cells that cause pigmentation. This can result in a darker penis discoloration in the entire genital area for men. While it can be aesthetically undesirable to a man, it poses no health concern. Men who don’t like it can see a doctor for Retinol, laser resurfacing, or even microdermabrasion to reduce the darkness.

4) Lax Hygiene – If a penis isn’t clean and dry most of the time, it is vulnerable to bacteria, infection, and fungus. It shows its displeasure by turning an angry red and can do any of the following: peel, produce excess smegma, get inflamed, and cause other issues like fiery urination and general discomfort. The fix is easy: wash it and wash it well. Use gentle cleanser, warm water, and care. Keep doing that until it goes away. And then keep doing it until the end of time to prevent it from happening again.

5) Just a Bruise – It can happen in sports, hitting the edge of a desk, or from a particularly athletic sex session; the penis can get bruised. Simply treat it tenderly and gently ice it to relieve the swelling. If the bruise starts to pool blood, go to a hospital because it might be a hematoma, which is much more serious.

6) Latex Allergy – A quarter of all adults in the United States are allergic to latex condoms, and a discolored penis is one of the common symptoms. If experiencing penis discoloration and rash-like symptoms, a man should gently, but thoroughly, clean the area and potentially take an antihistamine to help. He should then be sure to follow up with his doctor for an allergy test. Thankfully, there are many alternative kinds of condoms, so safe sex can always be had!

7) Allergic Reaction – Other allergic reactions are also common, especially from things like body wash, lotion, and laundry detergent. If a man hasn’t changed anything on his end, he should check with his partner to see if they have. Relief can be found as mentioned in #6 above.

8) Penile Melanosis – A harmless skin condition, it produces small patches of darkened skin on the shaft or head of the penis. It happens when melanin accumulates in concentrated deposits on the surface of the skin. There’s no treatment necessary for this condition, but a doctor can recommend removal options if a man wants to make a change.

Preventing Penis Discoloration

Treat the penis right and treat it gently! Wear protective gear when playing sports or being athletic. Also, try to avoid any rough rights or lefts when being intimate, as that can cause injury. When engaging in a little self-pleasure, be sure not to invoke a death grip, as it can lead to friction causing discoloration and nerve damage.

In addition to the above, be sure to follow a hygiene regimen to keep the penis spotless, vigorous, and protected. Wash regularly and meticulously with a gentle cleanser, being sure to clean all the folds and crevices and rinsing well. Follow up cleansing with a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) to calm and relieve the skin.