Can a Male Yeast Infection Cause Skin Peeling?

Most people think a yeast infection is primarily a women’s health problem. The condition may be less common in males, but men can also get yeast infections. The fungus candidiasis causes yeast infections, and it’s one of the most common types of fungal infections.  

Yeast infections can develop anywhere on the skin, but the fungus prefers areas where moisture can accumulate. Common places for yeast infections include the genital area, skin folds, the belly button, the mouth, and the throat.

This article discusses male yeast infection and skin peeling in detail.

When to See a Doctor for Penis Rash and Peeling

Verywell / Laura Porter

Symptoms of a Male Yeast Infection

The first sign of a male yeast infection is an itchy rash on the penis. The rash sometimes appears as white and shiny patches.

The skin may feel more moist than usual. In addition, a thick, white, cottage cheese–like substance may appear between folds of skin, like at the foreskin or testicles.

You may also notice redness, itching, and pain around the penis and testicles.

Why Does the Skin Sometimes Peel?

The skin sometimes peels after a yeast infection. The infection can cause the patches to flake, crust, and become irritated. The inflammation and discharge make the skin more vulnerable to becoming irritated and breaking down. This makes it more likely for the skin to peel from a male yeast infection.

Other Conditions That Can Cause Skin Peeling

Yeast infections aren’t the only cause of skin peeling on the penis or the area around it. Other conditions that may cause skin peeling include:


Eczema—also called atopic dermatitis—is a chronic skin condition causing itchy, red, dry, cracked, and peeling skin. People with eczema often have dry, itchy skin and are more likely to develop skin infections.

Since people with eczema have a more reactive immune response, their skin tends to be more sensitive to products like soap or laundry detergent.


Chafing occurs when the skin becomes irritated by skin rubbing against other skin, clothing, or shoes. The outer layers of the skin break down and cause irritation.

Mild chafing leads to symptoms on affected areas, such as:

  • Redness
  • Bumps
  • Stinging

Severe chafing may cause the skin to be hot to the touch, blister, bleed, and peel.


An allergic reaction is an immune response to a substance that is usually not harmful. An allergic reaction can be caused by anything. A few substances that could affect the penis include:

  • Latex from condoms
  • Bodywash
  • Lubricant
  • Laundry detergent

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Cracked or peeling skin


Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition in which cells are created quickly and build up on the skin. It often affects the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Still, patches can appear on any area of the body, including the penis.

Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Dryness
  • Faking
  • Peeling
  • Small bumps
  • Thick patches
  • Redness
  • Itching


Genital herpes is a type of sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2. A herpes infection goes through periods in which it is dormant (no active symptoms) and periods of active infection, when symptoms are present. The virus is more likely to spread when there are visible symptoms.

Symptoms of genital herpes include:

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Small red bumps
  • Tiny white blisters
  • Ulcers
  • Scabs
  • Peeling skin


Syphilis is an STI caused by bacteria.

The first symptom of syphilis typically is a painless sore on the affected area. Other symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Hair loss
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat

The rash and sore are typically not itchy or painful.

Diagnosing Skin Conditions

Your primary care provider or urologist can diagnose most skin conditions affecting the penis. To diagnose your skin condition, a healthcare provider may:

  • Examine the affected areas
  • Ask questions about your health history
  • Take a small sample of skin or fluid from the affected area

The diagnosis will help your healthcare provider create a treatment plan for your condition.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

A rash and peeling skin on the penis may be a sign of only a mild condition, or there could be a more serious reason. Visiting a healthcare provider will help determine what is causing the rash and peeling skin.

Contact your healthcare provider if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding
  • A rash that’s spreading to other areas of your body quickly
  • Skin that feels warm, swells, is painful, develops redness, or crusts over
  • Rash that oozes green or yellow fluid
  • Blisters and sores that appear
  • Fever


Treatment will depend on the cause of your infection. Yeast infections can easily be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal medications. If it’s your first yeast infection, visit your healthcare provider for a diagnosis since the symptoms of a yeast infection can mock other conditions.

Antifungal medications are available as creams, ointments, tablets, and suppositories. The oral tablets require a prescription. Creams and ointments are available over the counter to treat male yeast infections. Common types include Monistat (miconazole) and Terazol (terconazole).  

If your condition is caused by a bacterial infection, like syphilis, it would need to be treated with antibiotics.

Viruses like herpes can’t be cured. Still, the number and severity of symptoms can be reduced with antiviral medications.

Avoiding irritating products can prevent reactions from allergies and reduce the number of psoriasis symptoms.

Chafing can be prevented by wearing breathable clothing, changing out of damp clothing as soon as possible, and using products to reduce friction on the skin.


Yeast infections can develop in men and can affect the penis and the area around it. Symptoms include an itchy rash that may be red, white, and/or shiny, sometimes with increased moistness or a cottage cheese-like substance.

Other conditions that could cause penis skin peeling include psoriasis, eczema, chafing, and bacterial infections. Many of these have similar symptoms, so it’s best to visit a healthcare provider instead of trying to self-diagnose. Whatever the cause of your symptoms, there are treatments to help manage them.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you get rid of a male yeast infection fast?

    OTC and prescription antifungal medications are available to treat male yeast infections fast. Common topical treatments include Monistat (miconazole), Nizoral (ketoconazole), and Lotrimin AF (clotrimazole). Diflucan (fluconazole) is available as an oral pill that requires a prescription from your healthcare provider.

  • How long does a male yeast infection last?

    With treatment and proper hygiene, most male yeast infections will only last three to 14 days. If it lasts longer than 14 days, visit your healthcare provider. You may need a stronger treatment, or your symptoms could be caused by another condition.

  • What does psoriasis look like?

    Psoriasis usually looks like red or pink plaques of thick, scaly, raised skin. The plaques can be small or cover a larger area. Sometimes psoriasis appears as small, flat bumps. It often affects the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, although it can appear anywhere on the body—including the penis.

6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. MedlinePlus. Yeast infections.

  2. MedlinePlus. Eczema.

  3. Incorvaia C, Frati F, Verna N, D’Alò S, Motolese A, Pucci S. Allergy and the skin. Clin Exp Immunol. 2008;153(Suppl 1):27-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03718.x

  4. MedlinePlus. Psoriasis.

  5. Groves MJ. Genital herpes: a review. Am Fam Physician.

  6. Arando Lasagabaster M, Otero Guerra L. Syphilis. Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin (Engl Ed). 2019;37(6):398-404. doi:10.1016/j.eimc.2018.12.009

By Ashley Braun, MPH, RD
Ashley Braun, MPH, RD, is a registered dietitian and public health professional with over 5 years of experience educating people on health-related topics using evidence-based information. Her experience includes educating on a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, HIV, neurological conditions, and more.