CAUSES OF A RED SCROTUM

By Gary M. White, MD

red scrotum This middle-aged man had an itchy scrotum. Triamcinolone and not scratching fixed the problem.


One subset of a groin rash is the isolated, red scrotum. Possible causes are listed below.

Normal Variant

The normal variant is most commonly seen in lighter-skinned patients, e.g., Fitzpatrick skin type I.

Psoriasis

See psoriasis, groin.

Infection

Candida and/or some bacteria can cause a localized infection that turns the scrotum red.

Rosacea of the Scrotum

The red scrotum syndrome or "rosacea of the scrotum" is characterized by a chronically red and itchy scrotum, flaring or at least lack of response to topical steroids, and clearing with avoidance of all topical steroids and oral doxycycline for 3-6 weeks [Int J Dermatol. 2012 Mar;51(3):362-3].

Erythromelalgia

Idiopathic

One report proposed that in some cases a primary irritant contact dermatitis from urine may cause a red scrotum [Cutis 1997;60;139].

Riboflavin Deficiency

Redness, crusting, and lichenification of the scrotum are reported to occur in riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiency. Levels of other B vitamins and zinc may also be checked [JAAD 1992;21;15].

Zinc Deficiency

A red, tender scrotum occurred in a patient with Crohn's disease and zinc deficiency [BJD 1993;129;501(CP)]. Oral zinc sulfate rapidly cleared the eruption.

Neuropathic

When the pruritus is significant and all other causes have been excluded, a neuropathic origin should be entertained. For these, oral gabapentin or pregabalin may be beneficial [Dermatol Ther. 2016 Apr 17].

General Approach to Therapy

In general, treatment is not needed unless pain, burning, itch or other symptoms are bothersome.

Additional Pictures

red scrotum

RegionalDerm

Homepage | FAQs | Contact Dr. White


It is not the intention of RegionalDerm.com to provide specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. RegionalDerm.com only intends to provide users with information regarding various medical conditions for educational purposes and will not provide specific medical advice. Information on RegionalDerm.com is not intended as a substitute for seeking medical treatment and you should always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis and for answers to your individual questions. Information contained on RegionalDerm.com should never cause you to disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking treatment. If you live in the United States and believe you are having a medical emergency call 911 immediately.