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Male genital candidiasis - Anogenital in
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Male genital candidiasis - Anogenital in

Contributors: Rajini Murthy MD, Susan Burgin MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH, Benjamin K. Fisher MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Candidiasis refers to a fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida albicans. Other species of Candida are occasionally causative. When seen in the male genital area, it may have been acquired through intercourse with an infected partner. Alternatively, it may arise de novo. 

In its mildest form, the condition may be intermittent and transient. Candida most often infects warm, moist, occluded areas, and the proximal shaft of the penis, the scrotum, and the crural folds are frequently involved. Candidal balanitis is an infection of the glans penis. It occurs more frequently in uncircumcised males. Genital and crural candidiasis can be accompanied by burning and pruritus.

Immunocompromised populations are at an increased risk of developing candidiasis. These patients include those with diabetes, HIV, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and obesity, and patients being treated with corticosteroids or chemotherapy. Many patients will first present with candidal infections while the underlying cause of their immunocompromised state remains unknown; therefore, it is imperative that the physician keep these causes in mind. Recent oral antibiotic therapy is a further predisposing factor.

Diabetes is recognized as a risk factor for candidal infections because of decreased vascularity and the increase in blood glucose, which provides the best growth media for Candida. Candidal infections are one of the first presenting signs of previously undetected diabetes. Excellent glucose control will decrease the rates of candidiasis.

Patients with HIV infection may first present with mucocutaneous candidal infections or genital candidiasis. High suspicion should be held for patients who have recurrent candidal infections along with other risk factors for the contraction of the virus. Early detection of HIV holds importance for patient management as well as containing the spread of the virus.

Patients with autoimmune conditions like SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Goodpasture syndrome, and granulomatosis with polyangiitis who are being treated with corticosteroids are at an increased risk for candidal infections. As these patients are being treated with high levels of immunosuppressives, it is important to look for mucocutaneous and genital candidiasis.

Related topic: oral candidiasis


B37.42 – Candidal balanitis

240708000 – Penile candidiasis

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Last Reviewed:06/22/2021
Last Updated:06/22/2021
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Patient Information for Male genital candidiasis - Anogenital in
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Contributors: Medical staff writer


Male genital candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida albicans. This yeast is typically found in small amounts in the body but certain medications and predisposing health factors can cause the yeast to grow in warm and moist environments. It can be contracted through intercourse or spontaneously. The fungal infection presents as minor itching and burning with small red bumps.

The infection can also occur in other areas of the body including the mouth, the genital area of the female (more commonly known as a yeast infection), and also the bottom area of babies. If the yeast infection enters the body it is referred to as invasive candidiasis.

Who’s At Risk

Those at risk include:
  • Infants
  • Elderly
  • Chemotherapy recipients
  • Those who are immunocompromised, using steroids, or recent antibiotics
  • History of obesity, AIDS, certain skin diseases, or diabetes mellitus
  • Those with indwelling catheters

Signs & Symptoms

Candidiasis presents as small bumps with itching and burning. It typically appears in warm, moist areas. On the penis it usually develops on the proximal shaft and the scrotum.

Self-Care Guidelines

  • Bathe or shower regularly. Uncircumcized men: Carefully clean and dry under the foreskin 
  • Carefully follow all treatment recommendations for other conditions you may have, such as diabetes or HIV
  • It is recommended that you get screened for diabetes, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections
  • If your sexual partner has recurring candida yeast infections, get treatment for your partner

When to Seek Medical Care

If you experience the symptoms above, seek medical care to receive appropriate treatment options. Seek medical care if lesions persist despite treatment.


Your health care provider will help you optimize your treatment of underlying diseases, such as diabetes or HIV.

You may be prescribed antifungal agents and topical therapies to help alleviate your symptoms.

For persistent or recurring infection, you will be guided to additional screenings for diabetes, HIV, or other sexually transmitted diseases.
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Male genital candidiasis - Anogenital in
A medical illustration showing key findings of Male genital candidiasis : Burning skin sensation, Erythema, Penis, Scrotum, Skin erosion, Pruritus
Clinical image of Male genital candidiasis - imageId=272796. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Tiny erythematous papules, with background erythema and scant scale on the distal penis.'
Tiny erythematous papules, with background erythema and scant scale on the distal penis.
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