Shingles most commonly affect the skin on the torso and sometimes on the neck and face. However, in some cases, the penis and surrounding areas can also be involved in a shingles outbreak.
The classic symptoms of shingles are pain, which can be severe, followed by a red rash that blisters. This typically occurs on one side of the body, as the rash follows the path of a nerve.
When shingles attacks the penis there can also be a discharge of mucus and pus or pus only from the penis, according to Laxmisha Chandrashekar and her colleagues at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in India.
In addition to discharge and sores, shingles on the penis may lead to difficulty or pain while urinating (dysuria), according to JIPMER.
Individuals who suspect they have shingles should seek medical treatment as soon as possible, as antiviral drugs are most effective when started during the first three days after the development of symptoms.
People with penile shingles should ask their doctor about the safety of using topical agents on their sores to avoid unnecessary discomfort or complications.