Shopping Cart

Fast shipping on all orders

Friction Burn on Penis: Causes & Treatment

Friction Burn on Penis: Causes & Treatment

Do you have swollen or flushed skin on the shaft of the penis? 

Does the affected area of the penis hurt when you touch it? 

Then you may have a friction skin burn. A penis friction burn can happen to anyone. 

You should treat the affected area as soon as possible to avoid an infection or other problems.

Most people experience this type of burn injury from intense sexual intercourse, masturbation, or vigorous drying with a rough and coarse towel. 

In this guide, you can learn more about friction burns on the skin, including ways you can alleviate penis discomfort and skin irritation. 

What is a friction burn?

Classic forms of friction burns are those that happen during a motorcycle accident. You can develop a burn when your skin slides across the pavement and experiences abrasion from all that friction. This is known as “road rash.” 

A friction burn on the penis is very unlikely to happen during road accidents. But, it can occur from prolonged partner sex or masturbation. 

The genitals often experience some form of tearing during intercourse. Usually, these tears are not visible. 

But, when there is too much friction, the penis can develop a scab. This scab can look rough, red, and crusty. 

A friction burn on the penis is uncomfortable and often painful. A friction burn can produce intense redness on the skin of the penis. The irritation makes the affected area red, swollen, and tender to the touch.

The prevalence of friction burns is somewhat high. But, most patients don’t report to the hospital to get treatment, as in the majority of cases, the friction burn is mild and heals on its own. 

So, how long does friction burn last on the shaft? A minor friction burn can heal in about 1 week. 


Symptoms of skin friction burn on the penis can include:

  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Feelings of itchiness or irritation 
  • Increased sensitivity of the affected area
  • Pain and discomfort 
  • Scabby patches of skin that look like a small skin burn

When there is a severe friction burn that runs deep, it is important to get treatment, or an infection can happen. 

An infected friction burn shows signs of worsening pain, swelling, and drainage coming out of the affected area.

Some patients can also experience a friction burn blister. A friction blister happens when you constantly rub the affected skin against another object.

How to differentiate a friction burn from other similar skin problems?

If only the head of the penis is in pain and inflamed, then you might have balanitis. Balanitis is usually triggered by a fungal or bacterial infection, diabetes, STD, or latex allergy

Vigorous rubbing can also cause balanitis. Other balanitis symptoms can include itchiness, discharge, and tightened foreskin.  

A penile friction burn is often confused with penis blisters. Blisters are small pockets of fluid that can form on the upper layer of the skin. 

An outbreak of genital herpes can cause blistering, painful, scab-like sores on the penis base, shaft, and head. Sores can also form across the pubic area.

Penis irritation, redness, and pain can be symptoms of sexually transmitted infections, such as:

  • genital herpes
  • trichomoniasis
  • gonorrhea
  • syphilis
  • chlamydia

Here are other symptoms that you have a sexually transmitted disease and not a friction burn: 

  • watery, yellow, white, or green discharge from the penis
  • swollen or painful testicles
  • irritation or itching on the inside of the penis
  • burning sensations or pain when peeing or ejaculating
  • Sores on the mouth, rectum, or penis

What causes a friction burn on the penis?

A friction burn can happen when the skin of the penis is scraped off. Penis peeling can occur from chafing, friction, or an allergic reaction. Skin conditions and skin infections could also cause it. 

Here are the main reasons that can lead to friction burn on the shaft:

Vigorous masturbation

Gripping the penis too hard and vigorous self-pleasuring can damage the skin. 

Choosing not to apply lubricant can result in very dry rubbing, which can cause some soreness and discomfort. In rare cases, it can lead to a friction burn on the penis.

Intense sexual intercourse

A bedroom injury during sex can happen to anyone. The friction of sex can irritate the penis skin, especially when there isn’t enough lubrication. 

Rubbing against another person’s body wears away the upper layer of the skin. This ends up exposing the sensitive lower layer of the skin. 

Wearing tight clothes

A friction burn on the penis can happen from intense rubbing. The clothes you wear when you exercise can cause friction burns. 

According to research institutions, the friction of wet human skin is much higher than dry skin on general fabrics. 

When the skin is wet, the surface layer becomes softer, triggering its coefficient of friction to be 2 or 3 times bigger than when it is dry. 

If the fabric is also wet, then the fabric starts clinging to the skin. So, there is a bigger contact area than when both the fabric and the skin are dry. 

Therefore, when you sweat and perform intense workouts, you are more likely to hurt the penis skin. 

In order to reduce the odds of friction from clothing, you might want to opt for loose-fitted clothes and undergarments from natural fabrics, like cotton or bamboo. Natural fabrics can reduce the odds of irritation to the delicate skin around the penis. 

Harsh drying with a coarse towel

Rough towels can dry the skin better than fluffy and soft towels. Coarse towels have a rough surface mainly because they have more open spaces between threads. This gives them enough room to collect more water when absorbing moisture. 

Softer and fluffier towels have a higher thread count, which allows them to hold less water. But, when you use a coarse towel to vigorously rub the penis, you can develop friction burns on the shaft. 

So, if you don’t pay attention to the way you use the towel when drying, opt for a softer and fluffier towel.

Condom friction burn

Different types of condom materials are used – plastic, natural materials, and latex rubber. The material the contraceptive is made of can cause a friction burn from condoms. A friction burn from a condom looks like a red and inflamed area of the penis. 

Latex allergies are some of the most common causes of condom burns from friction. Studies show that latex allergy was recorded in 1-5% of the general population. 

If you are allergic to latex, then you can develop symptoms quickly after the penis comes in contact with latex rubber.

The symptoms can range from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include skin redness, itching, rash, or hives.

More severe symptoms can include trouble breathing, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and runny nose. Contact a specialist if you are allergic to latex.

To avoid condom friction burn, you can use latex-free condoms. This includes polyurethane condoms, polyisoprene condoms, or lambskin condoms.

prostate health supplement


Many people want to know how to treat a friction burn on the skin. The best way to treat a friction burn is to let the skin naturally heal. 

Avoid applying any pressure or further damage to the skin. You should avoid partnered or solo sex that involves the penis, at least until the wound completely heals.

To ease the discomfort, wear breathable fabric underwear. The clothes should be loose-fitted, so they won’t stick to the skin and worsen the damage. 

You can also use gentle moisturizer as a friction burn treatment. The moisturizer formula should help address the irritation and sensitivity and hydrate the skin. 

Another way you can start treating friction burns is with aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is gentle enough to be applied on genital skin. It is a natural product that can soothe itch, inflammation, and rash.

If there is pus coming out of the affected area, then the skin could be infected. In cases such as these, doctors often suggest prescription medication to speed up the healing process. This can include a steroid ointment or an antibiotic cream.

If you want to know how to treat a friction burn that takes longer to heal, talk to a urologist or general healthcare practitioner. 

They can help rule out some potential health issues, like balanitis, and recommend the best form of treatment.


The first step of successful friction burn prevention is to apply enough lubricant. Not only can lubrication make penetration and masturbation safer for the skin, but it is also more pleasurable. 

Based on a review paper, lubricants can especially be useful when used together with condoms. 

Lubrication reduces condom breakage and offers better protection against STDs, as well as HIV. There is a wide range of lubricants on the market that you can use for both vaginal and anal sexual activity. 

Other management strategies involve gentle penis handling, genital hygiene, and comfortable clothing.

When you have penetrative sex or masturbate, handle the penis more gently and urge the partner to do the same. Use plain water or mild cleansers when cleaning the penis to avoid irritating the skin. 

Get Your FREE Low Testosterone Diet Plan

  • The ultimate testosterone boosting diet
  • combined with exercise & lifestyle advice
  • Developed exclusively by our nutritionist


What does a friction burn on the penis feel like?

A friction burn feels like an uncomfortable and inflamed area. The affected spot is very sensitive and can cause pain. 

People also feel itchiness and irritation. The friction burn can make it difficult to enjoy sex unless you let it heal. 

What does a friction burn look like on a penis?

With a friction burn, the appearance of the affected spot can change. The area becomes swollen or flushed. And you can notice a shape that looks like a cross on the penis foreskin. Around the cross, there is plenty of redness and swelling. 

What is the fastest way to heal a friction burn?

The fastest way for the friction burn to heal is to create a perfect environment that speeds up the natural healing process. 

First off, you should clean the wound under cold running water. Cool temperatures can reduce swelling. Then, gently tap the skin with a soft towel.

How long does friction burn take to heal?

For those wondering how long a friction burn takes to heal, this minor injury needs around a week. 

During the first friction burn healing stages, the swelling starts to subside. Then the skin or scab might be itchy. This often happens when the skin is healing. Don’t pick at the skin.

Should you cover a friction burn or let it breathe?

You can cover the affected area to keep it safe. But you should also give it enough room to breathe. You can do that by not wearing constrictive clothing.

Does Vaseline help friction burn?

You shouldn’t apply Vaseline on friction burn. If you have pain and discomfort, it is best to see a specialist.


A friction burn on the penis is usually a mild injury. It can develop from rubbing too hard during masturbation or intercourse. 

This heightened friction creates plenty of heat to scrape off and burn the skin. It should heal on its own. Talk to a healthcare expert if the wound takes longer than a week to heal.

Explore More

penis health tips

6 Ways To Keep Your Penis Healthy.

Source link


10% OFF

Be the first to know about our exclusive items, New catalogs and special promotions.