A sensation of heat or burning in the penis may be the result of an infection or sexually transmitted infection (STI). This can include:
Penile cancer can also cause a burning sensation in the penis, although this form of cancer is rare.
Read on to learn more about potential causes and treatments for a hot or burning feeling in the penis.
A UTI is caused by bacteria entering and infecting the urinary tract. Symptoms can include:
- a burning sensation when urinating
- fever (typically less than 101°F)
- frequent urination
- feeling the urge to urinate even when your bladder is empty
- cloudy urine
UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics. To treat the symptom of discomfort when urinating, your doctor may also prescribe phenazopyridine or a similar medication.
Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. Urethritis is typically caused by a bacterial infection.
Along with a burning sensation during urination, symptoms of urethritis can include:
- redness around the opening of the urethra
- yellow discharge from the urethra
- bloody urine or semen
- penile itching
Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend either:
- a 7-day course of oral doxycycline (Monodox), plus either intramuscular ceftriaxone or an oral dose of cefixime (Suprax)
- a single dose of oral azithromycin (Zithromax)
Penile yeast infection is commonly caused by having unprotected penile-vaginal sex with a person who has a vaginal yeast infection. Along with a burning feeling on the penis, symptoms can include:
- itchiness on the penis
- rash on the penis
- white discharge
Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) topical antifungal cream or ointment, such as:
If the infection is more serious, you doctor may prescribe fluconazole along with a hydrocortisone cream.
Prostatitis is an inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. It’s often caused by common strains of bacteria in urine that leaks into your prostate.
Along with a painful or burning sensation when you urinate, symptoms of prostatitis can include:
- difficulty urinating
- frequent urination
- discomfort in your groin, abdomen, or lower back
- cloudy or bloody urine
- penis or testicle pain
- painful ejaculation
Your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics to treat prostatitis. In some cases, they may also recommend alpha-blockers to help with the discomfort with urination. Alpha-blockers can help relax the area where your prostate and bladder join.
Gonorrhea is an STI that often causes no symptoms. You may not know you have an infection. If you do experience symptoms, they can include:
- burning sensation when urinating
- pain or swelling of the testicles
- pus-like discharge
Gonorrhea is treated with an injection of the antibiotic ceftriaxone, combined with the oral medication azithromycin (Zmax) or doxycycline (Vibramycin).
Along with unexplained pain, symptoms can include:
In most cases, the main treatment for penile cancer is surgery. Sometimes radiation therapy replaces or is used in addition to surgery. If the cancer has spread, chemotherapy may be recommended for large tumors.
Summer penis and summer penile syndrome are two different conditions. One has been the subject of medical research, while the other is based on anecdotal reports.
Summer penis is not a recognized medical condition. It’s based on people with penises suggesting that their penises seem to be smaller in the winter and larger in the summer.
Although there’s no medical support for this claim, there are a number of explanations for the claim, including:
- People with penises may hydrate more in the summer. Proper hydration may give your penis the appearance of a larger size.
- Blood vessels may expand to regulate heat and contract in reaction to cold, which may give your penis the appearance of a larger size in the summer.
Summer penile syndrome
Summer penile syndrome is caused by chigger bites. It typically occurs in males assigned at birth between the ages of 3 and 7 during the spring and summer months.
According to a 2013 case study, the symptoms of summer penile syndrome include penile swelling and visible chigger bites on the penis and other areas, such as the scrotum.
If you have a sensation of heat or burning in your penis, it could be the result of an infection such as a UTI, a yeast infection, or gonorrhea.
Another cause of hot penis could be summer penile syndrome, but this shouldn’t be confused with summer penis, which isn’t a recognized medical condition.
If you feel a burning sensation when you urinate, make an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis. It’s also important to see your doctor if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling, rash, or fever.