Red scrotum syndrome is a chronic disease of unknown cause characterized by persistent redness of the scrotum in association with pain, itching and burning sensation. It usually affects males in their second half of their life. Red scrotum syndrome (RSS) can develop after prolonged application of topical corticosteroids to the scrotal area like in the red face syndrome. However, in majority of cases there may not be history of corticosteroid use.
Other factors that are thought to contribute or co-exist with red scrotum syndrome include sexually transmitted diseases, fungal infections, bacterial infection and few other skin conditions.
A person with RSS may have difficulties sitting as it aggravates the pain. The patients may need to sit forward, allowing the scrotum to hang down past the seat edge. RSS involves the scrotum and sometimes base of penis. Scrotum may look bright red in color and associated with itching, pain and burning sensation. Although itching can be experience in almost all people, major problem is neurological pain and burning.
To exclude other disease fungal testing, patch testing, some blood works and biopsy may be needed.
Several treatments both topical and oral have been tried with not much success. Recently it has been suggested that oral doxycycline has good response in RSS with satisfactory improvement after 2 weeks of starting therapy and marked or sometimes comlete improvement after 3-4 months of therapy. If doxycycline fails oral gabapentine is another option.
As some experts believe that it might also be influenced by stress, anxiety and depression, so using some relaxation techniques and may be self hypnosis could work on some individuals.
- Wollina U. Red scrotum syndrome. J Dermatol Case Rep. 2011 Sep 21;5(3):38-41. Red Scrotum Free Open Access
- Abbas O, Kibbi AG, Chedraoui A, Ghosn S. Red scrotum syndrome: successful treatment with oral doxycycline.J Dermatolog Treat. 2008;19(6):1-2