I have been having a problem with redness and irritation on the head of my penis and foreskin off and on for some time now. I don't really remember when it started, maybe a year to three years ago. First, a brief background on my sexual history. I had intercourse with my girlfriend two years ago (she had only had one partner before me), and we always used protection. After that, I received oral sex from two girls, one time each. They were both clean as far as I know. That was all during 2009. Last spring, I became worried and had an STD test run at the local health department. It came back negative for everything they tested for. They ran blood and urine tests. I had gone in because I was particularly worried about a redness on the head of my penis and on my foreskin in a ring all the way around it, maybe 1/8-1/4 of an inch wide. This is usually about as bad as it gets, with pain whenever I walk, like chaffing, but worse. Also, there was a lot of "discharge?" not from the urethra, but it was like smegma, I think, with a small amount of greenish liquid-ey substance around it. It had a smell to it, like bacteria. I think this secretion is perhaps what makes my foreskin stick to my boxers and become even further irritated. I am hoping it isn't an STD, but I know there are false negatives sometimes. The condition "flares up" every month or couple of months. After this happened early last month, I looked into it, and I found that it may be a condition called balanoposthitis, where poor hygiene causes infection under the foreskin. I am hoping this is the cause, but I started cleaning vigilantly under the foreskin and on the head every morning with a wet cloth and water rinse, and it was better until this week, when it got mildly red again. It isn't extremely painful like usual, but that could be because I have been practicing better hygiene. Does anyone have any ideas as to what else it could be? Any tips on treatment?
This does sound like balanitis, and you are doing the right thing by cleaning under the foreskin. You don't want to scrub or use very hot water, because that can cause more irritation and swelling. Some doctors might recommend using a hydrocortisone cream, which will help with the irritation and swelling but can cause the skin to become thinner and more brittle. Applying a penis health cream along with the cortisone can reduce that aspect of the problem.