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Anon asked...

My husband has battled with eczema for years on his hands & elbows. He occasionally will get it on the head of his penis...

My husband has battled with eczema for years on his hands & elbows. He occasionally will get it on the head of his penis. Can we have intercourse during this time? Is it contagious for the female?

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The answer

Thank you for contacting us with your question.

While eczema can appear in any part of the body, some areas prove to be more of a inconvenience than a problem. On this specific location the main focus should be to keep it as clean as possible. Some ideas are:

  • Use an emollient cream instead of soap when washing the penis. This will help with the dry skin that is a characteristic of eczema.
  • Change underwear after exercise/sweating.
  • When passing urine, if non circumcised, its important to retract the foreskin to avoid urine covering the head of the penis.

As for your specific questions, intercourse is generally not recommended. This is due to the friction which would cause discomfort/pain and also make the healing process slower. Using a condom might help with this but might still prove to be uncomfortable.

Eczema is not contagious. Whilst this is true, due the dryness of the skin, during intercourse some skin cells from the penis might shed and will stay inside the vagina/uterus. This could lead to an infection..

See the link below for further info:

Eczema - NHS

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses