Question: Hi Doc, This isn’t exactly skin picking but close and it is making me miserable. I have this persistant itchy, red rash around the bottom of my scrotum and all around to the top of my penis. Looser underwear helped a little bit as have various creams and powders, but nothing helps very much. Several dermatologists have agreed it is something called “red scrotum syndrome, ” a well known problem apparently, but notoriously hard to treat. They have each given up on me. Do you have any experience or suggestions on this one?
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Answer While red scrotum is a source of great frustration to the dermatology community, it is often quite responsive to psychodermatology approaches like Skin Deep (http://grossbart.com). I have worked with seven or eight guys both here in Boston and by phone and Skype. In all the cases there were feelings about some aspects of their relationships or sexual lives that were key to getting relief. One guy was guilty about an affair, another conflicted about having kids, one guilty about masturbation, and another who felt his wife was symbolically cutting off his balls. In each case they needed to be feeling the conflict in their hearts and confronting the issues to stop feeling the conflict via their red itchy scrotums. That work plus using relaxation, imaging, and hypnosis and self hypnosis provided significant to near total relief.
Ted A. Grossbart, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School