His DIY penis enhancement landed him in the hospital for a month.

By Jessica Migala
September 19, 2019

Consider this your public service announcement for the day, something you might want to pass along to the guys in your life: Don’t inject petroleum jelly into your penis in an effort to make it larger.

One 45-year-old man living in the South Pacific learned that the hard way after he came down with gangrene on his penis. Yes, gangrene—a condition that causes body tissue to rot away. Details of this man’s diagnosis is newly published in the medical journal Urology Case Reports.

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Wait—record scratch. How did this happen?

As the case report details, the man went to the ER with a “severe deformity of the shaft of the penis, which had been progressively worsening over the course of five days,” the authors wrote. The man said that his shaft was itchy and bled when he scratched it. After the area began to swell and he started feeling weak and feverish, he went to the ER.

The ER reported his symptoms as a fever of 101 degrees F and a fast heart rate. His penis also had necrotic skin, aka dead tissue. 

Doctors thought they knew what was responsible for his symptoms: The man explained that two years earlier, he injected petroleum jelly into the shaft of his penis because he thought that would make his penis bigger. (The authors wrote that in some parts of the world, this is a common thing for men do.)

The docs opened up his penis to drain pus and fluid. They reported finding a lot of petroleum jelly around the shaft, which they removed. They diagnosed him with a type of gangrene called Fournier's gangrene, which basically means gangrene of the genitals. Blood tests also were positive for staph and other bacteria.

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Petroleum jelly is often recommended by dermatologists as a top-notch moisturizer, and it certainly seems harmless on skin. But it's not harmless when it's injected under the skin, and it's safe to say that no doctor has ever given the go-ahead to inject it into the penis, especially as a way to make it bigger.

The petroleum jelly in the shaft was bad enough, but the authors of the case report explain that the man made things worse by scratching his penis, breaking the skin, and introducing the bacteria that sparked the infection. That eventually cut off blood supply to tissues and lead to Fournier's gangrene, the researchers explained.

To treat Fournier's gangrene, the man spent time in the intensive care unit taking antibiotics. He then was visited by plastic surgeons, who did skin grafts on his penis to replace the dead tissue. After a month, he was discharged from the hospital—and his case report serves as something of a warning for any guy thinking of trying his own DIY penis enlargement.

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