Why Do I Have Bumps on My Penis?

When you notice a spot or bump on your penis, your mind may immediately jump to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But most of the time, a rash or bump down there is nothing serious.

However, it’s always best to see a doctor, especially if the spots are painful or change in appearance over time.

Penile papules

Pearly penile papules (PPP) are harmless rounded or tiny finger-like growths that appear white, pinkish, yellowish, or flesh colored. They usually form in rows on the glans penis, or the head of the penis, although they can also be found on the shaft. PPP are small – only a few millimeters in diameter – and do not cause pain, discomfort, itching, or bleeding.

While the appearance of these bumps can be alarming, especially if they are found near the genitals, they do not affect sex drive and do not indicate poor hygiene. However, some men are bothered by the look of PPP and may wish to remove them. If this is the case, it is best to see a dermatologist – do not attempt to squeeze or pop them, as you could damage the skin underneath.

If you are bothered by the presence of these small bumps, a doctor can use cryotherapy to freeze them off and leave your skin looking normal again. It is always a good idea to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your body, especially around the genitals – these can often be signs of an STI such as genital warts, which can be serious. It is also a good idea to see a urologist if you have any concerns about your penis.

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Cysts

A cyst is a pocket of fluid inside the skin. It develops when hair follicles, oil glands, or developmental remnants become blocked. Often, it’s painless but may be irritated by shaving or vigorous sexual activity. Cysts on the penis are rare, but when they occur, it’s important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment.

Penile cysts can be difficult to identify because they look like acne or other harmless conditions. They can also grow in size or number and emit a foul odor. If you suspect a cyst, try gently washing the area with antibacterial soap and patting it dry. Soaking a washcloth in warm water several times a day can also help drain the cyst.

Cyst-like bumps on the penis can be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you have one or two cyst-like bumps that are red and don’t itch, it’s unlikely they’re from an STI, but it’s best to see your doctor for a diagnosis anyway.

Other bumps that are commonly seen on the penis include Fordyce spots—enlarged oil or sebaceous glands that don’t have hair follicles. These can be found all over the body and don’t cause pain or itching, but they might be painful when rubbed against. Lichen planus is a rash of discolored bumps that can develop on the penis and other parts of the body.

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Lymphocele lumps

Lymphocele are hard swellings that can appear on the penis shaft and are made up of lymph fluid. They form when something blocks the drainage channels that carry clear lymph fluid throughout the body to help your immune system. Lymphocele on the penis are usually small and don’t cause symptoms but they may need treatment if they start to grow.

Lumps, sores and other blemishes can form on the skin for many reasons. Some are harmless and won’t need medical attention but others are a sign of an underlying condition that you should get checked by a healthcare professional. Bumps and cysts on the groin can also be a symptom of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like herpes and scabies, which can be spread through unprotected sex or by touching someone who has these conditions.

A painful lump or sore on the genitals could be a symptom of Syphilis, which is caused by the Treponema pallidum bacterium. You should also seek medical care if you have a bump that opens up and drains pus or if it’s red, swollen and painful. Visiting a specialist sexual health clinic or your GP will help you determine what type of blemish is present and the best course of treatment for it. They will ask you about your health history and may use a speculum to examine the area.

Molluscum contagiosum

It can be alarming to find small bumps on your penis, especially if you think they may be signs of an STD. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the condition of your penis bumps to be sure they aren’t a sign of a more serious issue, such as lichen planus, genital warts or lymphoceles.

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Molluscum contagiosum (mo-LUS-kum kun-tay-oh-SUM) is a virus that causes firm, painless, round bumps with a dimple in the middle. They develop in clusters and can appear anywhere on the body, including the groin and penis. They are most common in children, but adults with a weak immune system can also get the infection. The virus can be spread from person to person through direct skin contact, touching contaminated objects and sexual contact. It can take 6 months to 2 years for the infection to disappear from the skin.

A hard bump that appears on the shaft of the penis after sex or masturbation is most likely caused by a condition called lymphoceles. It’s a disorder that occurs when the lymph channels become blocked, causing fluid buildup and resulting in a lump. It’s usually painless and does not need to be treated. But, if it becomes painful or red, you should see your doctor for treatment. There are medications that can reduce the symptoms and speed up recovery time.

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