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Pimples or Bumps on Your Penis: Causes & Treatment

Noticing a new pimple on your penis can be a worrisome experience. Whether you see a red bump, blister, or anything unusual on your penis, you are probably asking, “Can you get pimples on your penis?”

While it may feel embarrassing, it is always important to seek answers from a medical professional about what is causing the problem. Depending on the appearance of the pimple on your penis and the level of discomfort it causes, there could be many root causes, ranging from certain STDs to razor burn to hormonal changes. 

The clinical team at Rapid STD Testing is here to answer your questions about penis pimples or bumps that might have you worried. 

How Can You Get Pimples on Your Penis?

There are several possible causes for pimples or bumps on your penis. While some are STD-related, there are plenty of other reasons why this could be happening, so there’s no need to jump to conclusions. To rule out STD-related causes, such as the ones listed below, you can schedule a rapid STD test at a Rapid STD Testing center near you.

STD-related Causes of the Bumps on the Penis

In addition to the three most common signs you need STD testing, if you see any of these specific symptoms, you may have an STD and should schedule an STD screening.

Herpes

Herpes causes blisters (also called cold sores) on the penis itself or the genital area. These painful blisters are grey-white with a red base and can rupture and become open sores. Herpes can affect the pubic area, anus, or the mouth and lips.

A doctor can treat individual herpes flare-ups with antiviral medication, but there is no complete cure. It is possible to contract or transmit herpes through intimate contact even if outbreaks are not active. 

Rapid Screening Centre’s comprehensive 10-panel STD test screens for herpes, as well as strains of HIV, chlamydia, hepatitis, and syphilis.

Syphilis

The first symptom of syphilis that most people notice is a red or white ulcerous bump (chancre) where the infection first entered the body, which could be the penis. Because transmission is painless, sometimes this initial chancre goes undetected unless it happens to be in a very noticeable place. This allows the syphilis bacteria to spread throughout the body untreated.

When that happens, syphilis can cause potentially life-threatening damage to the brain or other organs. However, it’s also easily treatable with antibiotics as soon as you detect it. So, if you have any reason to believe you’ve contracted an STD, schedule same-day STD testing at a discreet, professional Rapid STD Testing clinic to get accurate information about your health. 

HPV

Genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) come in many different sizes and shapes. In some cases, they are clustered in a tight grouping that resembles a cauliflower. The warts themselves are usually painless.

The Centers for Disease Control has found strains of the HPV virus linked to various types of cancer. However, these strains are not usually the same strains that cause genital warts or pimples on your penis. 

Regardless of whether you have visible bumps on your penis, we recommend getting tested for HPV to make sure you’re not unknowingly putting any sexual partners at risk.

Non-STD-related Causes of Penis Bumps

Of course, it’s not necessarily an STD causing the bumps on your penis. What else could it be?  

Razor Burn

If you shave your pubic area, you may be simply experiencing irritation as a by-product of scraping a sharp metal blade over your skin. You can prevent these non-STD bumps by being careful and cleaning your razor before putting it anywhere near your penis. 

Fordyce Spots

Fordyce spots caused by hormonal changes are very common. These small white or yellow bumps appear on the head or the shaft of the penis, most often during adolescence. They can occur at any age, and they are unrelated to any STDs.

Pearly Penile Papules

Otherwise known as Tyson’s glands, these small, white bumps on the penis head are usually mistaken for genital warts. They are typically present from birth and only become visible during adolescence, causing changes to the appearance of the penis but causing no pain or discomfort. They are not a symptom of any health risks.

Folliculitis

When hair follicles and the sebaceous gland at the hair’s root become inflamed (possibly due to shaving or close skin contact), you might notice red bumps or bumps that resemble whiteheads. Folliculitis is a generalized skin condition that can affect any part of your body, including the penis. 

Lichen Planus

Another skin inflammation that is not specific to the genitals, lichen planus can cause bumps, pimples, or red lumps to appear on the penis. While it usually goes away on its own, doctors may treat it with corticosteroids or antihistamines in severe cases.

Lymphocele

While not STD-related, this particular lump is usually directly caused by sexual contact or masturbation. When your lymphatic system cannot remove fluid from your penis because of an erection, the lymphatic pathways close down, and the fluid creates a lump. Lymphocele usually goes away on its own within minutes or a few hours. 

Factors that can Affect the Formation of Pimples on Your Penis

If it’s not an STD that causes itching or the pimple on your penis, what could be causing the bumps on your penis?

Unless it’s a hormonal event, like Fordyce spots or pearly papules, the most likely causes for pimples on your penis are the same as the causes of acne anywhere on your body. Humidity and poor hygiene are usually the reasons for your acne or skin irritation. 

Prevent Blackheads on Your Penis with Good Hygiene

If you live in a humid climate, tight-fitting clothes will hold sweat closer to your skin, which can cause excess irritation. 

Other things that might easily cause bumps on your penis are complications from shaving. Electric and non-electric razors can both easily irritate sensitive skin and cause rashes like razor burn or folliculitis. 

Lastly, poor overall hygiene causes a wide variety of skin problems and often causes bumps or pimples on the penis. Failure to keep naturally high-temperature areas of your body clean can cause acne, rashes, and even a fishy smell in your penis

Prevention and Treatment of Pimples or Bumps on Your Penis

How do you prevent further outbreaks? To start, if an STD is at the root of the problem, find out sooner rather than later with an STD test from Rapid STD Testing and start treating the infection. A doctor can treat syphilis with antibiotics like penicillin and control herpes outbreaks with antiviral medication. 

For non-STD-related bumps on your penis, take special care to improve your hygiene. Make sure that your razor is as clean as possible if you’re shaving your pubic area. Shower or bathe at least once a day and change your clothes more often, especially if you sweat regularly. 

If a hormonal change causes your penis bumps, and they are causing a significant change in the appearance of your penis that you’re not comfortable with, consult a doctor to discuss treatment options. 

Finally, no matter what is causing them, refrain from popping pimples on your penis yourself. This will likely cause further inflammation or infection. 

When in Doubt, Get Tested

If you’re still not sure what’s causing the pimple on your penis, help is available. If you have any of these STD symptoms or bumps on your penis that aren’t clearing up, call Rapid STD Testing at (866) 872-1888 or visit your local STD testing center for a fast, definitive answer.