Discovering a spot, lump, or growth on your penis can be a source of concern, but it's crucial to determine its cause.
While some of these issues may be harmless, others could be attributed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other health concerns.
Therefore, you should consult a general practitioner or visit a sexual health clinic if you observe any unusual spot or lump on your penis. The following section outlines ten common causes and guides when and how to seek assistance.
Small, flesh-coloured lumps called pearly penile papules can grow in 1 to 2 rows around the head of the penis. While the cause of these lumps is not entirely understood, they are not related to sexually transmitted infections or poor hygiene. It is common for up to half of people with penises to experience them.
What To Do: If you have pearly penile papules, there is no need to worry. They do not cause any symptoms and do not require treatment.
Small white or yellowish spots known as Fordyce spots can appear on different parts of the body, such as the lips, inside the cheeks, and even the head and shaft of the penis. These spots are oil glands that lack hair follicles and are not a cause for concern.
Recommended action: There is no need for treatment as they are harmless.
Small white or yellowish spots may appear on various body parts, like the lips, cheeks, and penis. These are referred to as Fordyce spots and are oil glands that do not have hair follicles.
Recommended action: They are not a source of worry or concern.
Genital dermatitis, often called 'penile eczema,' is a condition characterised by itching, dryness, and discolouration of the skin in the genital area. The penis may exhibit scaliness, appear ashen or purple-grey in darker skin tones, or red in lighter skin tones.
Recommended action: The primary treatment involves maintaining well-moisturised and non-irritated skin in the affected area. While steroid creams may relieve certain cases, it's advisable to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis rather than attempting self-medication.
Lichen planus manifests as a purple-red, mottled rash that can emerge on various body parts, including the penis, leading to discomfort and intense itching.
Recommended action: Typically, a physician will prescribe a soothing cream or ointment to alleviate the symptoms. In certain instances, a short-term use of steroid cream may be necessary to relieve the symptoms.
Clusters of raised, firm spots with a small dimple in the middle are caused by molluscum contagiosum, a contagious skin infection caused by a virus. These spots may not be painful but can cause itchiness and occur on any part of the body, including the groin and penis.
Direct skin contact, touching contaminated objects, and sexual contact can quickly spread this condition to others. If the spot is on the genitals and the individual is still sexually active, it can be categorised as an STI.
Recommended action: If you suspect that you have molluscum contagiosum, it is recommended that you seek medical attention. While the condition may improve independently, options like creams, gel treatments, and minor procedures like cryotherapy to alleviate symptoms are available.
Small, painless growths on the penis shaft, head or under the foreskin are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common sexually transmitted infection. If you suspect that you have genital warts, it is essential to refrain from any sexual activity and seek advice from a sexual health clinic.
Recommended action: There are a few treatment options available, including using a topical cream, freezing the warts, or removing them through surgery. Although there is no cure for genital warts, your body may be able to fight off the virus eventually.
Small blisters, open sores, or grey-white sores around the penis are symptoms of genital herpes, an STI caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). If you have this condition, you may experience pain, itchiness, and a burning sensation around your penis.
Recommended action: You can take antiviral medication to manage the virus, but there is currently no cure. To prevent the virus from spreading, using condoms is recommended.
This sexually transmitted infection (STI) results from bacterial infection, which leads to the development of painless, white or discoloured ulcers on or around the penis.
Recommended action: Syphilis can be effectively treated with a course of antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can result in serious complications. Therefore, it's crucial to seek medical attention from your general practitioner or a sexual health clinic if you suspect syphilis.
This is an exceedingly uncommon form of cancer that impacts the skin of the penis and the foreskin. It can manifest as an unhealing growth or sore, bleeding from the penis or foreskin, skin rash, and alterations in the colour of the penis skin or foreskin.
Additional symptoms include unintentional weight loss, fatigue, groin lumps, and abdominal discomfort.
Recommended action: If you're encountering any of these symptoms, it's crucial to promptly consult a doctor.
If you experience any of these symptoms or detect a new lump or mark on your penis, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional. Additionally, suppose you have a spot or lump on your penis. In that case, it's essential to abstain from sexual activity until you've spoken to a doctor to prevent the potential transmission of STIs to your partner.
You can also access online help from Mobi Doctor for consultations and assistance.