What is the first thing a man does when he spots a bump, pimple or spot on his beloved tool? In most cases, this unfortunate soul finds himself in a mild panic, reviewing his list of recent partners, wondering if one of them could have passed on some unpleasant communicable disease, and mentally kicking himself for skipping the rubber in his lusty haste. Given the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, this reaction is natural, but STIs are not always the cause. Penis lumps can come from a vast array of sources, most of them fairly benign. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that he will be spending his life in a sex-free wasteland of despair, a man should be aware of other common – and perfectly harmless – causes of the bumpy terrain on his manhood, as well as the penis care measures that can restore the equipment to its former pristine state.
Note: Seeing a doctor about anything suspicious is always a good idea. The following list of harmless lump causes is intended to ease the panic, not discourage appropriate consultation with a health professional.
1) Pearly penile papules. These bumps usually appear in a single or double row around the head of the penis and resemble something like a pearl necklace. They are a normal anatomical variation and are not at all harmful, nor are they contagious. They may appear during puberty or somewhat later, and they may come and go. These bumps are generally not painful unless they become irritated by aggressive masturbation or dry sex.
What to do: Usually, nothing. Squeezing or picking at them will not help, but it can cause irritation and soreness. These lumps can be removed (temporarily) in a doctor’s office by cutting or freezing them off, but they are likely to grow back, so this is not a permanent solution. Instead of worrying about them, a guy can present them to his partner as a bonus – a special, nubby feature that may actually increase her level of pleasure.
2) Fordyce spots. Fordyce spots are small, whitish or yellowish bumps that can occur on the shaft of the penis. Basically, these are follicles (but without the hair) filled with sebum, a lubricating oil produced by the sebaceous glands. They can also appear around the lips and on the insides of the cheeks; they are extremely common, and they are not harmful.
What to do:Squeezing the bumps may produce a small amount of pasty discharge – the oil inside – but it will not make them go away; the follicles will simply fill up again. As with pimples and papules, these are best left alone. There is no permanent way to get rid of Fordyce spots and, in general, only the owner of the affected body part will notice them.
3) Lymphoceles. Although this condition has a terrifying-sounding name, it is actually one of the least problematic. Lymphoceles are hard swellings in the shaft that can crop up after sex or masturbation, when lymph channels become temporarily blocked due to friction and pressure.
What to do. The swellings generally subside on their own within a few hours, and there are no lasting effects; no other treatment but time is required.
4) Acne. Pimples, zits, spots, blemishes – the scourge of the teenage years can last well into adulthood, and it doesn’t just affect the face and back; acne lesions can appear nearly anywhere on the body, including the penis. Men are often alarmed by them, because they can be red, tender and filled with pus, and therefore may have the appearance of an STI, but acne spots are harmless and typically clear up in a few days.
What to do:Again, don’t pick or squeeze – this can damage the skin, and it can drive the bacteria-filled pus deeper into the skin, potentially leading to painful infections. Acne medications intended for the face should NOT be used on the penile skin; these contain harsh chemicals that can dry and even burn the skin of the penis. Instead, just keep the area clean and consider applying a moisturizing lotion with vitamins E and A to promote healing and overall quality of the skin. A penis health cream (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) works well for this purpose, because it is designed specifically for the manhood, without the fragrances and other chemical additives that can be damaging to the penile skin. Applying a cream like this on a daily basis may be beneficial for all men who want smoother, more responsive penile tissue.