Pimples in male genital area can occur due to many reasons, and although they are usually benign, they can be signs of certain diseases. It is important to distinguish them and you might need medical help to do that.
If you've never had sex, that little bumps on your penis or testicles may be pimples, sebaceous cysts, Fordyce spots, ingrown hairs, or pearly penile papules. They are all harmless and normal and are absolutely nothing to worry about. However, if you were sexually active, there is a chance those pimples and bumps on your penis could be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease — a herpes, genital warts, syphilis, or molluscum contagiosum — in this case, you should visit your doctor and get treatment as soon as possible.
The most common presentation includes small white or yellow pimples located on the skin of scrotums and penile shaft. The reason why men complain is usually their number as they often appear in groups and there could be hundreds of them sometimes. The name of this disorder is Sebaceous Hyperplasia and it can affect any part of the body where sebaceous glands are present. These pimples are 1-2 mm large, soft, and without any other associated symptoms. They appear due to hyperplasia of sebaceous cells and are related to testosterone levels. Sebaceous Hyperplasia is completely harmless, and there is no need for intervention unless the size of pimples increases significantly. These pimples are not infective.
Molluscum Contagiosum or water warts is caused by Molluscum Contagiosum virus (MCV). Skin changes include red or pink papules sized 1-2 mm that usually come without other symptoms but can sometimes be itchy. These skin changes often appear in children and immunosuppressed persons, and bleeding can appear after scratching or trying to remove them. Treatment includes keeping good hygiene and waiting for the papules to go away on their own which usually takes 3-6 months. This infection can be transmitted via skin contact.
Syphilis is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STD) caused by bacteria Treponema pallidum. This infection has three stadiums, and skin pimples located in the genital and anal area appear in the secondary stadium. These skin changes are called Condylomata Lata (white condyloma), they are painless and tend to resolve spontaneously. Although these condylomas are presented in only one-third of patients with syphilis, it is very important to recognize them in order to provide the treatment and avoid the tertiary, harmful phase of syphilis. Unlike before, syphilis is today completely curable with the exception of defects that come with the last, tertiary phase of the disease.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
Infection with HPV most commonly manifests with pimples in the genital region called Condyloma acuminatum. It is a sexually transmitted infection, but with a very variable asymptomatic period, so it is almost impossible to discover when or from whom the infection was transmitted. HPV is a recurrent infection, and both partners should be involved in the treatment. Some types of HPV have the malignant potential and can over time contribute to the development of malignant tumors of genital organs.
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