I have lots of little bumps (almost like goosebumps or whiteheads) on my penis. Is this a sign that something is wrong?
If you've never had sex, little white bumps on the shaft of the penis may be pimples or ingrown hairs. These are common and they're nothing to worry about. Another condition that's normal and no cause for concern is pearly penile papules. These whitish bumps appear on the glans (head) of the penis or along the edge of the glans in many guys.
If you are having sex or have had sex in the past, bumps on the penis may be signs of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Painful blisters, bumps, or ulcers may be herpes. Genital warts (HPV), can also show up as bumps on the penis. Sometimes these are irregular in shape or hard to see, and they're not painful. Syphilis also can give a guy painless ulcers on his penis. Finally, molluscum contagiosum is an infection that can be spread through sexual contact and give someone small, painless bumps.
STDs may not give a guy painful bumps, but they can still put your health (and your partner's health) at risk if they are not treated quickly. Of course, the skin on the penis — like the skin anywhere else on a person's body — can get irritated. But, since it's often hard to tell normal bumps from those caused by an STD, you should see a doctor if you're having sex.
Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, RN
Date reviewed: January 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Planned Parenthood Info for Teens This site from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has information on relationships and sexual health for teens.|
|American Social Health Association This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preventing sexually transmitted diseases and offers hotlines for prevention and control of STDs.|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America Planned Parenthood offers information on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods, and other issues of sexual health.|
|Go Ask Alice! Go Ask Alice! is Columbia University's health question and answer service. It offers open and frank discussions of sensitive topics.|
|Is My Penis Normal? Just about every guy wonders about the size of his penis at one time or another.|
|Genital Herpes You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Read about how to protect yourself.|
|Genital Warts (HPV) You've probably heard lots about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. For information on how to protect yourself and how to treat genital warts, read this article.|
|Condom Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to find out how condoms work - and how well they protect against pregnancy and STDs.|
|About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.|
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