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.
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|American Sexual Health Association This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preventing sexually transmitted diseases and offers hotlines for prevention and control of STDs.|
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|Go Ask Alice! Go Ask Alice! is Columbia University's health question and answer service. It offers open and frank discussions of sensitive topics.|
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