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Abnormal Lumps, Bumps, Sores

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Approach to lumps and bumps on my penis

Palpable and visible unusual lumps over the penis can be worrisome and at times, causes embarrassment in the bedroom. Sharing here some common causes of penile lumps and bumps.

Structural Causes (Normal)

Pearly Penile Papules (PPP)

These are normal findings on the penis, are not transmissible to partners, and are harmless. They are often confused with sexually transmitted infections. As the name suggests, they appear tiny, pearly-fleshed colored round bumps that can found over the head of the penis, arranged in a circumferential fashion.

Fordyce Spots

Fordyce Spots are sebaceous glands seen over the shaft or head of the penis. They appear as small yellow or white spots over the shaft or head of the penis. They are not dangerous, and no treatment is required.

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Structural Causes (Abormal)


This is a hard swelling that occurs over the penis after sex or masturbation. This occurs when the lymph vessel channels are blocked. (Lymph vessels are one of the blood vessels that plays a role in the human immune system). Lymphocele usually resolve spontaneously and does not require treatment. However, if it persists, causes discomfort or pain, you should speak to your doctor.

Peyronie’s Disease

In Peyronie’s Disease, an unusual hardened lump (plaque) may be palpable over the shaft of the penis. In this condition, there is typically associated bent penis when erected.

Dermatological Condition

Lichen Planus

This is a type of skin condition which is not infectious. When appear over the genital/ penile region, it can appear as a purplish, planar (flat), polygonal (multiple angle/facets) bumps. Speak to your doctor on treatment options on this condition.

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Genital Warts

These are fleshy accessorized cauliflower shaped lumps or growth caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is a sexually transmitted infection that if left untreated has potential to spread via contact.

Molluscum Contagiosum

This is a sexually transmissible disease caused by a poxvirus. One can present with small firm bumps with central umbilication (depression) that can appear over penis, or genital region.

Sore and Ulcers

Sores and ulcers are commonly affected by sexually transmitted infections.
A painful sore can be associated with Herpes Infection due to a virus known as Herpes Simplex Virus. A painless sore on the other hand, can be associated with Syphilis due to a bacteria known as Treponema Pallidum. You should consult your doctor for confirmation of the diagnosis of the ulcers and get the ulcers treated appropriately.

Cancer of the Penis

When ulcers or lumps over the penis do not respond or resolve after treatment, one should think of an uncommon differential of penis cancer. Penis cancer typically occurs over the head of the penis. Seek consult from your trusted doctor for early treatment.
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