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What Causes Penile Lumps?

A man's penis is one of the most important parts of his body, not only is it necessary for reproduction and an important part of his urinary system it also plays an role in his psychological health. His penis is a symbol of his masculinity, and when problems occur his self esteem can take a beating. Not only can he lose confidence in the bedroom, but also in everyday situations.

Sexual health is important for a number of reasons, and noticing any change in your penis can help to prevent more serious problems. One of the most common changes men may notice are lumps that appear on their penises. While some bumps on the skin may not indicate any problems, there are some more serious causes that can dramatically affect a man's sexual well being.

Causes of Penis Lumps

While there are several causes for penile lumps to develop, there are some that require immediate attention. Here are some of the more severe causes of penis lumps.

Genital Herpes

Any form of herpes is cause for alarm, and genital herpes are one of the most dreaded sexually transmitted diseases. This STD is spread through skin contact during unprotected intercourse, and is caused by the herpes simplex virus. After coming in contact with the disease, it can take up to two weeks before small lumps begin appearing on your penis. Not only are these lumps painful, they can also be embarrassing as well. The main reason that any form of the herpes virus is so feared is that there is no cure. The lumps can be managed, but the virus will always be present in your system.

Pearly Penile Papules

Unlike the lumps caused by the herpes virus, these bumps are not painful or contagious. Researchers are not sure why these small bumps suddenly appear, but they do know that they are not caused by an infection or bacteria. In almost all cases they will disappear on their own, but some men prefer to consult a health care provider to see if the lumps can be removed.

Fordyce Spots

The closest way most men are able to describe these lumps, is that they almost resemble a form of body acne. Fordyce spots are not contagious nor are they caused by an infection or sexually transmitted disease. Instead these bumps form when the sebaceous glands, located on the penis, become clogged. The clogged pores are what cause the lumps to appear. They are not painful and can be easily treated with gentle exfoliation. Some men have found success treating genital acne with body washes containing either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If redness or irritation occur from using any body wash or soap on your genitals, discontinue using the product at once. It could make the problem worse, or create another medical condition.

Genital Warts

Like the lumps caused by the herpes virus, genital warts are also spread by skin contact during intercourse. The cause of these lumps, human papilloma virus has only recently been gaining public attention as nor only a virus affecting young girls and menstruating women. These warts are not painful, but there is no known cure for their permanent removal. Some men are lucky and only experience the embarrassing warts once in their lives, while other men may have frequent flare ups. One of the causes for both herpes and genital wart appearing is thought to be higher than average levels of stress. Research is showing that men who have less daily stress in their lives have fewer flareups involving either genital herpes or warts. Some men also elect to have their genital warts frozen off, but this should only be done after speaking with a health care professional.


While there are several causes for penis lumps, not all of them are caused by a sexually transmitted disease. Some of the penile bumps can be easily treated, others are permanent conditions that will affect men for the rest of their lives. Practicing safe sex and routinely inspecting your penis can go a long ways towards preventing and treating any lumps that may develop. If you do notice small bumps or other irritations, a health care professional should be consulted.


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