Pimples on Penile Shaft: Foreskin, Pictures, Causes, Treatment

In numerous occasions, when a lump or bump form on your pen, you imagine the worst. It is often natural to assume that a symptom in the genital area is caused by an STD, but that’s not always the case. There are direct body reactions that occur down there that may result to this condition. Some can be caused by severe conditions, while others are harmless. Well known skin problems that concern men include bumps or pimples on the penis, rashes, and sores.

What are these pimples on the penis

Pimples on penile shaft that include bumps that are white can be caused by an infection of the hair follicles called (folliculitis), when normal skin bacteria invade an area that they don’t usually inhabit and cause an infection. Folliculitis is usually an infection that does not requires any treatment, as the body is capable of clearing it on its own.
Penis pimples or spots that are more yellow in color are commonly sebaceous cysts. These can be caused by clogged oil gland. These are too known to commonly clear on their own without any medical treatment.
Clear bumps that surround the head of the penis, or pearly penile papules, are a normal skin finding in up to 10% of men, and should not cause worry.
Pearly penile papules don’t come and go, they are always present for those who have them, but sometimes aren’t noticed until someone is explicitly inspecting that area and discover them for the first time.

What are the Signs of pimples on penile shaft

If you discover any type of pimple on the penis, it is best that you do not try to squeeze it. Squeezing can cause inflammation, worsen any infection that is present, and hence result to scarring. Cleaning your skin with a gentle soap is fine, but do not scrub vigorously, since skin in this area is sensitive and very this on the head – scrubbing could lead to other problems such as a rash or irritation.
In case your problem don’t seem to fit what you’re experiencing, or you are experiencing other concerning symptoms, seeing a doctor or dermatologist for an exam is always the best course of action. Spots that are not normal to be found on or around the penis are:

  • Spots that are wart-like in appearance
  • Spots that are blisters
  • Spots that are raised

What Causes Pimples of Penile Shaft

Your pen and the general genital area are very sensitive. However, this should not cause you troubled mind when you see signs such as cysts, bumps and lumps on penis shaft or head. Everybody suffers a pimple around the pubic region at some point in their life. Most of these signs are harmless especially if you have abstained and should go away on their own with time. But what causes pimples on the penile shaft?

Causes penis pimples on penile shaft

The fordyce spots, folliculitis, STDs, genital warts, sores and even cancer can cause those small zits and bumps on the penis. When you know what caused those lumps can help understand how to get rid of the problem. Here are the most common causes of penile pimples, zits, cysts and lumps.

Fordyce spots

Fordyce spots can appear as white bumps, pale red or yellowish bumps on the skin. According to Sexinfo Online, Fordyce spots are not a sexually transmitted infection although it is easy to mistaken their appearance with some symptoms of an STD.
The well known areas where Fordyce spots appear include the penis area – generally the shaft, the head and even the scrotum – and the female labia. These spots are font of forming as a cluster of small pimples or papules. Therefore, those small white pimples on penile shaft and head are likely to be Fordyce spots.


This is the infection of hair follicles. Folliculitis infection is usually caused by either a fungus or bacteria. However, it is common in the pubic area, especially if your genital hygiene is not so good.
According to the research findings from Australia, folliculitis is coon at the base of the penis and will appear as a pustule around the hair follicle, which is frequently itchy and sometimes painful. The symptoms of folliculitis white bumps that appear at the base of the penile shaft should not be confused with symptoms of herpes simplex virus commonly known as (HSV).

Tyson glands on penile

Tyson glands are simply sebaceous glands that appear under the penis head. They are usually referred to by many people as pimples on penis or under the penile head or corona because they appear as small white bumps that are pus-filled. Another name for Tyson glands is preputial glands. These tiny whitish yellow pimples on penile shaft are not harmful and should not cause you any worry.

Pearly penile papules

The ridge on the penile glands can have tiny lumps that may appear as pimples forming a line around the penis head. These small pimples on penis can appear in multiple rows or on just a single row around the corona. They are called pearly penile papules or (PPP).

Lymphocele lumps

A hard pimple on penis or penile shaft is likely to be a lymphocele. Hard spots or bumps normally occur after sex or vigorous masturbation that causes deep bruises. Lymphoceles are not a serious problem but occur as a result of a blockage or swelling of the lymph system on the penile shaft.
From some research findings, however, indicate that lymphoceles may occur in some cases of STIs such as syphilis and gonorrhea. In this case, it is advisable to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Some signs and symptoms of STDs can be mistaken for just being a pimple or ingrown hair at first. It isn’t until symptoms escalate that individuals realize that there is more going on down there than a zit or two. Because it is difficult to inspect the area by oneself, signs of an STD may go unnoticed or ignored.

Which STDs Cause Pimple on penis 

In some instances, small or even big pimples on penile head or shaft can be caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Genital warts appear as small fleshy growths that are caused by an STI called human papilloma virus (HPV).

  • Genital warts can be painful, itchy and a major source of discomfort.
  • Some types of HPV can cause cancer especially in women.
  • Itchy pimples on penis, groin, scrotum, inner thighs and anus are commonly associated with genital warts.
  • The symptoms may spread to other parts of the body, such as lips, tongue, throat and mouth.

HPV Bumps on Penis Head

Bumps or sores on the penis are often the first noticeable sign of an STD for many men. Certain bumps on the penis are normal or non-sexual in nature. Many men are unaware of normal marks or bumps on their penis and may panic when they are discovered.
Genital herpes outbreaks cause cluster-like patches of blisters to occur that can be confused for pimples or acne. Certain strains of HPV, human papillomavirus, can cause genital warts in the groin area. These warts are often first thought to be pimples by many patients. Other STDs can cause rashes, sores or lesions.

When penis bumps are a sign of herpes?

Genital herpes (caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2) can cause bumps, known as an outbreak, at any time. Genital herpes is a viral infection, meaning the virus is incurable and can lie dormant for years at a time. When an outbreak does occur, it is usually accompanied by a cluster of small, round bumps that look similar to blisters. The painful spots are typically filled with clear fluid that oozes when the sores rupture, leaving behind a crusty, reddish rash of bumps. The bumps eventually clear up within weeks.

Pimples on penile shaft from staph infection

A pimple on penile head can be caused by a staph infection. According to STD Check, staph infections are not very common in the genital area but can occur since the staphylococcus bacteria is carried by 25 percent of people.
Any tiny nicks and cuts from bruising can be caused by this bacterial infection and lead to pimples, zits and cysts can cause the infection to develop in the pubic region

Pimples on penile shaft from Molluscum contagiosum

This is a viral infection that affects the skin. This cause round, hard bumps the size of a pinhead on the skin. These bumps can grow into the size of a pencil eraser. Molluscum contagiosum pimples on the penile shaft can affect both children and adults alike.
From research, its bumps on the penile head are considered a sexually transmitted disease. It is spread through direct contact on the skin. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the lesions or Mollusca can form on the penis and may appear as white, pink, or flesh-colored with a dimple or pit in the center.

Acne on penis, zits and whiteheads

It is not common to have acne on the penis, but it happens. Acne on penile shaft is likely to manifest as small white spots on penis or red pimples if they are inflamed. The resultant zits and cysts become infected with Acne zits and whiteheads are common during puberty. If you have an oily skin, you are likely to get one red bump on your pubic area. Acne zits and whiteheads are more common on the face, upper arms, chin, neck, shoulders, chest and back.
Penile cancer is not common. When it starts to show signs, you are likely to see small pimple-like bumps on the shaft. The sore lump can be a source of discomfort and could keep growing. The most common area it affects is the head of the penis. The signs and symptoms of penile cancer include:

Peyronie’s disease

This is a disease that is also called the indurations penis plastica. It shows symptoms such as the penis being curved when erect. A lump on the shaft can be felt. Sometimes, the patient will complain of a thickened area that feels like plaque on the shaft of the penis. Peyronie’s disease can cause a lot of pain when erect, stress and anxiety.

Does Fordyce Spots on Shaft Cause Pimples

These kinds of spots on penis also known as sebaceous prominence, Fordyce’s spots or Fordyce granules may occur on the penis shaft, foreskin, Scrotum or at the base root of the skin. This may appear as Acne or Pimples and are sometimes confused for papules. When infected they may turn into red bumps with white pus at the center.
They appear as small, painless, raised, pale, red or white spots or pimple on penile shaft, 1 to 3 mm in diameter that may appear on the scrotum, shaft of the penis or on the labia, as well as the inner surface and vermilion border of the lips of the face. They are not associated with any disease or illness, nor are they infectious but rather they represent a natural occurrence on the body as per research findings.

What are the Symptoms of Fordyce spots  on the penis

Fordyce spots on penis shaft, foreskin or scrotum in some cases may just be raised bumps on the kin that are not painful, but their sight may not be sexually attractive to your partner. In Most cases there are misconceptions about them with penile papules or Sexually transmitted diseases.  Below are some symptoms of Fordyce spots on penis and scrotum;

  • Pale raised red bumps or spots that may also be yellow or white.
  • In some patients the raisedbumps on penis or inflamed pimples on penis will just have the same color as the skin around them.
  • Raised bumps on the scrotum that are highly visible when the scrotum is shaved. Do not confuse them with bumps on balls after shaving. See more on How to shave your balls in case you have hairy scrotum sack.
  • Pus filled raised bumps on the penis shaft or scrotum
  • Pimple like raised red inflammations that may be several and distributed in groups
  • Granules that may be clear and fluid filled

Can you get Pimples on Penis Head?

Although some are normal, some penis bumps are caused by sexually transmitted diseases or other conditions. The most common STD that produces pimples on penile shaft or skin in the genital area is herpes type 2. Herpes outbreaks are characterized by a cluster of small, round blister-like spots that occur in the genital region.
These outbreaks are usually painful. Characteristically, the spots often are filled with a clear fluid, and typically rupture in a few days’ time. After rupturing, the pimples on the penis head reddish and can have a crusty appearance. They will continue to resolve over the course of several days to weeks, until they are gone. In addition, sometimes the painless, red ulcer caused by syphilis can be mistaken for a bump or sore caused by herpes.
Pimple on penile shaft from HPV
Another STD that can produce small bumps on penis or surrounding area is human papilloma virus, the virus that causes genital warts. Typically, warts are found in small clusters, are the same color as the surrounding skin, and grow in patches. They are typically not painful. Unlike herpes bumps which come and go, genital warts are persistent.
Getting tested for STDs can help determine the cause of bumps. Many times it’s difficult to tell whether a spot or group of bumps is caused by an STD, or is due to some other cause. The only way to know for sure is to get tested.

How to Get Rid of Pimples on Penile Shaft

Pimples can occur anywhere with oil glands, according to including the penis. However, genital herpes, the common name for herpes simplex virus II, can appear to be pimples. Therefore, it is imperative that you visit your physician for an accurate diagnosis before treating your pimples. Upon positive confirmation from your doctor that you are simply suffering from acne, you can begin to safely treat your pimples at home.
Step 1
Cleanse your penis gently in the shower with body wash and a loofah. According to Cosmetic Dermatology, the loofah will gently exfoliate the skin, allowing the pimples to be treated. It is important that you avoid your urethra while showering with body wash to avoid irritation, which could lead to a urinary tract infection.
Step 2
Dilute one part witch hazel with one part water full strength witch hazel is too harsh to be applied to the genital area.
Step 3
Saturate a cotton swab with the diluted witch hazel solution.
Step 4
Dab the cotton swab on one your pimples. Discard the cotton swab after a single use. It is imperative that you use each cotton swab only once to avoid transferring bacteria. Use a new cotton swab for each of your pimples.
Most of the time, it develops as a single lesion, at most there may be one or two more.  It is rare to find a group of pimples on male genitalia. The reason for development of pimple on the shaft of penis is just the same as on face and trunk. It is due to clogged skin pores or infected clogged pores. In most cases, pimples on penile shaft vanish over a period of time.
When red pimples appear on the shaft of a penis, it is important to remember some simple tips:

  • Never attempt to pick or burst the acne to avoid further irritation. Bursting it may take the acne longer to heal and hence will remain on the shaft for a while.
  • Avoid foods that can trigger the acne especially if the acne seems to be recurring. Avoid spicy food, meat, drink more water and increase the intake of green vegetables and fruits.
  • Keep the penile area clean to hasten the process of healing of the acne.
  • Exercise caution by avoiding sexual contact for as long as the acne is still present.

How to Treat Painful Pimple on Penile Shaft

Pimples on the penis usually respond to the same medicine that acts upon pimples on other areas of the body. Before starting the treatment for pimple on penile shaft, it is important to rule out sexually transmitted disease.

  • Have the pimple checked for any possibility of it being a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease. Usually, pimple-like formations that appear in clusters or resemble a rash are more likely to be a STD than a pimple.
  • Once a STD is ruled out, the pimple can be treated. It is essential to treat pimples on the penis especially when it is painful. A painful pimple may be discomforting for the patient, especially when he wears tight fitting undergarments or during intercourse.
  • Cystic types of acne on the penis can be treated by allowing the pus to drain out on its own. Never attempt to pick or prod open cystic acne because this will only increase the risk of infection and scarring.
  • To drain cystic acne, place a warm and moist cloth over the area.
  • If there is associated swelling and redness, apply an ice-pack for a few minutes, two to three times a day.
  • You can also apply calendula officinalis ointment or mother tincture. The herb acts on many skin ailments due to its antibacterial and astringent qualities. Before applying any herbal preparation or any other medicine, it is important to consult your doctor since the skin of penile shaft is sensitive compared to other areas of the body.
  • More often than not, proper hygiene is needed for the acne to resolve on its own.