Why Is There a Lump on My Penis?
This article will explain the possible causes of lumps on the penis, whether those conditions are harmful, how to treat them, and when you should consider contacting your doctor.
There are different types of lumps that may appear on your penis. Most of the time, you do not have to worry about it because the lump will just go away on its own.
However, you should contact your doctor if the lump you have on your penis:
- is painful
- leaks clear fluid or pus
- swells up
A lump may appear on the penis for many reasons. Pimples, sebaceous glands, ingrown hairs, and other types of harmless lumps may appear on your penis just like they might on other parts of your body. Most of the time, this is not a cause for concern.
Certain types of lumps may be a symptom of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), cancer, or Peyronie’s disease. These types of bumps require an examination from your doctor.
Cysts are firm to the touch. They can be a hard lump on a penis.
- matches the texture and color of the surrounding skin
- is not painful if you touch it
- does not change shape but does get bigger over time
Cysts do not need treatment, and they usually go away in a few weeks.
Pimples happen if oil or dirt remains trapped in a skin pore, causing bacteria and pus to build up. Ingrown hairs may happen after hair curves back into its follicle while growing.
Ingrown hairs symptoms include:
- a spot filled with pus or fluid
- a dark spot in the affected area
Fordyce spots are tiny bumps that may appear on your penis or its surrounding tissue. They tend to look yellowish and sometimes form in clusters.
Fordyce spots do not just affect the penis but can happen in all people. About 70–80% of all adults are born with Fordyce spots, which usually get bigger and more visible during puberty. They can occur in all people, regardless Fordyce spots do not need treatment, and they usually go away with time.
Angiokeratomas are bright, red, tiny bumps. They usually appear in small clusters when the blood vessels enlarge or dilate. They might get thicker over time.
Pearly penile papules
Pearly penile papules are tiny bumps that are shiny and have the same color as the skin of your penis. They are harmless, and experts do not yet know what causes them.
If your mole grows larger or changes, you should contact your doctor. Moles may become cancerous.
STIs or STDs
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause lumps to appear on your penis or in its surrounding area.
STIs and STDs that can cause lumps or bumps on your penis include:
- Genital warts: This is a viral infection. When the wart grows, it appears bumpy. The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes it. You can treat it with topical antibiotics, or doctors can remove it surgically.
- Genital herpes: This is a viral infection. It causes itchy and infected blisters. The herpes simplex virus causes it, and you can treat it with antiviral medication to reduce its outbreak.
- Molluscum contagiosum: This is a viral infection. The virus creates small, shiny, smooth bumps filled with a substance similar to wax. Doctors can treat it with surgical removal.
- Syphilis: This is a type of bacterial infection. It may produce a rash and some painful sores on your penis. You can treat it by taking antibiotics or a penicillin injection.
Peyronie’s disease happens when scar tissue forms on the penis and causes a hard lump of tissue, according to a 2015 research review. It usually appears as a lump on the penis shaft.
Treatment for Peyronie’s disease may include:
- penile traction devices
- vacuum devices to straighten your penis
Lymphoceles refer to lumps that appear on your penis after sex or masturbation. This is the result of a blockage in your lymph channels. These lumps usually go away shortly after they appear, and they do not need any treatment.
Medical conditions such as cancer
Penile cancer is a rare type of cancer, and it involves the penis tissue and skin.
The most common symptom of penile cancer is the formation of an atypical lump of tissue on your penis that may grow larger. It also may look red, irritated, or infected.
The treatment for penile cancer depends on the stage, according to the American Cancer Society.
You should reach out to your doctor if you notice a new spot, lump, or bump on your penis or if you had sex without without a condom, particularly after having sex with new partners for the first time.
Your doctor will examine the lump on your penis and ask you about your medical history and any symptoms that you may have experienced since the lump appeared.
Your doctor may also suggest additional exams if they suspect you have an STI or STD.
Per the U.K. National Health Service (NIH), tests may include:
- blood test
- urine test
- urethra swab
If your doctor suspects you have penile cancer, the American Cancer Society notes that they may also require:
In most cases, such as penile cancer, lymphoceles, or pearly penile papules, you cannot prevent lumps from forming on your penis.
However, you can prevent getting an STI or an STD, which may cause a lump, ulcer, and other mild to severe complications to your penis. Having sex while using protection, such as a condom, can significantly decrease the chance of getting STIs and STDs.
Most of the lumps you may find on your penis are harmless. However, some conditions like STIs or penile cancer can cause health complications, the NIH advises.
If you have penile cancer, an early diagnosis may help to have a better outlook and more successful treatments. When diagnosed in its early stages, penile cancer has a high survival rate.
Usually, a lump or a bump on your penis is harmless, and you should not worry about it. Pimples, pearly penile papules, or common conditions such as Fordyce spots are typically the cause of the new lump you have spotted on your penis.
Sometimes a lump on your penis may also suggest ongoing and more serious conditions, such as penile cancer or an STI. If the lumps you have noticed persist for more than a couple of weeks, if they worsen, or if you start developing other symptoms, you should contact your doctor.