Noticing a bump, discoloration, or other small change in the appearance of your penis can certainly set your mind on a whirlwind of concern. After all, bumps or sores on the penis are not something most guys feel comfortable discussing or addressing with…well, anyone. At best, it’s something you might Google on your phone in the bathroom before clearing your search history. Fear not. Chances are likely that shifting into panic mode is likely an overreaction and the best thing we can recommend is to relax and get educated.
First things first: while it might make you a little self-conscious, keep in mind that in MOST cases, a single blemish that doesn’t cause pain or irritation is not a sign of concern and is not indicative of a serious condition. Though it might have you imagining the worst, a mild blemish or bump on the penis is oftentimes nothing to be concerned about. Changes in the appearance of the male genitalia do not automatically imply the presence of a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, in many cases that new bump may be something as common and as harmless as a folliculitis or even a pimple (yes, you can get pimples down there).
Still, while a slight alteration in the color or appearance of the penis is certainly nothing to get in a panic over, it’s best to put your mind at ease by knowing exactly what it is and how it got there. Of course, and as you probably expected, there are signs to look for that may imply something a bit more serious. Let’s look at two of the most common conditions:
Small clusters of painful, tingly or itchy blisters that can turn into painful sores can certainly be a symptom of genital herpes. If this is your first breakout, you may also experience flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and nausea). Breakouts, while uncomfortable, will typically not last very long and your first will likely be the worst you’ll ever encounter. These “outbreaks” can reoccur periodically with both blisters, sores and flu-like symptoms. And though there’s no cure for herpes, prescription medications are available that make living with the virus much more manageable. You’ll want to consult with your physician on the best treatment option for you.
One or more painless sores on the genital region (known as chancres) is an early symptom of syphilis and will start to develop weeks after becoming infected. Typically chancres will only last three to six weeks, but the infection remains and can get worse if not treated properly. Even though symptoms will subside, we strongly suggest getting tested and, if suspicions are confirmed, consulting with your doctor. Syphilis is curable through antibiotic medication if treated during the early stages.
If you notice signs of a breakout on or near your genitalia, it’s always a good idea to utilize the services of a reputable STD testing service. Should you test positive for genital herpes or syphilis, your physician will be able to assist you on the best plan of action for treatment.