The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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I constantly scratch my testicles. They don't itch. It feels good and I guess I rip skin. There's yellow or white bumps there afterwards. Should I be concerned? I've been tested for STD's, but I'm clean. Should I be worried?

Tony (age 18)

What you fell into is a poor habit. When your pubic hair first started to appear, it itched, so it is common for teenage boys to scratch themselves. But few continue it because it is seen as uncouth to be scratching your groin. Many people will tease you for acting like a monkey. So most boys fight the impulse and in a few months the itching goes away anyway once the hairs get long enough.

But it is very easy for a teenager to become compulsive about certain things. You developed a habit and it was reinforced because the scrotum is one of the areas of your body that generates sexual pleasure when touched. Your compulsion is beyond normal though since you are doing it often enough and hard enough to damage your skin. The fact that you are continuing despite pain is worrisome.

The bumps you are describing are normal. You are just seeing your oil glands through the thin skin of your scrotum. They would have been there whether you had scratched yourself raw or not.

Rather than letting your impulses dictate how you behave, I want you to gain control over yourself. Like Paul who said, "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (I Corinthians 9:27). It is not a sin to scratch yourself, but it is a sign of a lack of self-control. Since this is a relatively small thing, it would be a good thing to practice mastering your own body in this regard. So when you are inclined to scratch your scrotum, stop yourself and then think about what is going on at that moment that is triggering the habit. It will take several months of actively stopping yourself to break the habit.