The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi there. About a year ago, I shaved the hair on my penis and scrotum. A day later, both these areas were itching severely. Soon after the itching stopped, I realized that there were small bumps that are white in color. These little bumps are on the shaft of my penis and on the scrotum. Occasionaly, my genital area itches. I never had sexual intercourse. I was looking up on your site to try to find an answer. I came across what is called Fordyce spots. My bumps look very similar to those on the picture. You said that the bumps were on the shaft but not on the scrotum. My bumps are also on the scrotum and each bump is formed around a hair follicle. Rarely, I can pull out or squeeze out a yellowish matter. There is also a line of bumps that goes around my shaft.

According to the information given, do you think it is still Fordyce's spots or could it be an infection? If it is an infection of the follicules, I can I get rid of it?

Thank you for your time.


Answer

It is not that Fordyce spots can't appear on the scrotum, it is that they have been given a different name. On the scrotum they are called Sebaceous cysts.

In your case, because the bumps are by each hair follicle, the condition is called pilar cysts or Trichilemmal cysts. These can appear on the penis as well, if you have hair follicles on the shaft of your penis. All of these conditions are roughly the same. Your skin has oil glands which can't get the oil out fast enough. It especially shows up in teenagers as their hormones make various glands go into overdrive. What you are seeing is semi-harden oil just underneath the skin that causes a small bump. It is this semi-harden oil that you are squeezing out. By the way, it is not recommended that you do this because it can tear the opening to the oil sacs and allow an infection to set in.

So long as the swelling remains small bumps, and there is no redness or pain (indications of an infection), then there is nothing to be concerned about. It is estimated at 5 to 10 percent of all men have this condition. After your growth stops the condition will begin to fade.

In regards to what happened when you shaved, it is similar to what happens after shaving your face and then you go without shaving for a few days. The skin gets irritated by razor, but the hairs as they poke back through the skin cause it to feel like it is itchy. Every touch of the small nubs of hair moves the skin and irritates it further. This is worse around your genitals because the skin is thin and it is not meant to be shaven. Another reason not to shave the genitals is that there will always be fine nicks in the skin when you shave and these allow bacteria or fungus to settle into your skin.

If I had to guess, I would suspect that the bumps were forming before you shaved, but by removing the hairs you became aware of them because you could see them easier. That is why they looked like the suddenly appeared. It is also possible that shaving irritated the skin and caused the pores to temporarily close, which then led to a backup of oil from which it has yet to recover.

But the condition is harmless. You don't have to worry about it.