The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi! I am a 15 year-old boy and I have these boils all over my scrotum. They are mainly white in colour and the largest one is about the size of an eraser on a pencil. I have never had sex so I am pretty sure it is not STDs. Please, can you help me because I don't know what they are or what to do? Thanks.

Answer

What you are describing sounds like cysts. A cyst is a clogged gland, in this case a clogged oil or sweat gland on the skin of your scrotum. Here is a picture of one, more extreme case: [Click Here].

Small cysts usually heal themselves after a while when what is clogging the pore breaks down. Large ones can be removed surgically, and may need to be removed if they grow too large or become infected. You can tell if one is infected because it will be red around the cyst and it may also ache.

The best thing to do is see your general practitioner, or a dermatologist (a skin doctor) to both identify the cause and to decide how to best treat the condition.

I don't think any of them are infected. Are these cysts harmful to the human body and are there other signs that I can look for to see if they are getting worse?

I am not sure how to tell my parents because it is really hard to. I was hoping that there was something that I can do at home. Do you know how long these cysts can stay? I have had them for a pretty long time. Well thank you so much again and I will be waiting for your reply. I think it is a wonderful thing that you are doing for kids like me.  

From all that I have read, small cysts will sometimes go away on their own, but it might take six months or more for that to happen. Larger cysts are pretty much permanent and requires surgery to remove. Because of this, I would strongly recommend having a doctor decide what needs to be done. On the down side, even with surgery, they have a tendency to reappear.

Assuming that my guess as to what you have is correct (and you must remember that I can't see what you see and I'm only going by your description), the cysts only look ugly, they don't cause any harm. Most of the time they appear and stay the same size. If one or more of them continue to get bigger, you should see a doctor. Or, if you see any signs of infection such as tenderness or redness, you need to see a doctor.

But if you are embarrassed to mention the problem to your parents, and you are having no complications, you can wait until your next check-up with your doctor and mention it to him directly. He can then talk to your parents about it and save you the embarrassment.