I have small white bumps along the sides of the glans of my penis. I am sexually active, so at first I thought it might be an STD. I went to a clinic and checked out fine. How do I get rid of these bumps?
Johnny (age 16)
Since you wrote to a preacher, I hope you realized I would be giving you a lecture about putting your penis where it doesn't belong. I'm glad that you haven't picked up a disease in your fooling around, at least not one that is readily detectable, but it doesn't mean that you will continue to be disease free if you continue exposing yourself to potential disease carriers.
I assume you realize that the girls you been putting your penis into have also had the penises of several other guys in them as well. Even though they may be giving you sex for free, they are still acting as prostitutes or harlots -- actually worse than a prostitute because they are giving away for free what others pay for.
Solomon warns, "Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away" (Proverbs 6:32-33). The wounds he is talking about are the diseases people pick up when they have sex with multiple partners outside of marriage. The reason there are so many sexually transmitted diseases (STD) is easy to understand. Take a close look at your penis. Compare the skin on your penis to the skin on your arm. What differences do you notice? The skin on your penis is very thin; so thin you can see right through it. Notice all the blood vessels that are just below the surface. Notice, too, that the veins stick up from the surface. Your skin serves as a barrier to keep diseases out of your body, but the skin on your penis is not a strong barrier because it is too thin. Thus in the moist environment of sex, bacteria and virus are able to move from one body to another very easily and enter right into the blood stream. (By the way, a woman's vagina is just as thin as a man's penis).
Condoms reduce the odds of picking up a disease by adding an additional layer of protection, but they cannot completely eliminate the risk. I suspect that you haven't consistently used them -- few men manage to do so. Condoms can't protect when they aren't there. Second, condoms roll on, but they can also accidentally roll down during sex, leaving your penis exposed. Third, condoms do fail. Current United States standards state that manufacturers must not have more than a seven percent failure rate. But even 7% is a high number when we are talking about your safety.
"Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray" (Proverbs 5:15-23).
Thirst is a strong desire in the human body that is not easily ignored. Thus Solomon draws a parallel between being thirsty and the desire for sex. If you were thirsty, where would be the best place to get a drink of water? The best place would be from a trusted source, such as the faucet in your own home. If you were really thirsty, would you take your glass out to the gutters along the street and fill your glass from the water flowing into the sewers? No? Why not? Everyone realizes that the water in the gutters is full of germs. You have no idea where that water came from or what is in it. Drinking it is a near certain sentence of coming down with several bad diseases.
If that is clear, then why would you go putting your penis (your fountain) in different women? Other men's penises have been there before yours. How many diseases has she picked up and will readily pass on to you? The thought of it should be just as revolting as the thought of drinking water from a gutter. Yet, if you continue down this path as so many others do, your sins will eventually catch up to you. You are playing a game of odds and eventually the odds will go against you.
I'm praying that you will reconsider your ways.
In answer to your primary question, you didn't mention what the doctors at the clinic diagnosed you as having, but most likely it is pearly penile papules. These are small white (or slightly yellowish) bumps which appear on the edge of the glans (the corona). The distinguishing characteristic is that the bumps appear in neat rows. Click here for a picture of what it looks like (courtesy of Wikepedia). Studies have shown that anywhere from 8% to 48% of all men have them. They cause no known harm. A dermatologist can remove them with a carbon dioxide laser, but unless the bumps are large it is generally not done. The risk of the treatment is greater than leaving them alone.
The cause of pearly penile papules is unknown. It is not caused by an STD; virgins can have them. They appear most often in men between the ages of ten and thirty. They do tend to fade as you get older.
If this doesn't match your symptoms, write again with more details and I'll see what I can find.