The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello. I'm 12. A third of my penis skin tone is lighter the the rest. It's at the base of the penis. Is it normal?

Bobby


Answer

If you look about your body, you will realize that you are not one color from head to toe. There is a variety of shades in each person. Most of us never give it much thought because we see it all the time. For example, the top of your arm is likely to be a darker tone than the underside. A part of that is because the top side is exposed to more light. Sun exposure triggers the production of melanin which stains the skin cells. But also the skin on top of your arm is thicker than under your arm, thus you have more layers of darkened skin cells and a darker shade.

Skin tone is also affected by the amount of blood flowing under the surface of the skin. The more blood flowing, the redder your tint. That, by the way, is what causes us to blush. But it is also what is behind birthmarks. In one section of the skin, more capillaries form giving the section a pink tint.

What is happening with your penis is that it is in the process of growing and changing. That growth takes a lot of blood and your penis will be needing a lot of blood to cause erections. So blood vessels are expanding and growing, but since the skin of the penis is so thin, you can see through it faintly. But all these changes don't happen at once, so you notice some unevenness in the skin tone. Eventually all your penis and scrotum will have a redder skin tone than the rest of your body. But even at full adult size, it isn't unusual for a man's genitals to have variations in skin tones.

So relax, you're perfectly normal.