The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I'm 13 and I noticed bumps on the head of my penis. It might not be bumps but scales, but I'm not sure. It kind of looks weird on the head because it's reddish. The bumps or scales is not really spreading but it focuses more on the right or middle side of the head. When I get a erection the place where the bumps or scales are is rougher than the place where there's no bumps or scales. When I say bumps or scales it means I'm not pretty sure what they are. Is this part of puberty?

Answer

The end of your penis is called the glans. It is generally redder than the rest of your penis. When you were younger, the glans was fairly smooth, but as the penis develops, the surface of the glans takes on a rough texture. It is usually more noticeable on circumcised men. Since the glans on uncircumcised men is normally covered, the extra moisture and oils keeps the glans looking smooth.

In either case, when you have an erection the bumps stand out, much like goose bumps on your arm. These bumps make your glans much more sensitive to touch and is what gives a lot of the pleasurable feelings during intercourse. The rough texture also give pleasurable feelings to your wife.

What I am guessing is that the textured area of your glans is just starting to develop, but has fully spread across your entire glans yet. Of course, it is hard to confirm since I can't see what you see and it is hard to describe something when you aren't certain what it is called or if it is normal or not. If you think I guessed wrongly, you can always send me more details and I'll try to figure it out.

I think the bumps or scales are on the foreskin rather than the glans.

Since I can't see what you are seeing, you're going to have to describe what it is in more detail.

  1. Are you uncircumcised?
  2. Are the bumps on your glands and your foreskin or just your foreskin?
  3. Are the bumps on the inside or outside of the foreskin (when flaccid)?
  4. What color are the bumps? Red, white, yellow?
  5. How big are the bumps?
  6. Is there any pattern to the bumps, such as in a row, so something like that?
  7. How big of an area do the bumps cover?
  8. How long have you had them?
  9. Are there any changes (bumps coming or going?)
  1. Yes
  2. Just the foreskin
  3. Outside, I think
  4. Red
  5. Not that high in elevation but some bumps are kind of long
  6. No
  7. Just the foreskin
  8. A week
  9. Not really. If there's changes it's going really slow.

Sorry for all these questions, but I'm narrowing down the possibilities.

  1. Is there any itching?
  2. Do the bumps have distinct edges, or do they fade into the area, or do they have irregular edges?
  3. Are there center dots in the red areas (like acne)?
  4. Do they look like they are oozing?
  5. Have you been swimming recently, in the last few weeks, or shared someone else's towel or wore something that someone else wore without it being washed?
  6. Sorry for this question, but I have to ask: have you touched your penis against anyone else (including sexual acts and non-sexual touching)?
  7. I take it that it doesn't look like it is spreading.
  8. Does the area look like it's been rubbed raw? Is it possible that your foreskin is rubbing, say against your zipper, or that you are rubbing it?
  9. Have you started using something new that your might be allergic to? (The skin of the penis is more sensitive to allergy agents than the rest of your body because it is thinner.)

If possible, if you can get close up picture of the area, that will help a great deal in figuring out what it is. Even without a picture, depending on the answers to these questions, I think I'll be able to suggest some things to do.

  1. No
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No
  5. I have been swimming recently
  6. No
  7. Sure
  8. No
  9. No

I thought I had a good guess, but your answers don't match up with what I thought. Here is what I would recommend. Most skin conditions come from fungus, bacteria, virus, or allergies. A number come and go away on their own, but many need treatment. You'll have to see a doctor, a dermatologist (one who specializes in the skin) would be best, to get a diagnosis for what you actually have. But if you want to try a few things first, you may solve the problem without a big expense.

First, get some antibiotic ointment and apply a thin layer over the red area twice a day (morning and night). If the cause is a bacteria, then you'll see a quick clearing of the skin in a few days. If so, then keep using it for several days past when you last see signs of it to make sure you got it all. If your skin condition is eczema, then the oils in the ointment will help this a bit also, but it won't completely clear it up.

Second, if nothing changes in three or four days, then get a product for jock itch. These products kill fungus. Usually fungus infections itch, but there are a few that aren't that bothersome. Apply the cream or spray according to the directions. Use it for three or four days to see if there is any improvement. If there is, make sure you follow the directions for continued use. You have to keep applying it past when you last see it to make sure you kill all of it.

If neither works, then you need to see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan. If you let me know what he concludes I probably can explain it and give suggestions on how to avoid getting it again.