The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I am a fifteen year old who is a virgin. I have had these purplish bumps appear on my penis over the last few months. I have other smaller, skin colored bumps that I think are what is called Fordyce spots, but I have a few that are larger and are a different color. I attached a picture that I found that looks similar to the problem I have. I have popped two of them, though I don't know whether that was the right thing to do, and a sort of puss came out and then in a few days they disappear. I am wondering what they are, if they are a problem, and if needed, what should I do about them.

Thank you very much


Answer

Yes, the bulk of the bumps are Fordyce spots, oil glands that you see through the surface of your penis. The more serious looking spot is an oil gland that has gotten clogged and infected, which is more typically called acne or a pimple. Yes, you can have acne even on your penis.

Popping pimples is not recommended because it tears the surface of the skin. While it lets out the clogged oil and puss, it leaves a hole where even more serious infections can enter. And warm, moist region can breed all sorts of germs.

Try this instead: When you notice a pimple forming, soak a small cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and soak the area well. Be careful because any clothing that hydrogen peroxide gets on can get bleached out. It will foam up a bit and if there are any breaks in the skin, it might sting slightly. Wait until it dries before getting dressed again. You should see an improvement in a day or two of treatment. Don't reuse the cotton ball as you might transfer bacteria around.

Another possible treatment is mixing one part witch hazel to part water. Don't use witch hazel full strength on the penis as it is too strong. Again soak a cotton ball, apply to the area, and then discard the cotton ball. Witch hazel can dry out the skin, so use it sparingly.

If things don't improve, try a bit of antibiotic ointment on the pimple. Go sparingly as the ointment can cause other pores to clog up. If there is no improve after a few days, you may need to see a doctor about it.

To discourage pimples from forming, wash daily with soap -- including your penis -- and then rinse completely.