I have bumps on my shaft that looks like hair under the skin. What do I do about them?

Last updated on August 16, 2020



I’m 20 years old, male, and was born and raised in the U.S. I would like to thank you because for at least 4 to 5 years now I have been trying to figure out the condition I have and was afraid to find out by going to a doctor because in that case my parents would have found out and that would have been a little embarrassing. Anyways, I have come to the conclusion that I have what is called Fordyce Spots and that’s a lot of weight off my shoulders because I was thinking it could have been an STD or something. But on my shaft, I believe the bumps might be where hair has grown under the skin and never emerged, which may be the cause of the bumps and the puss that comes out when I squeeze it. And in a few cases when I did squeeze the puss out, it swelled up to be red and painful to the touch, but in a couple of days, it returned to its original state. The reason why I think it is a hair under the skin that is causing it is because one of the “bumps” isn’t a normal bump. It actually is the shape of a pubic hair right under the skin, the same color as the rest of them, and it looks like a back and forth curving shape like a pubic hair. So do I have Fordyce Spots or could it be something else? Whatever it is, they are very embarrassing, so is there something I could do to get rid of them? And again they have been there for about 4 to 5 years now, so it’s not like they’re going to go away with time.

Thank your for you time and help.


Ingrown hairs typically appear on men with very kinky hair, such as those of African descent. The hair, as it starts to emerge doubles back on itself, expanding under the skin. Since it only happens when the hair first starts to emerge, it usually a problem in the pelvic region when you are first developing pubic hair or if you shave your pubic hair. The image at the right shows what a typical ingrown hair looks like. You can treat ingrown hairs yourself if you are careful. It is easy to tear the surface of the skin and allow an infection to set in, which is what I think you did with your Fordyce spots. See the article “How to Remove an Ingrown Hair” for details.

The bump that is shaped like a pubic hair would be unusual because the folding is usually vertical, not horizontal. However, if the bump isn’t bothering you and doesn’t look infected, it would be best to leave it alone. You can always ask your doctor at a later point if you are curious.

Fordyce spots can only be removed surgically, but the surgery carries its own risks. Generally, doctors prefer to leave them alone unless there is some sort of complication. They will fade as you get older. Popping Fordyce spots does remove the built-up oils under the skin, but they will come right back. As I mentioned earlier, doing this will tear your skin and allow infections to set in. It is best not to do it.