I Have Bumps On My Penis. Is This Normal?

I have lots of little bumps (almost like goosebumps or whiteheads) on my penis. Is this a sign that something is wrong?
Colin*

If you’ve never had sex, little white bumps on the shaft of the penis may be pimples, a skin cyst, or ingrown hairs. These are common and they’re nothing to worry about. Another condition that’s normal and no cause for concern is pearly penile papules. These whitish bumps appear on the glans (head) of the penis or along the edge of the glans in many guys. Pimples, cysts, ingrown hairs and papules won’t do any harm — though if you try to pop them they could get infected.

If you are having sex or have had sex in the past, bumps on the penis may be signs of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs). Painful blisters, bumps, or ulcers may be herpes. Genital warts (HPV) also can show up as bumps on the penis. Sometimes these are irregular in shape or hard to see, and they’re not painful. Syphilis also can give a guy painless ulcers on his penis. Finally, molluscum contagiosum is an infection that can be spread through sexual contact and give someone small, painless bumps.

STDs may not give a guy painful bumps, but they can put your health (and your partner’s health) at risk if they are not treated quickly.

If you’re concerned about bumps on your penis, see a doctor or go to a clinic for advice on what to do. Don’t try to pop any bumps or use pimple cream on them, as this could make things worse.

Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, MSN, WHNP-BC
Date reviewed: July 2015

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.