There are several reasons why your penis could have a lump or lumps on it. In some cases there will be nothing to worry about, however, it could be the sign of a condition that will require treatment such as genital warts.
The most common types of genital lumps are explained below.
Pearly penile papules
Pearly penile papules are small lumps around 1-2 mm across that are found around the side of the head of the penis. You can normally see them when you pull your foreskin back and they look like tiny pimples. They are in fact, tiny glands and are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
A lymphocele is a hard swelling that suddenly appears on the shaft of the penis after sex or masturbation. It occurs because the lymphatic channels (which make up part of the lymphatic system along with
lymph nodes or glands) in your penis have been temporarily blocked. The swelling should soon subside and will not cause any permanent problems.
Lichen nitidus is a harmless skin condition that causes small, shiny flesh-colored lumps to appear on your penis. They can also appear on your arms, legs and trunk. The lumps often appear in groups and may look like small warts.
The condition does not require treatment as the lumps will disappear by themselves. If you decide you want treatment for cosmetic reasons, steroid cream may help remove them.
Molluscum are small pinkish-white lumps about 1-5mm across. They can be found on the penis, as well as the lower
abdomen near the pubic hair and the inner thigh. They are the result of a viral skin infection that is spread through skin-to-skin contact, so the infection can often be passed on during sex.
It is important not to scratch the lumps because they could become infected and cause scarring.
The condition is not serious and usually clears up in 12-18 months without treatment. If treatment is required, a doctor or nurse can help remove the lumps by piercing them with a sterile needle and removing their contents.
The mollusca can be frozen off (cryotherapy) or burnt off (diathermy). Diathermy treatment requires a
local anesthetic first.
Other treatments include pricking the mollusca with a strong chemical that causes the contents to burst out, (this can be painful and may leave scars); and scraping off the mollusca (cutterage).
Painful sores, spots or
ulcers on your
genitals are typically a result of a herpes infection. More rarely, it could be a result of skin cancer. In either case you should visit your doctor or STD clinic as soon as possible.
Genital herpes can be treated with
Genital warts that appear on the shaft of your penis will look like the warts you would find on the hands. Warts that appear under your foreskin or near your
urethra will look pinkish-white.
Genital warts are caused by the HPV virus which can be spread during sexual intercourse.
You should visit your doctor or STD clinic for treatment. Do not use the wart lotions that are available at pharmacists as these are not suitable for genital warts and could harm your penis.