During sweaty seasons like summer, developing pimples and acne is a common occurrence. Whiteheads are common forms of acne that could occur when sweat combines with dirt and sebum. These are common on the back, face and chest. Sometimes, these whiteheads form over the penis skin. To know more about whiteheads on the penis, read further.

Can I Get Whiteheads on Penis?

Yes, whiteheads on the penis can occur when the pores on the skin of the penis get clogged with sweat, sebum (skin’s natural oil) and dirt. It is usually observed on the shaft of the penis or at the base.

Whiteheads cause white, fleshy bumps over the skin surface, causing inflammation. However, they are harmless and usually go away on their own without causing any significant discomfort.

Causes of Whiteheads on the Penis

There could be various causes for whiteheads on the penis. Listed below are some causes of whitehead pimples on the penis.

1. Acne

The condition of acne is the root cause of whiteheads. They are basically a result of dirt, oil and sweat on the penis skin. The acne then gets inflamed and turns to whitish coloured bulged spots. However, they subside on their own after a certain duration.

2. Pearly Penile Papules

As per a survey, pearly papules occur in about 48% of men after they hit puberty. They usually are seen around the head of the penis. Although the cause is not clear, they appear whitish or yellowish with a dome-like shape.

3. Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is believed to occur due to either of these causes:

  • An immune disorder
  • Allergic reaction to some medication or some compound
  • Hepatitis C virus infection

When on the penis, they have a reddish/purplish coloured appearance and a bumpy structure. These bumps have white linings running through their body surface and may feel itchy or sore.

4. Genital Warts

One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, genital warts, are caused by skin to skin contact with the Human Papilloma Virus. (HPV) Genital warts can appear on and around the penis. They may also appear under the foreskin.

The virus causes fleshy or white-coloured bumps around the penis. They may or may not be easily noticeable as they are harmless, but may cause discomfort. The appearance resembles tiny heads on a cauliflower.

5. Syphilis

Syphilis is generally caused due to Treponema Pallidum. It is a sexually transmitted infection. One can notice several whitish ulcers on or around the genitals.

6. Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a condition that occurs due to skin contact with the herpes simplex virus. (HSV) They can be itchy and sore.

Genital herpes appears like blisters having a greyish covering on the surface, on and around the penis. Sometimes there may be no symptoms of the condition.

Also Read: Eczema on Penis: Causes, Treatment & Home Remedies to Try!

Other Bumps on the Penis

Apart from the above-mentioned information about penis whiteheads, there are also a few more kinds of bumps that occur on the penis. These may be caused due to a variety of causes.

Some of these other types are discussed below.

1. Fordyce Spots

Usually, Fordyce spots occur on lips or the inner side of cheeks, however, they may also occur on the shaft and head of the penis skin surface. They are small and yellow-whitish in appearance.

Fordyce spots are basically oil glands that do not have hair follicles. They are harmless and do not have any symptoms.

2. Tyson Glands

Tyson glands are a normal occurrence. These are small sebaceous glands on either side of the frenulum. The frenulum is an elastic tissue that connects the foreskin to the head of the penis.

3. Ingrown Hairs

These hairs are usually seen in the pubic area. When a hair grows into a follicle, it develops itchy bumps. The ingrown hairs may be uncomfortable and painful. However, they are harmless. Sometimes, they may develop into infections.

To remove them, a sterilised pin or tweezers could ve used. After that, apply an antibacterial cream.

4. Skin Tags

Skin tags are soft skin growths. These are usually seen in middle-aged males but are not a cause of concern.

5. Molluscum Contagiosum

The Molluscum Contagiosum is a contagious infection that causes clusters of small and firm bumps to develop on the skin.

It is easier to distinguish them from the other types as these bumps have a dimple on them. They can sometimes be itchy. The condition may need an ointment or gel to be treated.

6. STIs

Some bumps may be caused due to sexually transmitted infections. Such conditions need to be medically treated. The most common STIs that cause bumps to appear on or near the genitalia are genital warts and genital herpes.

Home Remedies and Treatments for Whiteheads on Penis

The condition of acne, pimples and whiteheads is usually sudden. There are generally no symptoms, and they do not have any adverse effects. Nonetheless, medication is necessary in certain scenarios.

Though there is no health risk, there is a range of acne treatments that one can purchase as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Here are some tips to manage whiteheads:

  • Do not touch the affected area repetitively, it may cause the infection to spread.
  • Cleanse the area regularly with water to avoid the build-up of dirt or bacteria.
  • Do not pick or pop whiteheads. It may cause irritation or scarring of the skin.
  • Use over-the-counter drugs to reduce excess oil build-up and bacterial infection.

As a home remedy, one may use tea tree oil and witch hazel. The tea tree oil helps reduce infection due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Witch hazel is a plant extract that is used in many acne conditions. It cleans the pores, which helps reduce whiteheads.

Apart from this, some medications for acne treatment contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and exfoliants.

Although beneficial, these remedies can be sensitive to some skin types. In case you observe an irritation, immediately visit a doctor and stop the usage.

Make sure to take special care and pay attention during usage.

When to See a Doctor?

In case the bumps or whiteheads on your skin are causing too much discomfort and are not fading on their own, you should consult a doctor. Long term bumps could be a symptom of an underlying condition.

Medical attention could help confirm whether the bumps are an issue of concern or not. Make sure you avoid having any sexual activity until confirmed that it is safe to indulge in.

Summing Up

The condition of whitehead pimples on the penis can occur due to sweat, dirt and oil in the skin pores.

Usually, they are self-healing and cause minor discomfort. However, one must remember that the bumps shouldn’t be picked or popped. Also, use medication that does not cause irritation to your skin. STIs can also cause bumps and may require treatment.

For this, several OTC drugs are available that can help treat the condition well. Concluding the article, it is crucial to realise the importance of hygiene in sexual health.


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