Pimples occurs when oil glands on the surface of the skin gets clogged by oil, dead skin cells, or other debris. The blockage can cause an immune response, making the area to become inflamed. The lump formed from this process is called pimple, and it can occur on any part of the body. Pimples can develop on the penis, although they are more common elsewhere on the body. Pimples are usually harmless, and it may not be a cause for concern if one develops on the penis. However, pimples can sometimes look like the symptoms of other conditions, such as a sexually transmitted disease or STD, and so it is important to know if a growth on or around the penis requires medical attention.
This article will discuss other signs to look out for that could indicate an STD, methods for treating a pimple on the penis, and when to see a doctor.
Signs of an STD
Pimples appear as small, round bumps on the surface of the skin. The base is usually red or flesh colored. The tip of a pimple can either be white (whiteheads), black (blackheads) or the same color as the base, depending on the type of debris that has caused the buildup. Some pimples also contain pus.
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Factors that increase the chances of a pimple appearing include:
- Tight-fitting clothes
- Excessive sweating
- Poor hygiene
- Oily skin
Pimples can occur regardless of sexual activity, which also helps to narrow down the cause of a bump. There are three STDs, which we give details of here, with symptoms that could be mistaken for pimples.
A primary symptom of genital warts is the growth of small, flesh-white colored bumps on the head or shaft of the penis.
The tips of warts can be shaped like cauliflowers and can differ greatly in size. It is also possible for genital warts to appear on parts of the body surrounding the penis, such as the scrotum or inner thigh.
Genital warts often disappear on their own, but can be easily treated with creams or freeze and heat therapy.
Genital herpes causes gray-white blisters with a red base to appear on the penis or surrounding areas. They are often itchy and can spread to the anus.
The blisters can become open sores and secrete fluids and will crust over. Blisters can also appear around the mouth or lips. Genital herpes is usually treated using antiviral drugs.
White or red painless ulcers on or around the penis can develop as a symptom of syphilis. A bacterial infection causes the condition and can pose a serious health risk if left untreated. Antibiotics can be used to treat syphilis.
In most cases, medical treatment is rarely required for pimples because pimples will disappear on their own after a few days.
It is important to avoid itching or popping the pimples. This can deteriorate the condition and may cause permanent scarring and superimposed infection.
Addressing the likely causes of pimples is the best method of preventing them from developing again.
Methods to reduce the risk of pimples include:
- Reduce activities that induce sweating. Change wet pants.
- Avoid humid environments
- Wear loose-fitting clothing and avoiding clothing that rubs and causes friction
- Shower regularly
- Avoid rubbing or touching the affected region
- changing bedding and clothing regularly
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or exfoliants, can be helpful for reducing the appearance of pimples.