Pimple on Penis
As surprising as this may be to some, it is possible to get acne on or around your genitals. In fact, many men will notice zits on their pubic area at some point or another. Take note, though, that while genital acne may not pose a health issue, many serious conditions do appear similar to zits and pimples. Of course, STDs are just one such possibility in this regard.
Genital Acne and Penis Pimples vs Ingrown Hairs
Sometimes the most obvious answer to a question is also the correct one. If you’ve recently noticed what appears to be a zit or pimple on the shaft or head of your penis –– it very well could be just that. Pimples, zits, and whiteheads can form anywhere on the body where dirt and bacteria collect under the skin –– and that includes male genitalia.
Similarly, it’s possible for men to experience folliculitis, razor burn, or ingrown hairs on their genital area –– especially if they shave regularly.
Herpes or Acne?
Herpes can remain asymptomatic for long periods of time, but it can also cause small red bumps to appear on or around the genitals. These pustules are fluid-filled and look similar to acne and ingrown hairs. Though you should not try to express them, when punctured they tend to “crust over.”
In addition to acne, there are a variety of conditions that can contribute to small bumps or pustules on the penis. Fordyce spots, for instance, are small, discolored spots that can appear on the skin. They are harmless and aren’t contagious.
Can You Get a Cyst on the Penis?
It is indeed possible to develop a sebaceous cyst anywhere where hair follicles can form, and that includes around the base of the penis. These cysts are typically benign, but you should not attempt to express them because of the possibility of infection.
Penile Staph Infection
Some men experience staph infections on the penis or other parts of the genitals. Staph infections and other cyst-like structures may appear similar to zits or acne, but you should not try to pop or lance these pustules on your own. In the worst case scenarios, staph infections can be fatal.
STDs that Cause Penis Pimples & Genital Warts
While no STD will directly cause pimples (read acne) to form, several STDs can contribute to the formation of bumps or sores that can appear similar to pimples. The first, and most common STD to do this, is herpes. Herpes bumps are small, red, and release fluid when punctured. They typically form in a small cluster on or around the genitals.
Similarly, genital warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), and while there is currently no test available for HPV, it can cause cervical cancer in unvaccinated women.
Lastly, in the primary stage of syphilis, a small sore (known as a chancre) will form where the infection entered the body. More often than not, that will be somewhere on the penis. Note, usually only one chancre will form per infection, and though it will heal on its own after a few weeks, it does not indicate that syphilis has left your system.