Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Small red bump on penis shaft


Hello, i am 26 year old male and about a month an a half ago i noticed a small red bump on the shaft of my penis. didnt take much action as i was going on a patrol and would be gone by the time i got back. the bump doesnt itch, or in anyway cause pain or bother me (physically). after a while of it either manifesting into something or go away i started to take action. i have tried everything; tea tree oil, acme cream (2% salycic acid), and neosporen with no results. I have even "popped it" twice. a thick white substance came out.  the bump has no head on it, popping it was painful and was aggregated for a couple of days afterwards.

After extensive research on the internet i believe it is a sebaceous cyst.  I am posting just too see if others agree and what steps i should take further. this bump has me emotionally destrot. i hate seing doctors about this kinda stuff but it seems to be the only way. is there a certain type of doctor that you recommend? i have heard of a urologist, but woud they be able to do the removal? i would like to knock this out in 1 vist. thank you for your time.

Hello Dan,
The small red bump may be a sebaceous cyst, a hair bump, folliculitis, or molluscum contagiosum caused by a skin virus. A photograph may make it easier to assess. Your treatments would not be expected to work-- tea tree oil, acne cream, or neosporen. Applications of moist heat may help soften the oil and enlarge the pores that would permit more effective resolution, or it may not. But a dermatologist who deals with skin would be the best specialist to consult. A urologist deals more with the urethra, urinary bladder, prostate, etc., not the external skin.   

Good luck!

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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