Sexually Transmitted Diseases/possible fordyce's?


QUESTION: Hello Mark!

I'm a healthy 27 years old circumcised male, physically fit and nothing is wrong with me as far as I know. The thing is I have one of those fleshy colored somewhat small pimple about 2 mm with other very small pimples which is less than 1 mm. Does not looks like a cluster herpes or anything like that at all. It is very clean looking lesion eerily similar to the Fordyce's. It's on the bottom of my shaft. I do have Fordyce's but not sure if its possible to have fordyce's around the middle of penile shaft. None of those 'pimples' I mentioned above are painful, itchy, nor sensitive. I've been a somewhat OCD about those bumps and picked them when I was younger. The 'pimples' doesn't get irritated unless I poked them with a needle to try pop them. As when I got older and knew it is not a good idea to pick them, I've left them alone for a couple of years now. I believe that those bumps had been around for about 3-4 years right now. I do not have any burning sensation from peeing but there was one time it burned and I think it is because I washed my genital area very vigorously with a soap/shampoo to try to get rid of them. Other than that, it never burned or anything like that. I never had a outbreak, nothing changed at all. They just showed up out of blue and stayed there.

The last unprotected sex I had was 8 years ago. I only had a couple of protected sex with one girl in 2002 and multiple unprotected sex with my ex from 2003-2005. I never had a sex, touching, oral, etc since then. After all that, I've donated my blood, had a complete check up about which is like 7 years ago. Nothing positive came back to me and I still can donate.

I recently got a new girlfriend and I'm being paranoid again about what I could have. So here I am here asking, what could it be? and how can I fix it?

I do not have a picture since my cellphone is broken but I found a 98%ish similar pictures to what I have if that can help you.

One of it is on my bottom of my middle shaft, only gets pink if bothered or tried to pop :

This is exactly what mine looks like under the shaft:

Also, I rolled them around and squeezes the skin flat, I can feel them but after a a minute of rolling them around my fingers, the 'bumpy feeling' would disappear. they are all barely noticeable unless stretched out. I was really depressed for a few years and under a stress, but not anymore but I wonder that would cause the molluscum or anything like that. I hope everything I said is making sense for you. Thank you for reading!

ANSWER: Hello Brent,
These "bumps" seem somewhat like tiny sebaceous (oil) gland cysts. Rolling them around kind of liquifies the oil (sebum) and makes it more difficult to feel. It seems highly unlikely that it is related to an STD.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Mark, Is it normal for them to stay this long? What can I do make them go away?

Hi Again, Brent,
Fordyce spots and sebaceous gland enlargements may persist for weeks, months, years. They really don't reflect a pathology, only a normal variation of the skin. Skin changes and remodels itself as infrequently as every 3 months. Applying moist hot compresses may help to soften the oil, or may not.

Good luck!

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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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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