Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Small raised ring on shaft of penis


QUESTION: Hello, I'm wondering about a few small raised rings on my penis and if it could be a STD. It's been there for a couple months and when I get an erection or pull the skin back it still appears to be there. They're also soft, skin colored, and have clearly defined edges for the most part.


ANSWER: Hello Matt,
"A photograph is worth a thousand words," especially since a lot of skin conditions can match your description, and I'm not sure what you mean when you say, "raised rings."  You also didn't mention whether you are sexually active or not, whether your partner has anything as well, whether you have any other skin problems elsewhere, and whether they affect your ability to have sex.

Follow-up with an in focus snapshot closeup, with bright light.  

Good luck!

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QUESTION: I am sexually active and use a condom for vaginal sex but not oral sex with just one partner. I had a wart on my finger and recently had it removed. The rings do not affect my ability to have sex. They're located right on my circumcision scar I think and underneath my penis. So there is some loose skin around the area.

Hi Again, Matt,
In the first photo, the linear soft slightly bluish thing is one of the superficial veins on distal shaft of your penis.  Where your thumb begins extending downward and to the right of the photo, is excessive slightly pigmented skin wrapping around the shaft, is where your circumcision was.  Both are absolutely normal, and are nothing to worry about.  I can't see anything else that looks like what you've described as "rings".  If I missed what you are referring to, please let me know!

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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