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Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Small Bumps On Penis Base / Scrotum Area

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Small Bumps On Scrotum
Small Bumps On Scrotum  
Small Bumps On Scrotum
Small Bumps On Scrotum  
QUESTION: Hello Mark,

I'm a 31 year old uncircumcised male living in Alberta, Canada.

A few days ago I was trimming the hair in my scrotal area, and I noticed a couple of these small painless bumps on the surface of my scrotum. Please refer to the marked area in the attached photos.

I have had protected penetrative sex but unprotected oral sex with some women recently. It is important to note that I've not experienced any burning, discomfort, pain or itchiness during this whole process.

1) I've noticed similar singular white bumps in the scrotal before however they usually disappear within a couple of days.
2) Does it look like sebaceous bumps or fordyce spots to you? Or perhaps an inflammed hair follicle from trimming?
3) Or do they look like genital herpes or some other STI?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

ANSWER: Hello Kay Be,
These bumps are normal variations in the scrotal skin anatomy, and may be due to all of the things you mentioned. They are definitely NOT related to herpes, other STIs or warts.   

Good luck!
--mark


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

Small Bumps Penis Base 2
Small Bumps Penis Base  
Small Bumps Penis Base 1
Small Bumps Penis Base  
QUESTION: Hello Mark,

I wanted to ask you a follow-up question to the one above. It's now been around two (2) months since these small bumps appeared near the base of my penis / scrotal area. They do not appear to have changed in size whatsoever. They are still painless and do not itch. Furthermore I've not experienced any burning, discomfort, pain or itchiness during this whole process.

Since my initial question, I've noticed 1-2 more bumps appear as well. Upon close examination under a flash light, they look similar to sebaceous bumps because you can see a bit of the oil build up under the surface of the skin.

- What do these bumps look like to you?
- Do they look like genital herpes or some other STI?
- What do you suggest to get rid of them? Moist heat? Any topical cream/ointment?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

ANSWER: Hello Again, Kay Bee,
As mentioned previously, they are NOT herpes. Sometimes molluscum contagiosum may look like a dimpled bump, but your scrotal bumps look like retained oil (sebaceous) glands.  Moist heat may help, but ultimately, you may need to supplement that with a trip to a dermatologist.  It is merely a cosmetic problem, and as it does not interfere with your ability to have sex, or urinate, it may not be covered by insurance.  

Good luck!
--mark


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

Bumps Penis Base 1
Bumps Penis Base 1  

Bumps Penis Base 2
Bumps Penis Base 2  
QUESTION: Hello Mark,

I wanted to follow up with you again on this issue. It's now been almost three (3) months since these small bumps appear at the base of my penis / scrotal area. They do not appear to have changed in size whatsoever. They are still painless and do not itch. Furthermore I've not experienced any burning, discomfort, pain or itchiness during this whole process.

I've been applying lots of heat to them in the shower daily. I've even been using Polysporin the last couple days. However I don't see any change in them whatsoever.

Please have a look at the latest photos taken today. Do they still look like retained oil (sebaceous) glands to you? What can I do to get right of them? How long do they take to go away typically?

Answer
Hi Again, Kay Bee,
Yes they do still look like retained sebaceous glands.  They are NOT an STD.  See a dermatologist about how to get rid of them, since the "conservative" therapy (moist heat) didn't work. One approach they may use-- although I am uncertain what the recommended management would be since I am not a dermatologist-- is use of a needle or other sharp instrument or liquid nitrogen to dislodge the plug that keeps the retained oil in place. Another, may be to use a chemical irritant (such as trichloroacetic acid, cantharone, efudex) or an immune system modulator (such as imiquimod) to do it.  

Let me know what the dermatologist suggests! Again, it does not reflect anything to worry about, as these are cosmetic variations in the skin and are NOT STDs.

Good luck!
--mark  

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Mark P. Behar

Expertise

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!

Experience

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.

Organizations
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)

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

Education/Credentials
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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