Acne on the penis: causes and treatment

If acne on the face and body is mainly associated with a malfunction of the sebaceous glands and only occasionally signals serious health problems, then the appearance of acne on the genitals is always an alarming symptom. Normally, mucous membranes are reliably protected from penetration and reproduction of microorganisms. Inflammatory elements on the penis are a reason for an immediate visit to a doctor, since they pose a danger to a man’s reproductive health.

Types of acne and the reasons for their appearance

Self-diagnosis and self-medication are permissible only in a situation where pimples are isolated and associated with a violation of hygiene. In all other cases, you should see a urologist or venereologist. To assess how dangerous certain inflammatory elements can be, which doctor and how soon you need to contact, it is necessary to assess the nature of the rash and compare them with other symptoms.


This is perhaps the most harmless type of acne that appears in the genital area. If the patient has only dense small white balls on the head or skin of the penis trunk that are not inflamed, do not have a red areola and are not painful to the touch, then they have arisen as a result of blockage of the sebaceous glands. Such formations are akin to comedones on the face. As a result of poor hygiene, contact with very dense or synthetic underwear, sebum accumulates inside the pore, clogs the hair follicle and forms a fatty cyst under the skin.

Important! The most common comedones in the genital area for adolescents. An unstable hormonal background provokes excessive activity of the sebaceous glands. After the end of puberty, multiple fatty cysts on the penis can be a signal of a disruption in the endocrine system. 


Any redness indicates an ongoing inflammatory process.

Red dots and spots on the penis can result from:

  • Allergic reaction to hygiene products, washing powder or lubricants . In this case, the rashes have indistinct edges, itch and peel off when they dry. 
  • Candidiasis is a fungal infection that spreads both to the mucous membrane of the head and to the urethra. With thrush, red spots with jagged edges and white discharge from the penis are observed. 
  • The vital activity of parasites such as pubic lice or itch mites. When infected, small red dots appear on the skin of the genitals and around them, which are accompanied by severe itching and burning.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases , such as syphilis, in which small, red, shiny pimples with a dense structure are observed.


The appearance of pustules with abundant purulent contents most often occurs due to infection of a small wound or pore with staphylococcus. As a result of the multiplication of bacteria, a furuncle develops. The abscess is growing rapidly, very painful to the touch. Small isolated purulent inflammations should not cause concern. In the event that the boil is large or there are a lot of such purulent rashes, it is necessary to seek help from a surgeon as soon as possible.


Young people often mistake quite normal features of the relief of the mucous head for acne. Pink, painless, not enlarging lesions along the edge of the head – this is an anatomical norm. If, nevertheless, growth and the appearance of new elements are observed, most likely the man is faced with genital warts or papilloma. These are benign formations, which, nevertheless, require observation by a specialist, since in some cases they can degenerate into cancer. 

Another thing is if small pimples are accompanied by itching, burning and swelling of tissues. In this case, it is obvious that the patient has experienced an allergic reaction or infection. For a more accurate diagnosis, a specialist consultation is required.


Small pustules filled with clear fluid are most likely a symptom of genital herpes. It is a viral infection that affects the mucous membranes. Several strains of genital herpes are known to medicine. All of them, once entering the cell, are embedded in the DNA and remain with the carrier for life. However, with normally functioning immunity, the disease does not manifest itself in any way. Only with a decrease in the protective properties of the body at the site of primary infection and next to it, painful itchy blisters appear, which will disappear in 3-5 days.

On the head or on the skin?

The location of the acne on the penis matters. The skin on the trunk, although thin, is similar in structure to the skin on the face or any other part of the body. It is abundantly supplied with sweat and sebaceous glands, it has active and dormant hair follicles, and the epidermis performs protective functions. Any rash on the skin of the penis can be viewed as acne, allergies, or parasite bites.

The appearance of pimples on the head is much more alarming. This part of manhood is completely covered with mucous membranes. Normally, it is clean, moist, light pink, without any formations and plaque. It is not for nothing that doctors so carefully assess the condition of the mucous membranes when diagnosing health problems in a patient. Any rash on the mucous membrane is a sign of a serious infection or severe allergic reaction. This indicates a violation of natural immunity and the penetration of pathogens. Injured irritated mucous membranes open up a quick entrance to the circulatory system for pathogens, which means that it may be necessary to treat not only local manifestations.


It is necessary to approach the solution of problems associated with the appearance of acne on the penis rationally and systematically. Do not panic and resort to untested folk remedies, hesitating to seek real help from a doctor. There are several important stages in the diagnosis and treatment that will have to go through regardless of age, sexuality and the nature of the course of the disease.


Whatever the acne on the penis is associated with, you will have to reconsider the approach to hygiene. First, it is better to change the detergent to a specialized one, with a more neutral pH, without soap, dyes and fragrances. Secondly, thoroughly wash the genitals and the skin around them in the morning and evening, as well as after each intercourse. It is better to use intimate wipes after urinating. Thirdly, for the time of recovery, it is better to give up tight and synthetic underwear, very dense, tight clothing.

Seeing a doctor

Men should undergo a routine preventive examination by a urologist – andrologist once a year before the age of 35 and twice a year in subsequent years. If any discharge from the penis, rashes, seals or mucosal deformities appear, you should consult a specialist. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe treatment, preventive measures, care or diet. Self-medication is unacceptable, as any infection can quickly spread and enter the prostate, bladder, and kidneys. Running infections can lead to serious consequences: damage to the urinary system, infertility, impotence.

Most of the infections that cause penile acne in men are treatable. Even severe generalized diseases can be treated with early diagnosis.


Pimples on the penis do not always indicate a serious illness. Sometimes this is just a violation of hygiene or changes in hormonal levels. Nevertheless, men should be careful about their health, be examined and treated in time.

event_note December 18, 2020

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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