What is this lump on my penis?

Lumps on the penis can have several causes. Many penis lumps are harmless and need no treatment. Some possible causes are listed below.

If you’re worried about a lump on your penis, see your GP or go to your local GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinic.

Pearly penile papules

These are small, flesh-coloured lumps normally found on the head of the penis. They usually go all the way around the penis head in one or two rows. These lumps are normal. They are not sexually transmitted or caused by bad hygiene. They don’t cause symptoms and don’t require treatment.

Fordyce spots

Fordyce spots are small yellowish or white spots on the head or shaft of the penis. Fordyce spots are sebaceous glands (tiny glands found near the surface of your skin) without hair follicles. They can also appear on the inside of the cheeks or on the lips, and are present in 80-95% of adults. Fordyce spots are generally harmless and don’t need treatment.

Lymphocele

This is a hard swelling that suddenly appears on the shaft of the penis after sex or masturbation. It happens when the lymph channels in your penis are temporarily blocked. Lymph is a clear fluid that forms part of the body’s immune system. The swelling should soon subside and will not cause any permanent problems.

Lichen planus

Lichen planus is a non-infectious, itchy rash of purple-red bumps that can affect many areas of the body, including the penis.

Genital warts

Genital warts are small fleshy growths or bumps that can appear on the shaft and sometimes head of the penis or under the foreskin. They are caused by the human papillomavirus sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Sores or ulcers

A painful blister or sore on your penis could be caused by herpes, an STI caused by the herpes simplex virus. A painless sore or ulcer on your penis could be caused by syphilis, another STI.

Peyronie’s disease

Peyronie’s disease is an uncommon condition that causes a thickened area or hard lump (plaque) in the shaft of the penis. This can cause the penis to become curved when it’s erect.

Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection. It causes small, firm, raised spots on the skin, which usually form in little clusters. They can affect the penis and general groin area.

Cancer of the penis

Penile cancer is a rare type of cancer that can cause a sore or lump on the penis, most commonly on the head of the penis. Read more information on penile cancer.

Read the answers to more questions about men’s health.

Further information:

 

Page last reviewed: 20/03/2013

Next review due: 19/03/2015