Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What does it mean when you have a lot of small, painless bumps on your scrotum?"
It's been there for a while, causing no pain. It looks like goosebumps, but I just want to be sure. Also, there is pubic hair growing, so I thought it could also be hair follicles.
There are many things that can cause bumps on the scrotum and penis, some of which are totally normal and others of which can be more dangerous. The only way to be sure is to visit your doctor; primary care physician are used to answering these kinds of questions and can provide reassurance or recommend further treatment or testing. Without seeing the bumps it's a little hard to tell, but one possibility is that the bumps are hair follicles or sweat glands, as you thought. This tend to protrude more when the scrotum is tight (e.g. during cold weather) or on the erect penis. These are not something to worry about and require no treatment. Follicles can become inflamed, often due to shaving, which can make them redder and can sometimes cause small abscesses to develop. Warts can cause larger bumps on the scrotum, and herpes can cause painful small blisters. Sexually transmitted diseases more typically cause lesions on the penis than on the scrotum, but it is easy to get checked for them and is important to rule this out. Other causes of painless bumps include a condition called Angiokeratomas of Fordyce, which are violet, dome-shaped bumps on the scrotum that arise from blood vessels. In of themselves these lesions are not dangerous, but may be part of a larger syndrome that should be identified. It can feel awkward to discuss this question with your doctor, but as I mentioned, these kinds of questions are very common and the best way to know whether the bumps your describe are normal is to show them to your physician.
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