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"I've been itchy lately. What is my skin problem?"

ZocdocAnswersI've been itchy lately. What is my skin problem?


I've been itchy lately and I have white spots or lines where I scratch. I also have small bumps on my penis. What could if be?


Thanks very much for your question. I understand that itchy skin can be a very distressing problem and an uncomfortable one as well. It is a very common complaint across a wide range of ages and affects people from every demographic. Depending on your age, past medical history, medications, allergies, and environmental exposures, the causes of your itchy skin, spots, and/or lines may be numerous. It is important to note when you first started noticing the itching, whether there have been other associated skin changes such as breaks or cracks in your skin, whether you have noticed open wounds, or if anything makes the itching better or worse. You may simply have dry skin, particularly if you are living in a climate with a transition in seasons. You may have been exposed to an allergen that has caused itching. This can be related to pets, detergents, environmental particles, or any number of other potential allergens. You may have dermatographia, where sensitive skin can develop lines or welts when rubbed or scratched. As for the bumps on your penis, they may be penile papules, benign bumps that develop around the glans of the penis, or a more serious condition such as a sexually transmitted illness. It is not possible to receive a diagnosis without being evaluated by a physician. I suggest that you contact your primary care physician, dermatologist, or local health center to receive an evaluation so that you may be provided with a possible diagnosis and potential management plan.

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