Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"What causes rashes around the head of a penis?"
I'm a 20-year-old guy, and I'm worried about this rash around the head of my penis. The bumps are small and red, and they're not itchy. Is this an STD? What else can cause a rash like this?
Any new finding on the penis can be a source of anxiety for any man. It is very good practice to present this problem to your primary care physician. You can only be diagnosed and treatment given (if treatment is necessary) after a physician examines you and takes a detailed history. A rash around the head of the penis can mean several different things. The most common skin finding there is a benign condition known as Pearly Penile Papules. These are tiny bumps that can either be white, pink, or sometimes red that are not painful or itchy. They normally are found at the back end of the penile head and surround the whole circumference. They are a normal finding in as many as 10-20% of men and are not an STD. They will have probably been there for years. On the other hand, if they just appeared and are not surrounding the head of the penis, then they may be an STD. The most common type of STD that presents as small bumps is HPV (i.e. genital warts). These are treated by freezing them off, or with medicated creams. Only your doctor can tell the difference between the different types of penis bumps. Although it can be difficult sometimes, you will always be glad you got checked out. Good luck, and remember to always use protection.
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