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How do skin growths and genital warts differ?

Is there a diffence between having skin growths on your genitals and having genital warts? The bumps I have on my scrotum and on the shaft of my penis don't really seem like warts, just patches of rough, scaly skin. If they are warts, how would I know? How would a doctor decide?
Skin growths on the penis are one of the most common reasons for men to seek medical attention. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you in greater detail include your primary care doctor. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection caused by the human papilloma virus. They look like fleshy, painless, irregular, flat skin growths usually attached over a wide base The tend to be multiple and tend to be concentrated on the shaft of the penis more than the scrotum. It is possible that you simply have a bit of dermatitis or eczema of the penis and scrotum, which could give you flat, itchy, scaling areas and should respond to good hygiene, avoiding strong personal beauty products, and an over the counter steroid cream. Occasionally, psoriasis can present on the penis as shiny, scaly, silvery patches of itchy skin. Finally both skin tags and moles (collections of darker pigmented cells in the skin) are common in this area. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor is strongly recommended.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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