What does the spots in my penis tell me?

The penis is the major part of the body that is always linked to a man's sense of masculinity. And any unpleasant blemish on it can not only be detrimental to a man's vanity and result in a long-term sexual health problem to the unlucky few.

Though men are always worried about the pimples, rashes, or dark spots on the penis, the good news is most of these unsightly blemishes are normal and harmless.

Dark spots on penis may result from poor hygiene or minor irritations, which normally disappears in two or three days. However, dark spots on penis can also be due to sexually transmitted infections and can be accompanied by other symptoms and may need treatment.

This post will look at some of the common spots on the penis, causes, level of seriousness, and possible treatments.

Common dark spots on penis and what they mean.

Whether a small septic spot or itchy sores on the shaft, getting a spot on the penis can cause so many worries to a man. Here are common spots on the penis that you should get to know.

  • Fordyce spots.

Fordyce spots are tiny yellowish or white spots that are usually found on the shaft or the penis. If you have a black or brown skin complexion, these spots may be more eminent.

These are micro-sebaceous glands that are part of the typical penis structure. They are normal and harmless; they do not require treatment. Fordyce spots can also be found around the lips of most men. They are not sexually transmitted.

There are no known causes of Fordyce spots. Still, several studies have associated its formation with certain hormonal changes, while others argue that they start developing during the embryo stage of the baby in the womb.

The spots can appear alone or in a set of up to 100 spots and become more prominent when the skin is stretched.

They do not itch or cause pain but may bleed in the cause of intercourse or after the intercourse; however, they are not infectious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

  • Pearly papules.

These are tiny bumps in your penis that have a similar color to your skin but has a pearly look. These spots always appear around the tip (glans) of the penis in a row.

Though they can appear in any man, the condition is seen in 8-24% of men, and most are ones who are not circumcised. Apart from the anxiety of the patients due to their nature, they do not cause bad symptoms.

These spots are not sexually transmitted or due to lack of hygiene; neither are they contagious or infectious like genital warts. They are natural anatomic variants.

Treatment is not necessary for PPP, but if desired, a laser vaporization method using carbon or electrosurgery may be used to destroy the lesions.

  • Genital herpes.

This is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the Herpes Simples Virus (HSV) - the primary method that the virus spread is sexual contact.

The common symptom of genital herpes is a painful inflammation on the skin of the penis or any other area of sexual contact, causing some itching or tingling sensation after which blisters appear, lasting for several weeks.

You can be infected and become contagious without visible symptoms like sores. Unfortunately, genital herpes has no cure, but it is believed that proper medication can reduce symptoms and the chances of infecting others.

Proper use of condoms has also been proved to help prevent the spread of genital herpes infections.

  • Genital warts.

This is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Almost every active persons are at risk of being infected with either of the human papillomavirus (HPV)-a virus causing genital warts at some stage in life.

These spots look like a tiny flesh-colored bump with a cauliflower-shaped appearance. Mostly genital warts affect tissues around the genital area, and in most instances, their spots are too small to be seen.

Genital warts in men occur on the tip of the penis, scrotum, or anus. It can also be found in the mouth or throat if you had oral sex with an infected person.

It is advisable that if you feel bumps around your penis or experience the following symptoms seek medical attention immediately with your partner.

  1. Itching or discomfort around the glans.
  2. Several warts are in sets and are near together.
  3. Bleeding during intercourse.
  4. A small pink, pink, or ivory-colored (depending on your body color) swellings in your genital areas.

Abstinence and the correct use of condoms during sex are ways of preventing infections of genital warts.

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  • Septic spots.

This is a type of skin infection that causes spots to appear on the skin. Due to their similarity to acne, it is not easy to see septic spot, but they look like tiny blisters with white or yellow pus.

If not realized earlier, a simple ignorable spot can lead to sepsis- a condition that causes the body system to react by attacking its organs and tissues. This condition also reduces blood flow to the essential parts of the body, like the brain, heart, or kidney.

A septic spot appears on the penis like a small pimple, which can be easily ignored, but it is important to seek medication should the pimple contain puss.

  • Molluscum contagiosum.

This is a viral skin infection that forms round, strong, painless bumps on the penis and around the genital area and is caused by a poxvirus.

The infection results in a mild skin disease distinguished by growths or lesion, which appears on the glans of the penis.

Though the bumps are painless, they can itch if scratched, leaving dark spots on the penis and increasing the infection's spread to other parts of the body.

These bumps always disappear on their own, but in some rare cases, they are removed using medications such as cryotherapy, laser therapy, and curettage, or other palliative methods.

Less common penile spots.

Though there are more dangerous causes of dark spots on the penis, but are not very common in the USA, so there is no reason to worry. However, if you've recently traveled abroad and started to notice strange spots on the penis, visit your GP immediately.

Some less common causes of black spots in penis include;

  1. Syphilis.

Syphilis is a bacterial, sexually transmitted infection that begins as a painless sore on the glans of the penis in men. Syphilis is classified into stages; primary, secondary, latent, and secondary, with different stages having their symptoms.

Syphilis is transmitted through contact with the infected area during oral, vaginal, or anal sex. If not treated at an early stage, it can lead to a severe health crisis and can affect the brain, eyes, nerves, or heart.

Syphilis stays in the body for an incubation period of nine to ninety days, after which it starts showing the first symptom of a painless lump on the head of the shaft.

The painless lump breaks into another painless ulcer leaving either dull red, brown, or a dark spot on penis, depending on your skin color. Therefore, ensure you go for early STD testing.

  1. Tropical venereal disease.

These are sexually transmitted diseases that are usually found in the tropics. It includes three infections that have relatively the same symptoms. These infections include;

  • Chancroid.
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum.
  • Granuloma inguinale.

If you stay in America or the UK, there are unlikely chances of picking a tropical infection, though there have been rising cases of these infections worldwide.

Due to these rising rates of tropical diseases, it is essential that when you have sex while in the tropics, you should immediately seek medical attention and make sure you visit clinics for STD testing.

These diseases' primary symptoms look like a bump or lump on the tip of the penis. They can also cause swelling of the groin.

These three tropical diseases respond positively to early and appropriate medications and leave dark spots on penis after healing; however, it is advisable to test for other STIs-especially HIV.


The simple bump or a lump you are assuming on your penis might lead to more severe health complications. Taking early precautions can be a step towards saving yourself a big deal of health-related stress.

So, in case you notice a pimple or dark spots on penis that is giving you worries, it is vital that you see your GP or sexual health expert and avoid unnecessary worries.

People always avoid being tested because of embarrassment or falsely hoping that the condition will pass away. But it is easier to treat these conditions causing dark spots on the penis if detected early enough.

The most important thing to note is that it is important to abstain from sexual activities until the doctor confirms the cause of the bump so as to reduce the chance of infecting others.