Bookmark and Share Subscribe
San Francisco City Clinic Search
Ask Dr. K

I've been going out with this guy for awhile now. Every time I go down on him I see something on his penis that alarms me. On the underside of the shaft, he has these little bumps similar to pimples. They aren't warts, I don't think. He told me once it was okay - that they had something to do with puberty. He won't go to see a doctor about them. So far, I haven't gotten any sexually transmitted diseases from it. Do you know what he has?

The only way to get a proper diagnosis is for this guy to see a doctor or healthcare provider. All sexually active people should get regular check-ups. Perhaps in light of the fact that you're recently sexually active together, you might be able to suggest a doctor's visit rather than focusing on the little bumps which he's reluctant to have checked.

Just so you know, there are a several kinds of bumps that persist on the penis and are part of normal anatomy, as your partner suggests. One type is sebaceous (epidermoid) cysts. These are basically swollen follicles under the skin that are whitish-pink-yellow in color, smooth, and are single or in groups. Another cause of bumps that are normal are called pearly penile papules -- shiny bumps along the coronal sulcus -- the ring around the head of the penis. Abnormal bumps like warts are usually rougher and more cauliflower -like. They can be the same color as the skin or somewhat lighter or darker. Other bumps that are infectious include syphilis, herpes or scabies. This is why now would be a good time for you and your partner to get complete sexual health check-ups.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Thursday, November 19, 2009.
Privacy Policy | Photo Disclaimer | Feedback
©2018 Department of Public Health, City & County of San Francisco.