A dermatologist names some causes of white bumps or pimple-like growths on the penis.

White pimples, bumps or small growths can appear on one’s penis; what are some causes?

“The most benign condition that causes flesh colored lesions on the penis is called pearly penile papules—not precancerous or caused by infection—just benign non-cancerous growths that can form a ring around the shaft,” says Dr. Rebecca Tung, MD, director of the dermatology division at Loyola University Health System, Chicago.

“Other flesh colored lesions could be genital warts (condyloma). Since they are caused by a virus, early treatment is a good idea to get rid of current lesions and prevent spread of new lesions.

“Other white bumps on the penis can be simple cysts (called milia)—harmless and do not require treatment unless bothersome.”

It is extremely unlikely that a white “pimple” or “bump” on the penis can be skin cancer or any kind of cancer.

Dr. Tung’sdr. tung specialties include general dermatology with skin cancer surveillance, moles, melanoma, surgery (Mohs micrographic, laser, skin cancer reconstruction) and cosmetic dermatology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.