Pimple on scrotum: Causes, types, and treatment

pimple on scrotum
Medically reviewed by Dr. Devindra Bhatt

Overview

Pimples are not a pleasant surprise anywhere on the body, but it is quite a nuisance if it appears on the balls. The pimple-like bump on the scrotum can be especially concerning if it accompanies pain. The most obvious reason can be clogged pores due to excess sebum and oil. It occurs due to sweat and unhygienic conditions, causing bacterial growth and pimple formation. In some cases, the cause can be as concerning as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Keep reading to know whether it is a harmless bump on the balls or something you need a doctor’s advice on.

Can you get a pimple on your testicle?

The short answer is yes. Like other parts of the body, the scrotum contains numerous hair follicles and pores, making it susceptible to various skin issues, including pimples. These pimples can result from ingrown hairs, pore blockages, and other common factors. Typically, such pimples can be managed at home and tend to resolve within a few days.

However, it’s essential to differentiate between harmless pimples and those that might indicate a more serious underlying condition. In some cases, a pimple or discolored bumps on the scrotum could be a symptom of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or another infectious condition, necessitating medical diagnosis and treatment.

While it may be tempting to pop them, Dr. Richard from Your Doctors Online advises against it. Attempting to pop or puncture pimples can exacerbate the problem, potentially leading to complications later on. If it’s a typical pimple on your scrotum, it should typically resolve within about a week.

Pimple on scrotum can be painful to experience Get diagnosis and treatment now

What causes pimples on the scrotum?

The causes of pimples on the scrotum are akin to those on the face or back:

1. Ingrown Hair

It occurs when hair grows back into the skin, typically causing red spots and discomfort. Curly and coarse pubic hair is more prone to becoming ingrown, especially in shaved areas.

2. Folliculitis

Inflammation or infection of hair follicles leads to pus-filled clusters. This condition can result from bacterial, fungal, or viral infections, as well as physical irritation or trauma to the skin.

3. Heat Rash

It occurs as small, red spots, typically exacerbated by sweating in warm weather. Heat rash occurs when sweat ducts become blocked, trapping sweat beneath the skin and leading to inflammation and redness.

4. Scrotal or testicular mass

Various causes, including swelling, fluid buildup, or tumors. Scrotal masses can be benign or malignant and may require medical evaluation for proper diagnosis and treatment.

5. Orchitis

Swollen testicles due to viral or bacterial infection. Orchitis can be a complication of certain infections, such as mumps or sexually transmitted infections, and may lead to pain, swelling, and fever.

6. Testicular cancer

Tumors in testicular germ cells. Testicular cancer is relatively rare but can develop in one or both testicles and typically presents as a painless lump or swelling in the scrotum.

7. Idiopathic scrotal calcinosis

A rare condition characterized by discolored, lumpy bumps. Idiopathic scrotal calcinosis is believed to result from the deposition of calcium salts within the skin’s tissues and usually does not cause symptoms unless complications arise.

8. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

In United States, 80% of sexually active people are infected with STIs. Various STIs can cause spots on the scrotum, such as:

  • Herpes: Small blisters filled with clear fluid that may burst and form painful sores. Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and is highly contagious, often transmitted through sexual contact.
  • Syphilis: Sores on the skin, known as chancres, typically painless but highly infectious. Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum and can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
  • Pubic lice: Rash of small red bumps accompanied by itching caused by infestation with pubic lice. These parasites feed on human blood and are transmitted through close physical contact, including sexual activity.
  • Cysts: Pus-filled spots under the skin, usually harmless unless infected. Cysts can develop due to blockages in the hair follicles or oil glands, accumulating fluid and debris beneath the skin’s surface.
  • Molluscum contagiosum: Viral infection resulting in small, raised, firm spots, often clustering in body creases. Molluscum contagiosum is caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) and is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with contaminated objects.
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What are the Types of pimples on the scrotum?

Pimples can develop on almost any area of the body, including the scrotum, and there are several types:

  • Blackheads: Form when oil clogs a pore, turning black upon exposure to air. They are often associated with excess oil production and poor hygiene practices.
  • Whiteheads: Result from pore blockages with closed tops, retaining a white appearance. These are typically caused by dead skin cells and oil buildup, leading to pore congestion.
  • Papules: Red bumps are often tender to the touch. Papules indicate hair follicle or pore inflammation, commonly triggered by a bacterial infection or irritation.
  • Pustules: Have a white tip due to pus accumulation. These are signs of bacterial infection within the hair follicles or pores, leading to inflammation and pus formation.
  • Nodules: Bumps beneath the skin’s surface, often painful. Nodules are deep-seated, inflamed lesions caused by the blockage of hair follicles or pores, often requiring medical intervention for resolution.

Any of these forms of pimples may arise on the scrotum. On the other hand, pimples accompanied by redness or rash may signal underlying infections or STIs.

Is it bad if you have a pimple on your balls?

In most cases, pimples on the scrotum are harmless and tend to resolve on their own. However, individuals experiencing recurrent pimples in this area may benefit from consulting a doctor or implementing preventive measures to reduce their occurrence.

It’s essential for anyone experiencing symptoms suggestive of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to seek medical attention for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Pimple on scrotum can be a sign of STI Get diagnosis and treatment before it spreads

How to treat bump on scrotum?

Managing regular scrotum pimples can often be done effectively with the following methods:

Topical antibacterial cream

Use a topical antibacterial cream or ointment on the pimple to help reduce bacteria and fungi in and around the affected area. Common options include Neosporin or Bacitracin, or your doctor may recommend medicated ointments containing polymyxin B sulfate, bacitracin zinc, and neomycin.

Home remedies

Following are the home remedies for treating pimples on the scrotum:

  • Warm compress: Apply a warm, wet washcloth to the area around the pimples for at least 20 minutes, four times daily. Adding two drops of tea tree oil to the washcloth can aid in cleansing the area.
  • Castor oil: Apply a small amount of castor oil to the pimple. Castor oil possesses natural antibacterial properties, which can help reduce infection and inflammation.
  • Gentle cleansing: Use a mild soap and a washcloth to gently cleanse the area around the pimples during showers or baths.
  • Corn starch paste: Create a paste by mixing a tablespoon of corn starch with clean, room-temperature water. Apply the paste to the pimple and the surrounding area, allowing it to dry for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel afterward.

Oral medications

If scrotum pimples persist despite home treatment or show no improvement after several days, it’s crucial to seek medical attention from your doctor. They may prescribe oral antibiotics to help alleviate persistent or severe scrotum pimples. Common antibiotics used to treat pimples caused by conditions like folliculitis include:

  • Augmentin: Amoxicillin-clavulanate is commonly prescribed to treat pimples on the scrotum. 
  • Doxycycline: A broad-spectrum antibiotic effective against various bacterial infections, including those affecting the hair follicles.
  • Minocycline: Another antibiotic in the tetracycline class, often prescribed for its anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial effects.

These medications work by targeting the bacteria responsible for causing the infection, helping to reduce inflammation and promote healing of the affected area.

If you’re prescribed antibiotics for scrotum pimples, it’s essential to take the full course of medication as directed by your doctor, even if symptoms improve before completing the treatment. This helps prevent the recurrence of infection and the development of antibiotic resistance.

When to seek medical attention

If scrotum pimples persist or worsen despite home treatment, it’s essential to consult a doctor.

Oral antibiotics may be prescribed for persistent or severe scrotum pimples caused by conditions like folliculitis. In general, pimples often resolve on their own within 1 to 2 weeks, but medical attention may be necessary if symptoms persist.

How to prevent pimples on the balls and scrotum?

To prevent the recurrence of pimples on the scrotum and maintain good genital hygiene, consider the following tips:

  • Regular hygiene practices: Shower or bathe regularly, aiming for at least once a day or every couple of days, to keep the scrotum clean and free from the buildup of sweat, oils, and bacteria.
  • Choose breathable underwear: Opt for 100% cotton instead of synthetic materials to allow proper air circulation around the genital area. This can help prevent moisture buildup, which contributes to developing pimples.
  • Avoid tight clothing: Refrain from wearing tight pants or underwear, as these can increase friction and trap sweat against the skin, creating an environment conducive to pimple formation.
  • Hair removal practices: Avoid tweezing, plucking, or waxing scrotal hairs, as these methods can irritate the hair follicles and skin, leading to inflammation and potential pimple formation. Consult your doctor for alternative hair removal options that are gentler on the skin.
  • Practice safe sex: Consistently use condoms during sexual activity to reduce the risk of exposure to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that can cause scrotum pimples or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Remember, prioritizing good hygiene practices and making informed choices about hair removal methods can significantly prevent pimples on the balls and scrotum.

FAQs about pimple on scrotum

Is scrotum present in females?

No, the scrotum is not present in females. In males, the labioscrotal folds develop into the scrotum; in females, they form the labia majora.

What is a pus-filled bump on the scrotum?

A pus-filled bump on the scrotum could be a scrotal cyst, typically an epididymal or sebaceous cyst. These cysts are sac-like structures in the skin that may contain fluid, pus, or gas. Most scrotal cysts are harmless and do not usually require treatment.

What can happen if a pimple on the scrotum is left untreated?

If a pimple on the scrotum is left untreated, the infection can spread and potentially develop crusty sores. Mild cases of folliculitis may heal without scarring with basic self-care, but more severe or recurrent infections may require prescription medication. Untreated severe infections can result in permanent hair loss and scarring.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • GREEN, ROBERT M. “Cancer of the scrotum.” The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 163.21 (1910): 792-797.
  • Higgins, C. C., and J. G. Warden. “Cancer of the scrotum.” The Journal of Urology 62.2 (1949): 250-256.
  • Cervantes, Jessica, Alyx Rosen, and Jeong Hee Cho. “Enlarging Bump on the Scrotum.” Skin appendage disorders 5.1 (2018): 52-55.
  • Banwell, Miles, and Michael Irwin. “Lumps and bumps.” General Surgery Outpatient Decisions. CRC Press, 2018. 294-320.

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