What are the Red Spots on Penis? How to Get Rid of Them?

what do red spots on penis mean?
Submitted and Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mavra Farrukh


Noticing red spots on the penis can be alarming, but it is important to remain calm as they don’t always signify something serious.

Red dots on penis can simply result from irritation or poor hygiene. Such spots may disappear in a few days. In contrast, red spots that develop due to another condition or a sexually transmitted infection (STI) tend to last longer and present with other symptoms as well. 

Read more to find out the possible causes of red bumps on penis head and the treatment. 

What Do the Red Bumps Look Like?

The red bumps on the penis can present as red dots on the penis head, raised bumps, fluid-filled bumps or clusters of bumps. You may experience white bumps on penis, red spots under the foreskin, a blister on the penile shaft or simply an irritating itchy penis head. You may notice a single red bump on penis as well or a blister on the penile shaft. All these bumps may stem from different causes. Let us explore some of those. 

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What are the Causes and Treatment Options of Red Spots on The Penis?

The following are some of the causes that can lead to red spots on the penis:

1. Poor hygiene

Improper hygiene is a common cause of red or pink dots on the skin of the penis. If genital hygiene is not maintained, it can lead to rashes or red dots on dick. These are commonly experienced by men who work out or play sports frequently. In addition, excessive sweating and improper cleaning can lead to small red bumps on penis head.


To avoid this, you should bathe daily and clean the area with a bar of gentle soap and warm water. Furthermore, wearing cotton underwear will help keep the area well-ventilated. Men who sweat excessively should bathe multiple times a day. 

2. Friction

Continuous rubbing or friction from clothing or frequent sexual contact can give rise to rashes or spots on the penile gland. Red spots that result from friction can be accompanied by symptoms such as itching, tip of penis burning and mild swelling. 

You may notice a blood spot on the penis as well from prolonged rubbing. There aren’t any other noticeable symptoms. 


Wearing underwear made of cotton can prevent friction injury caused by rubbing against rough fabrics. Moreover, adequate hygiene habits will help to relieve irritation from friction. Using sufficient lubricant during sexual intercourse helps prevent irritation or injury due to sexual activity. 

3. Balanitis

Balanitis is the inflammation of the penis head, also called the glans. This inflammation can be caused by poor hygiene, an allergic reaction, a yeast infection or an STD. The symptoms reported include redness, pain while touching or urinating, and burning. Men are more prone to develop balanitis if they are uncircumcised.


Some cases of balanitis are resolved by improving genital hygiene. Washing the penis regularly using natural, unscented soaps and the area under the foreskin can also help prevent balanitis. However, the infection needs to be treated if symptoms do not improve in a couple of days. Conditions are treated with topical or oral antifungals or antibiotics. Doctors commonly prescribe:

  • steroid creams (hydrocortisone)
  • antifungal creams (clotrimazole)
  • antibiotics (metronidazole)
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4. Contact Dermatitis 

The genital region is considered a sensitive area of the body. Therefore, the use of harsh chemicals in certain products, such as soaps or moisturizers can cause dermatitis on the penis.

Resultantly, the gland can become red and swollen. Additionally, pinpoint red dots on skin or random red dots on skin may appear. Finally, red spots under the foreskin that are not itchy may develop as well. 

Some men may have sensitivity to certain fabrics, and irritation may result in small bumps on the penile shaft that don’t itch. Wearing clothing made of synthetic-based fabrics does not allow air to reach the genital skin resulting in bumps on shaft of penis.

Contact dermatitis is caused when the skin comes in contact with an allergic substance. Symptoms that result from this include the appearance of fluid-filled blisters filled, which tend to burst. Other symptoms include swelling, itching and scaly or dry skin around the base of the shaft. You may also notice spots on the foreskin when pulled back.


Contact dermatitis may not require any particular treatment as symptoms can disappear after exposure to a certain chemical/product is discontinued. Avoiding the use of scented or chemical products in the genital area and wearing cotton-based underwear are some ways to prevent dermatitis. However, mild topical or oral corticosteroids are sometimes required to manage signs and symptoms. 

5. Yeast infection

Apart from the causes mentioned above, a yeast infection termed candidiasis is yet another common cause of red spots on the penis. The overgrowth of Candida albicans fungus causes a yeast infection. This results in symptoms such as intense itching, swelling and spots that are red, purple or white in color. Yeast infections can occur both in men and women, although they are more common in women. 

Treatment Options: 

Yeast infections are treated with antifungal creams or ointments. Commonly prescribed creams include fluconazole or ketoconazole. Adequate hygiene is essential to prevent disease or worsening of the existing one. Oral antifungals are usually prescribed in severe infections or infections that do not settle with topical creams. In order to avoid re-infection, it is also essential for sexual partners to be treated

6. Fordyce spots

Fordyce granules or spots present as tiny white or yellow spots. Bumps or blisters that form during adolescence and appear on the penis head or shaft are commonly Fordyce spots. This condition is benign and is not life-threatening, so there is no reason to be concerned.


These spots are harmless and do not require any treatment. Although tretinoin creams can help reduce the appearance.

7. Pearly papules

Pearly papules are a result of inflammation of the Tyson glands. These glands are located beneath the penis head. Although these papules are not always visible, they look like small pimples when they are. The color can be whitish, shiny or transparent or similar to skin color. 


Pearly papules are benign and hence do not require treatment. They can be treated for aesthetic purposes. Treatment options include cryotherapy or cauterization.

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8. Drug rashes

Taking medications such as anti-inflammatories, analgesics or antibiotics can lead to side effects such as an allergic reaction on the penis or a rash on the head of penis. You may also notice bumps on tip of penis or red spots in the genital area. You may also develop some blisters. For instance, ingredients in some antibiotics can lead to Stevens-Johnson syndrome, resulting in blisters on the penis. The rash may spread to other areas of the body.

Typically, rashes caused due to drug allergies clear up once people discontinue the medication. However, in severe cases, people may require another medicine, such as an antihistamine or corticosteroid, to help manage the symptoms.

Allergic reactions to drugs can be serious, so it is wise to consult with a doctor to see if your symptoms warrant further evaluation or treatment.


If spots or a rash appear after staring a certain medication, it is possible that you have a drug allergy. If that is the case, you should stop using the medicine and inform your doctor immediately. 

9. Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted infection (STI) caused by the organism Treponema pallidumSyphilis can lead to the development of a painless small lump on the penis. This is one of the first symptoms, and you may notice a red, circular sore on your penis. This disease is spread through unprotected intercourse with someone infected.

If the disease is left untreated, syphilis can progress, spreading the infection in the body. Therefore, prompt treatment is very vital.

As the disease progresses, an individual may experience the following:


If you have a suspicion or find out that you have been exposed to syphilis, you should contact your doctor immediately so that treatment can be started on time to prevent long-term complications. Commonly used over-the-counter antibiotics for the treatment include

  • benzathine penicillin
  • ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
  • doxycycline (Oracea)

You should also refrain from sexual activity until you have a clear blood test result. 

10. Genital herpes

Genital herpes is typically caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-2 or, less commonly, by HSV-1). This virus is introduced in the body during unprotected sex with someone who is infected or carries the virus. This can result in red spots or bumps/blisters on the following regions of the body:

  • scrotum
  • penis
  • thighs
  • buttocks
  • mouth 

Other symptoms that may accompany these bumps include:

  • pain 
  • itching
  • bleeding sores/ulcers 
  • scab formation once the sore heals


Genital herpes isn’t curable, but your doctor will prescribe antivirals such as valacyclovir or acyclovir to manage your symptoms and prevent the disease from spreading

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11. Genital eczema

People with genital eczema may experience intense itching, sore skin and a rash on the genitals. Individuals with such symptoms should see a doctor to determine whether they have eczema, penis or genital eczema or a similar condition. 

Skincare products, such as shower gel, laundry detergent, antiseptic solutions, or creams, can irritate genital skin and trigger eczema. Profuse sweating and friction from tight clothing are some other triggers. Genital eczema may also result from the use of spermicides and latex condoms. 


Avoiding harsh skin care products and wearing loose clothing may help relieve symptoms quickly. Topical steroids or emollients help treat the symptoms.

12. Genital psoriasis

Genital psoriasis is characterized as an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin in the genital area. It is believed to be triggered by stress and infection. It causes red, dry patches to develop. It is also accompanied by itching and flaky skin.


A prescription-strength corticosteroid cream is the mainstay treatment. The cream is applied to affected areas of the skin, which helps decrease inflammation and discomfort. In severe cases, the doctor usually prescribes oral medication. Other options include retinoids like Soriatane and phototherapy.

13. Bowenoid Papulosis 

Bowenoid papulosis is a rare condition which is transmitted sexually. The culprit behind the condition is subtype 16 of human papillomavirus (HPV). Red spots can appear in the genital region or anal region. These usually clear up on their own without any form of treatment. However, some people require treatment. 


Some treatment options include:

In rare cases, Bowenoid papulosis may progress to Bowen disease, an early form of penile cancer. Therefore, if symptoms persist for months, you must follow up with your doctor.

14. Scabies

Scabies occurs when mites burrow into your skin and inhibit the place after laying eggs. These mites can spread through proximity to an infected person, including sexual activity.

The most prominent symptoms include itching and irritation as the mite burrows into your skin. Other symptoms include dry skin, blisters, and white-colored lines in the skin where mites have burrowed.


If you think you have symptoms of scabies, you will require a prescription for a topical cream, such as permethrin or crotamiton, to treat it. You need to consult a doctor for that and should closely follow their instructions for application.

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15. Molluscum contagiosum

Poxvirus is the agent that leads to molluscum contagiosum, a skin infection. The transmission mode is skin-to-skin contact or sharing items such as towels, bedding, clothes, and other materials with someone infected.

It causes red and itchy bumps to appear on your penis and the areas that are affected. Scratching may worsen the condition causing the infection to spread to other regions of the body.


Molluscum contagiosum can settle down on its own. So, treatment is not essential.

The following options are available for treatment

  • topical therapies
  • curettage 
  • laser surgery 
  • cryosurgery

Prevention Options for Red Spots on Penis

The treatment protocol is based on the underlying cause of the red spots and may vary from person to person. Although practicing good hygiene by ensuring that you wash the penis daily and changing clothes after exercising can help reduce the chances of infection. Men with an uncircumcised penis should take special care to clean under the foreskin. This helps prevent bacteria from building up. Furthermore, using a condom during intercourse reduces the chances of contracting and passing on STDs.

What to Do About Red Bumps on Your Penis?

Bumps on the penis can be a sign of distress and shatter a man’s confidence. There are several reasons behind this symptom, so discussing your condition with a healthcare provider is best to avoid misdiagnosis. 

When to Consult a Doctor 

Although red spots on the penis are mostly benign conditions, it can sometimes be severe. You can consult our online doctor at Your Doctors Online to learn more about your condition. A rash on your penis can indicate an underlying medical condition. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you must contact a doctor:

  • Painful rash
  • Rash that spreads to the other areas of the body
  • The rash turns into blisters or sores
  • The rash crusts over
  • Warm and red penis
  • Rash oozing yellowish fluid
  • A red streak that appears on your penis
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FAQs About Red Spots on the Penis Answered by Your Doctors Online Team

What do red spots under the foreskin mean?

Red spots can mean various conditions ranging from mild irritation to STDs or skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. 

How to get rid of red blotchy spots on your penis home remedies?

Ensuring that you practice good hygiene and regular washing under your foreskin can help eliminate the red blotchy spots. Using unscented, natural soaps can help heal the spots as well. 

Why are there red spots on my penis after sex?

These are usually caused by irritation or friction injury induced by rough intercourse. Using lubrication may help avoid this. 

How to treat red spots on the penis from masturbation?

Avoiding masturbation for some time and using lubrication can help prevent irritation caused by irritation. 

Are fluid-filled red spots on the penile head bacterial or fungal infections?

Several conditions or infections can result in fluid-filled spots/blisters. Sometimes testing for STDs is also required to rule out conditions such as herpes. 

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