What Causes Spots on My Penis & What to Do?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mehvish Khan


Spots on the penis are discolored patches on the skin with different textures that occur due to various causes and are rarely severe. Spots on the penis can seem like a grave concern but don’t get scared or overwhelmed without knowing the actual cause. Causes can range from something as mild as a pimple or allergy to something as serious as a sexually transmitted infection, including genital warts or herpes.

Key Takeaways

  1. Spots on the penis can be caused by various reasons, including sexually transmitted infections, allergies, fungal infections, and health conditions like lichen sclerosus and lichen planus. 
  2. STIs can cause white spots like genital warts, herpes, and syphilis. These infections can be treated with antibiotics and antiviral medications prescribed by your doctor. 
  3. If the white spots are due to mild causes like acne, lifestyle changes, or hygiene practices, then over-the-counter treatments can help alleviate the symptoms. 
  4. However, it’s essential to consult a doctor for pain, redness, swelling, abnormal discharge, or other concerning symptoms.

Let’s explore the different spots and what they indicate in this article. Here are three different types of spots that can appear on the penis:

White Spots on the Penile

White dots on the penis may indicate the following: 

  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Medications side effects
  • Non-sexual infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Health conditions 

In some cases, the appearance of white dots can be due to certain medical conditions, including lichen sclerosus and lichen planus. The former is a chronic genitals skin inflammation that affects both males and females in which the affected area’s skin becomes wrinkled with white patches. These patches also include other symptoms like itching and pain during sex and defecation. In contrast, the latter is an acute condition that is non-infectious and causes rashes and itching on the affected area.

Although these spots are usually not serious, it is safe to visit your doctor for better evaluation.

How do you treat foreskin spots? Consult an Online Doctor

Black Spots on Penis

Black dots may appear in clusters or individually, and size also varies as per the cause. These can also be the result of an allergy, fungus, sexually transmitted disease, or in some cases, severe health conditions. For example, black spots on the private area can also appear if you suffer from melanoma and moles. Moles, on the one hand, are not something serious, but keep an eye out for any changes in shape, size, or color to avoid developing into something serious.

On the other hand, melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can appear on any part of the body, including the genitals. For anything causing you pain or visible changes, immediately contact your healthcare provider to take appropriate action at the right time.

Red Spots on Penile Shaft

Red spots can appear as one big spot or in the form of multiple spots in the same area, and primarily the causes are benign. Mostly, the cause is infections like fungus or an allergy, or sexually transmitted infections or diseases. If you have an allergic reaction to some product, the most common symptoms are redness, itching, rashes, and swelling, which can be cured by avoiding contact with that product or taking some antihistamines prescribed by your doctor to relieve the allergy symptoms. With STDs and STIs, these spots are associated with pain, itching, and discharge.

If you experience any such symptoms, seek medical advice, as you might need medications for the proper treatment. Sometimes, any injury to the penis can also cause a red bump on the penile. You need to allow the wound to heal to recover fully.

Do penile spots go away? Ask a Doctor Now

What Std Causes White Spots On The Skin?

White spots or discoloration on the skin can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases, including genital warts, genital or anal herpes, or Syphilis. 

  1. Genital Warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) that spread due to unprotected sex and cause white or red painless, minor bumps in the areas of the genitals, including under and over the foreskin and penis. These are, however, temporary infections and don’t cause long-term complications unless your immune system is weak or, in the case you have more than one sexual partner. 
  2. Syphilis presents as a genital ulcer as a lesion or chancre. This infection is also temporary and goes away in 2 weeks. The infection can resolve without treatment, but the bacteria (Treponema pallidum) causing the infection doesn’t. Therefore, an antibiotic course is essential in completely eradicating this bacteria from your body. 
  3. Genital Herpes is another suspect of the small blisters or sores like white spots on the skin caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). This STI can cause itching, pain, and a burning sensation in the affected area. This virus can also cause symptoms like fever, fatigue, weakness, and swelling of lymph nodes. 

In either case, get a consultation from your doctor for proper antiviral and antibiotic medications or a treatment course. 

How Do I Get Rid Of Little White Spots On My Foreskin?

If you suspect white spots on your foreskin, it may or may not be due to sexually transmitted diseases. Here are some potential ways to get rid of white spots on the foreskin:

For Sexually Transmitted Diseases

In case of sexually transmitted infections like herpes, syphilis, or genital warts caused by HPV, your doctor would suggest an antiviral or antibacterial course to treat the infection. However, they cannot ensure lifetime immunity against the infection but can help speed up the healing process and relieve the symptoms. 

Other Treatments

However, if the white spots are due to acne, you don’t need medical treatment and instead improve your lifestyle, drink more water, keep your private parts clean and dry, and apply stress management practices to avoid breakouts. Moreover, you can follow these simple tips as an additional layer of protection: 

  • Stop touching and popping out pimples to avoid scarring and spread
  • Use antibacterial wash to keep the area bacteria-free and unclog the pores
  • Use over-the-counter medicines to reduce sebum production and bacterial growth
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Consult a Doctor

Although the spots on the penis are not always a matter of concern and can disappear in a few days on their own in case of mild causes like acne, however, if the infection is causing pain, redness, soreness, cracks in the skin, swelling, pus or abnormal discharge, difficulty in urinating or defecating, and other irritating symptoms, then it is better to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis.

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.

  • NHS.UK. What is this lump on my penis?
  • Otero L, Varela JA, Espinosa E, Sánchez C, Junquera ML, del Valle A, Vázquez F. Sarcoptes scabiei in a sexually transmitted infections unit: a 15-year study. Sex Transm Dis. 2004 Dec;31(12):761-5. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000145853.35574.18. PMID: 15608592.
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Syphilis Treatment and Care
  • American Academy of Dermatology Association. RASH 101 IN ADULTS: WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT
  • Wray AA, Velasquez J, Khetarpal S. Balanitis. [Updated 2022 Jul 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537143/

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