Other penis questions - smells, bumps, itches and blood

Archive Page
This is archive material from the MHF's malehealth.co.uk website which is now part of this site in the section Male Health. This page remains on the site as site traffic suggests visitors find this page useful but it may not be up to date. It was last updated in 2003 and so does not conform to the NHS England Information Standard of which the MHF is a member. Up-to-date information on this topic can be found here: Penis FAQs.



Q . About 2 months ago I began to notice a small bump forming on the left side of my genital area (actually at the base of the shaft). I first thought nothing of it, but it never went away. So I then began to think it was an ingrown hair or keloid because at times I do shave, but again still there. Currently it is still there and at times itchy and flaky and I have begun to notice a small one now forming on my right side. I have always used a condom when having sex (although oral sex I have had done to me without one) and still do even the condom really doesn't cover the bump but should I be concerned? Who can I go see for help?

A. Without actually seeing it I can't really say what it is but remember that sweat glands will appears lumps during an erection. If it is itchy and the hair is falling out from the area you may have a form of ringworm which is a fungal infection. It can be treated by creams from your chemist. Better still nip down to your local GUM clinic where you will be seen anonymously without even your GP knowing about it.

Found a hard lump

Q . I have recently found (felt) a hard lump/mass close to the end of the inside of my penis. It's just below the glans but probably protrudes into the glans somewhat. It feels like a knot and is perhaps 1" long and would appear to be around my urinary tract. I does seem to get bigger and more solid if I have an erection.

It doesn't really hurt or uncomfortable at this time, even when urinating. I guess I first noticed something about 9 months ago. It was only apparent when I had an erection. The erection caused some pain, but really no more than a discomfort in the way of a tingling sensation. The tingling sensation seemed to have disappeared over the last month or so. I'm really not sure how long I've had this lump or whether it's getting any bigger with time as I've only just noticed it.

I'm 52 years old and have NID diabetes. I take Metaformin and Acarbose for control and usually maintain a blood level of 6-10. I'm also on 2 types of medication for cholesterol control plus aspirin. My blood pressure is normal at 120/80. I do use Viagra from time to time but can normally get a decent erection without it. I'm probably a stone overweight and although fairly active at my work, don't get much exercise otherwise.

I should perhaps explain that at the moment I don't have access to a (qualified) doctor or medical advice as I'm working in the forest of South Sumatra, Indonesia and will not be able to get back to the UK until July sometime.

A. Like many letters I get I can't be certain without seeing this for myself but I have a sneaky hunch that it is nothing to be concerned about, not least because it has been around for so long. There is a small tag of tissue which forms inside the urethra and you can feel it rather like a small knot. It is perfectly normal and most men do not notice it until later in life. It is unlikely to be a tumour and your diabetes is unlikely to be connected. Even so, as I cannot see it for myself I do recommend you seek medical advice ASAP not least to put your mind at rest. I hope you are planting those tress and not contributing to our global warming from CO2 emissions!

Growth and lump/sore on penis

Q . Hi. I'm a male in my early twenties who has been sexually active since 16 but only with one partner who I am still with.

I recently found a small growth which looks like a small tag of skin on the underside of the "tendon" of the foreskin which attaches it to the penis itself. This tag has grown slightly but is still very small.

However, the thing that has really disturbed me is that while examining this growth, I realised that I have some small lump just on the inside of the opening of the urethra which looks something like a sore. This seems to have appeared overnight although I think it might have been possible for the sore to have been growing indside the urethra but has onloy just become large enough to become noticeable from the outside of the opening. This sore doesn't hurt or itch at all.

Please could you help. I am very worried by this problem and could really do with some advice. Thanks

A.The normal penis can look pretty abnormal at times. It is common to develop small lumps on the frenulum of the penis. They rarely cause any problems. Penile warts are a possibility although you usually get more than one and they are quite characteristic looking like tiny cauliflowers. There may be nothing wrong with your urethra at all. There is a change in colouration as the inside lining meets the outside skin. Even so, if you are concerned why not nip down to the local GUM clinic where you can be seen anonymously without even your GP knowing.

Bulge on penis

Q . For the past several years I've noticed an unusual bulge developing on the foreskin on the underside tip of my penis. It causes no discomfort or any problems with urinating, etc, yet it is now getting me worried, due to its size (a few 'mm' in size when the penis is erect) and the fact that it's a very bright shade of pink/red and in some light it looks slighty translucent.... Due to this problem I cannot pull my foreskin all the way back over the tip of my penis....how may I get rid of this problem?

A. What I like most about answering these questions is the normal things which men find worrying. That is the purpose of the site as well as sorting out the real nasties. A small cyst can form in the frenulum (the small tag which connects the foreskin to the penis shaft). It is normal, or at least requires no treatment unless it becomes a nuisance. In your case it might be worth showing this to your GP. Warts can also grow in this area and should be investigated as they are implicated in cervical cancer in women. Either way it is not the end of the world as we once knew it or your penis for that matter. Breathe a sigh of relief on the house.

Scar on penis

Q . Please help me. I feel suicidal. I am circumcised and about 5 years ago I noticed a small purple/black purple scar on the underside of my glan. It has now spread and is circular all the way round the glan and looks terrible. I went to the doctor 4 years ago about it and he was totally unhelpful and told me I would need to be a millionaire to do anything about it. I need help about it. I can't even look in the mirror. Please tell me there is something I can do.

A. I am taking this very seriously. The problems associated with circumcision are only recently coming to the surface. I would need to know more from you not least your age and the age at which the surgery was performed. This is important because a different scar line is produced. It sounds as though you are well over adolescence and so the scar will look very different from one produced after a 'baby' circumcision. This blue line is very common and is not a sign of anything untoward going on. I personally doubt if it will develop into anything further. However, I am more concerned over your distressed state and recommend you make this very clear to your GP. You could also get in contact with Norm UK which advises men with problems over circumcision.

 Bad smelling penis

Q . I hope you can help me. I try to keep my penis as clean as possible. However, because of a persistently bad smell, whenever I pull my foreskin back, about a year ago I went to a GUM clinical in the hospital and was told I had thrush. Some of the advice I was given included cleaning regularly under the foreskin, not using soaps (scented), taking hot salty baths and staying as dry as possible under the foreskin. I was also prescribed a cream called nystaform-hc, which clears things up but only if I continually use it. I have tried to follow this advice as much as possible, but whenever I pull my foreskin back even say an hour or so after washing, there is a nasty fishy smell.

Also, which is what concerns me the most, I find that the skin on the head of my penis, including the underside of my foreskin is peeling. When I get an erection, the skin is very dry and flaky. It's not dried smegma. Naturally I am embarrassed about this and it has made me lose all interest in sex. I'm also terrified it might be cancer.

A. Brace yourself because your sex life is about to get very much better. What you describe is just part of the spectrum of normal conditions for the body. Thrush is a yeast infection which is particularly annoying as it tends to return just when you think it is safe to go back in the water, so to speak. It will cause a red mottling of the penile helmet with a creamy white discharge from under the foreskin.

Although it can be picked up from unprotected sex, it just appears like a bad penny in most cases. Over use of antibiotics, taking steroids for whatever reason, being diabetic or having a problem with your immune system will all increase your risk from thrush. Similarly, constant washing will remove the protective layer of 'good guy' bacteria which stops the yeast from growing.

Dunking your penis in live natural yoghurt once a day might help return things to normal. Only wash once a day and check out all the risk factors I mentioned earlier. Either way, don't give up on sex. Use a condom. It might not cure your thrush but at least it will bring a smile to your face.

Smelly penis

Q . I've read many stories about smelly penis because of smegma (whether the person is circumcised or not). My problem is that no matter where I touch, penis or scrotum, and when I smell my finger it smells. Sometimes I can even smell the odour even when I'm wearing pants! I wash frequently, two times a day. I wash my private part with lots of soap, however, it still smells. I wonder if this is about smegma. Oh, I'm circumcised. I sweat in that area too. I want to get rid of this problem. I've been embarassed by this. Please resolve my problem. Greatly appreciate your time.

A. It's not just yourself who can smell a willy from a hundred paces. When I visit people at home their dogs will make a bee line for my crotch. Trying to examine a person while their dog is examining my fly can be a tad tricky. The truth is it is impossible to stop the smell of a penis and you will always have the aroma so long as you produce testosterone. Washing too often with harsh soaps only makes it worse by removing the helpful bacteria.

I suggest you wash once per day or after any ejaculation, from masturbation or after having sex. If your helmet is itchy and mottled you may have a thrush infection and a course of antifungal medicines will clear it for you. See your GP.


Page created on October 22nd, 2003

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